Looking Back at the Best of the Volleyball Regular Season

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By Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

The volleyball regular season is in the books.

Starting on Tuesday the page turns to postseason play.

Before taking a look at what awaits area teams in regional play here is a look back at the best from the regular season.

Best Individual Performance: Jaedynn Evans against Bellevue. The Regina junior hammered 23 kills in a sweep of No. 14 Bellevue but it was as much the way Evans did it that made the performance so impressive. Evans was consistent with at least seven kills in each set and efficient, hitting .435 with three errors in 46 swings. She also had eight digs and three ace serves.

Best team performance: City High against Cedar Rapids Washington. Three different Little Hawks had more than 14 kills in a five-set win over the Warriors. Kelsey Law had 18 kills, Ellie Evans had 15 and Mackenzie Murphy had 14 as City High rallied to win the final two sets.

Best performance from a duo:  Abbey Fryauf and Kaiya Luneckas against North Cedar. The West Branch tandem combined for 39 kills and 31 digs in a five-set loss to No. 13 North Cedar. Luneckas had 20 kills and Frauf added 19 and 20 digs.

Comeback player of the year: Regina junior Alex Wiese. After spending last season playing on the Regina junior varsity team Wiese had a huge impact in her varsity debut season at Regina. Wise leads the Regals with 320 kills and 4.0 kills per set and is second on the team with 349 digs.

Coach of the year: In her first season leading her alma mater Jordyn Akers has led Regina to a 25-8 regular season record and a No. 11 ranking in Class 2A. Akers led Regina to a runner-up finish in the RVC South division, a spot in the semifinals of the RVC tournament and the most wins for the program in more than a decade.   

Best upset: Liberty High over Fort Madison. The biggest win of the season for the Lightning came on the road and snapped 10-game winning streak for No. 14 Fort Madison. The five-set win for Liberty was the only loss for Fort Madison (23-5) in a string of 18 matches.

Best match: Clear Creek Amana over Benton Community. There are plenty of choices for this one including a pair of five-set RVC road wins for Regina over Wilton and Durant, West High’s five-set home loss to 4A top-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier and Solon’s home finale with Western Dubuque. The Clippers get the nod after rallying for a 16-25, 29-27, 22-25, 25-21, 15-10 road win at Benton Community.

Breakthrough performer: Clear Creek Amana junior Shauntina Williams. A two-year starter that led the Clippers in kills a year ago Williams was far from an unknown entering the season but established herself as one of the top hitters in the WAMAC this season with 338 kills.

Unsung hero: City High junior Ellie Evans. Evans doesn’t have huge stats but she has been the most consistent all-around performer for City High this season ranking second on the team in kills (148) and ace serves (30) and leads the Little Hawks with 148 digs.  

Freshman of the Year: Clear Creek Amana freshman Hailey Pollock. The 6-foot-1 Pollock ranks second on the team with 121 kills and 47 blocks in her debut season.

Best Multitasker: Solon junior Rachael Nelson. Few players do as many things for their team as Nelson does for the Spartans. Nelson leads Solon in assists (447), is third in kills (140), digs (204) and ace serves (22) and fourth in blocks (38).

Best Performance in a New Role: Regina senior Emily Bonnett.  In her first varsity season at setter Bonnett ranks fourth in Class 2A with 720 assists and leads a Regina attack with four players with more than 100 kills and team hitting percentage of .226.

Newcomer of the year: Liberty sophomore LeeAnn Potter. Technically everyone at Liberty High is a newcomer this season but Potter has stood out most in her debut season. Potter leads the Lightning with 288 kills and 331 digs.

Most valuable player: West High senior Colby Greene. No player has meant more to their team than what Greene has meant to the Women of Troy. Greene had team-highs of 263 kills and 63 blocks entering the MVC tournament last weekend.