The only thing Katherine Carlson
didn't get this season was a Michigan high school volleyball championship. But the Notre Dame Prep (Pontiac, Mich.)
senior got just about everything else, including MaxPreps 2014 Medium Schools National Volleyball Player of the Year honors.
In leading the Fighting Irish to the Class B semifinals and a 57-6 record, Carlson put her name in the National Federation of State High School Associations by becoming the first player to record more than 1,000 kills in two separate seasons. She recorded 1,042 this season and 1,001 in 2013 when Notre Dame Prep was 62-2-1 and captured the B state title.
Those two single-season marks put her Nos. 2 and 4 for single-season totals, according to the NFHS. Her 1,042 fell short of Jenna Lange's all-time single-season record of 1,063.
Carlson, who was named Michigan's Miss Volleyball, finished her career with 3,216 kills, which ranks No. 2 on the all-time career list behind Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.). Carlson and Glass, who recorded 3,584 in her career, are the only two preps with more than 3,000 career kills.
Carlson was also chosen by MLive as its Player of the Year, as well as Michigan's Gatorade's POY. Needless to say, the hardware added up with numerous all-state, all-area and all-conference honors.
When pressed to pinpoint Carlson's strength on the court, coach Betty Woubel said she could name many, but "What's so amazing is Katherine doesn't make errors."
"Katherine just does not give points to the other teams," said Woubel. "She can find ways to score on any team. There are a lot of great hitters, but they also have a ton of errors. Katherine's court vision is exceptional, as is her volleyball IQ."
Woubel called Carlson a program changer, the type of athlete who can change the fortunes of a team for years to come.
"She is a great teammate and such a hard-working player," said Woubel. "As talented as she is, she is always looking for a way to improve her game."
That certainly bodes well for Valparaiso University in Indiana, where Carlson will attend next fall.
Woubel said there is no replacing a player of Carlson's caliber.
"Her ability to lead, outstanding skill and knowledge of the game is hard to replace," said Woubel. "She is one of those players that I and we are so blessed and thankful to have had in our program." Coach of the Year - Chris Leverenz, Auburn Riverside (Auburn, Wash.)
Leverenz guided Riverside to a 36-0 record and the Washington 3A state title.
Leverenz started the Riverside program in 1995 and has enjoyed 11 seasons with 20 or more victories. She was inducted into the Washington State Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2013.Team of the Year - Helias (Jefferson City, Mo.), 43-0-1
The state 3A champion lost just four sets all year. Following a 1-1 tournament draw with Webster Groves (Mo.) on Oct. 11, the Crusaders won their final 14 matches and lost two sets. In their 44 matches, the Crusaders blanked 39 opponents.
The Crusaders were led by seniors Erica Haslag
(3.4 kills per set, 103 blocks), Lindsey Griggs
(3.1 digs and 2.6 kills) and and juniors Ashley Dudenhoeffer
(10.5 assists per set) and Blake Berhorst
(4.2 digs, 338 serve receptions and only 10 errors).
2014 MaxPreps Medium Schools Volleyball All-American TeamFirst TeamOH - Molly Haggerty, St. Francis (Wheaton, Ill.), 6-2 Jr
Haggerty led the Spartans to a 38-4 record and the Class 3A state title and slammed 381 kills with 152 digs, 53 blocks and 20 service aces while posting a .540 kill percentage. The 2014 News-Gazette All-State Volleyball Player of the Year, Haggerty was also the Illinois Gatorade winner.
OH - Carlyle Nusbaum, Aquinas (Overland Park, Kan.), 5-9 Sr
led the Saints to a 42-4 record and the Class 5A state title as she
recorded 390 kills, 262 digs, 59 blocks and 27 service aces while
posting a kill percentage of .474. She was named the 2014 Class 5A
Player of the Year by the Kansas Volleyball Association as well as being
honored by Gatorade as the POY. She has committed to Lipscomb.OH - Jac'cara Walker, P.K. Yonge (Gainesville, Fla.), 5-10 Jr
Walker guided the youthful PKY squad to the 4A state title and a 30-2 record. She totaled 364 kills (4.2 with a 52 percent kill ratio), served at 93 percent, had 272 digs (3.2) and 145 service points. She was named Florida's 4A Player of the Year. She has committed to Mississippi State.OH - M.E. Dodge, East Troy (Wis.), 5-10 Jr
There was no perfect season for East Troy this year, but Dodge escalated her game to include 673 kills (6.5 average), 52 aces, 55 blocks, 434 digs (4.2) and 769 serve receptions. She was first team all-state. She has committed to Wisconsin.OH - Megan Wickey, Concordia (Omaha, Neb.), 6-3 Sr
Wickey slammed 455 kills while recording a .520 kill percentage and .460 hitting percentage in leading the Mustangs (34-2) to the C-1 state quarterfinals. Named the honorary captain of the Lincoln Journal Star's Super-State squad, Wickey also tallied 269 digs, 38 service aces and 34 blocks. The Nebraska Gatorade POY has signed with Ohio State.MB - Taylor Mims, Billings Senior (Mont.), 6-3 Sr
Mims led the Broncs to a 38-1-1 record and their third-straight AA state title when she recorded 493 kills, 281 digs, 177 blocks and 61 service aces while posting a kill percentage of .481. A 2014-15 American Volleyball Coaches Association Under Armour Second Team All-America selection, she was Montana's Gatorade winner. She has signed with Washington State.MB - Katharine Franz, Charlotte Country Day (N.C.), 6-0 Sr
Franz led the Buccaneers to a 44-1 record and their second-straight N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A state title. Franz, named the Charlotte Observer's POY, had 412 kills, 295 digs, 65 service aces and 47 blocks while posting a kill percentage of .537. A 2014-15 American Volleyball Coaches Association Honorable Mention Under Armour All-America selection, Franz will play at Davidson.MB - Tionna Williams, Fort Wayne Concordia Lutheran (Ind.), 6-2 Sr
Williams used her all-around ability to lead Concordia to its first Indiana 3A title. A Wisconsin signee, Williams amassed 537 kills, 294 digs, 109 blocks and 66 aces for the 32-6 Cadets. She was named first team all-state, the Indiana Class 3A Mental Award Winner and — for the second-straight year — and the Fort Wayne-area Player of the Year.MB - Ali Bastianelli, Marysville (Mich.), 6-3 Sr
Bastianelli led the Vikings to a 37-7 season behind a monster season: 492 kills (5.2 average), 65 aces, 139 blocks (1.5 average) and 157 digs. She was a Miss Michigan finalist and an Under Armour A-A. She is headed to Illinois.
MB - Ronika Stone, Valley Christian (San Jose, Calif.), 6-3 Jr
Stone put up big numbers against some of the west's top teams in leading VCHS to a 26-13 record. She posted 575 kills (5.0 average), served 94 percent (47 aces), blocked 68 shots, averaged 2.4 digs and returned 269 serves.MH - Audriana Fitzmorris, St. James Academy (Lenexa, Kan.), 6-5 Jr
James had its streak of state titles snapped at six, but Fitzmorris had
a monster year with 667 kills (6.5 average), 111 blocks and 217 digs as
the Thunder got the runner-up trophy and finished 40-7. Fitzmorris also
played on the U.S. Junior National team last summer.S - Carson Heilborn, Auburn Riverside (Wash.), 6-0 Sr
Heilborn led the Ravens to a 36-0 record and the Class 3A state title this past season. She tallied 843 assists, 177 kills, 105 digs, 54 blocks and 47 service aces while posting a .436 hitting percentage. Washington's Gatorade winner has signed with New Mexico.S - Mackenzie Albrecht, Sonoma Valley (Calif.), 6-0 Sr
Albrecht was all over the court with 1,097 assists (11.8), 300 digs (3.2), 29 blocks, 65 aces and 81 kills as the Dragons went 29-4 and reached the state 3A quarterfinals. She has signed with California.S - Stormi Leonard, Decatur (Texas), 5-7 Sr
The Texas Small School POY led Decatur to state 4A title as she dished out 1,433 assists (10 per set), served 95.5 percent, had 455 digs (3.2), and found time to block 30 shots and record 90 kills.A-A - Jenna Gray, St. James Academy (Lenexa, Kan.), 5-11 Jr
Gray was all over the court as the Thunder went 40-7 and earned silver at state. Her numbers: 769 assists (7.3), 274 digs (2.6), 361 kills (3.6), 37 aces, 51 blocks and only seven reception errors.A-A - Heidi Dyer, Saddleback Valley Christian (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), 6-2 Sr
Named the CIF-SS 3A POY, Dyer led the Warriors to the state title game and a 33-6 record.. She averaged 3.1 kills and 2.9 digs per set. She also blocked 69 shots, served 50 aces (94.2 percent) and returned 286 serves with only five errors. She has signed with Pepperdine.