Meet the All-Area Volleyball First-Team

Meet the All-Area Volleyball First-Team

Lizzy Barnard
Tri-County, junior, outside hitter

Why she made it: A two-time Little Okaw all-conference pick, she was a second-team All-Area selection as a sophomore. Helped Titans to a repeat league crown this fall and to third place in the Class 1A state finals.
Season highlight: Led team to 32 consecutive wins (25 in two-set sweeps) with a team-high 311 kills. Was second in aces (74) and third in digs (172).
A few of my favorite things: Pasta ... Destinee Hooker ... History ... “Soul Surfer” ... One Direction ... T.G.I. Friday’s ... My best friend, Amber Meyer ... 2003 Impala ... Babysitting
On my bucket list: Go somewhere out of the country, grow my hair as long as Amber Meyer’s and go to England.

Lauren Cloyd
Centennial, senior, middle hitter

Why she made it: Rutgers recruit helped Chargers to record of 137-21 in her four years on varsity; finished fourth on career charts for blocks (312) and sixth for kills (561).
Season highlight: Second on state’s third-place Class 3A team in kills (233) and blocks (123) and earned All-America recognition.
A few of my favorite things: Chocolate ... Any science class ... “We Bought a Zoo” ... Chris Brown ... Black Dog Smoke & Ale House ... Stacia Simmons ... 1988 Chrysler New Yorker ... Working in the concession stand and box office at Savoy 16.
On my bucket list: Go to Italy, meet Adam Levine and play in the Olympics.

Elise Dahlke
Mahomet-Seymour, senior, outside hitter

Why she made it: Parkland College recruit was at her best against top competition, pounding career-high 22 kills in the regional against Champaign Central’s Big 12 co-champions.
Season highlight: A six-rotation player, she recorded double figures in digs in 15 of 32 matches while offensively having twice the number of attacks as any teammate. Led the 21-13 team with 290 kills (on 822 swings). Also had a team-high 42 aces.
A few of my favorite things: Baked spaghetti ... Kerri Walsh Jennings ... Calculus with Mr. Potter ... “Harry Potter” movies ... Rascal Flatts ... Seven Saints ... Kayla Thompson ... 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan ... Pollinating at Pioneer.
On my bucket list: Go back to Paris, own a horse and live in Boston.

Kara Johnson
Centennial, senior, outside hitter

Why she made it: Illinois-Chicago recruit established a school record for career aces (282), seven more than Melanie Moore; second all time for digs (641) and fifth all time for kills (638).
Season highlight: Led Chargers in aces, with 81 this season, second in digs with 215 and third in kills with 224.
A few of my favorite things: Cheesecake ... My cousin, Kansas City Royals player Chad Johnson ... “Pitch Perfect” ... Harry Styles from One Direction ... Cheesecake Factory ... Kameron Fry ... 1998 Honda Accord ... Concession stand worker at Sholem Aquatic Center.
On my bucket list: Skydiving, meeting Harry Styles and traveling to England.

Laura Gross
Schlarman, soph., middle hitter/setter

Why she made it: Catalyst for the 29-6 Vermilion Valley champions, who advanced to the Elite Eight, where they lost to eventual Class 1A state runner-up Mount Pulaski. Originally set school season blocks record (98) as a freshman and re-broke it this season. Stands second all time at school for career kills (440).
Season highlight: Team leader in kills (257) and blocks (152) and finished second in assists (169).
A few of my favorite things: Salmon ... Cristiano Ronaldo ... Physical education ... “Bridesmaids” ... B.o.B. ... Cheesecake Factory ... Ryan Fitzgerald ... 2001 Suburban ... Cashier at Gross Burgers.
On my bucket list: Walk on coals, go to Hawaii and go to the Olympic Games.

Lexi Wallen
St. Thomas More, sophomore, outside hitter

Why she made it: The area leader in kills per set (5.29) and an All-Area selection in a second sport (joining soccer).
Season highlight: Led the 21-15 team in kills (434) and digs (368) and tied for the team lead in aces (57). Also had 70 blocks, second among the Sabers.
A few of my favorite things: Pizza ... Ryan Lochte ... Spanish ... “Taken” ... Justin Bieber ... Panera Bread ... My teammates ... Babysitting.
On my bucket list: Meet Justin Bieber, go to Europe and learn to play an instrument.

Morgan Hickman
Clinton, senior, setter

Why she made it: Broke the school’s career assists total by more than 500, finishing with 1,879. A three-sport letter winner all four years and a three-time winner of the school’s Female Athlete of the Year award.
Season highlight: Had 635 assists while running a 5-1 offense, but also managed 351 digs and 116 kills.
A few of my favorite things: Chicken Alfredo ... Misty May-Treanor ... Mathematics ... “The Notebook” ... Za’s Italian Cafe ... My boyfriend, Gage ... Nissan Sentra ... Waitress.
On my bucket list: Go to Australia, go to Hawaii and meet Shania Twain.

Amber Meyer
Tri-County, senior, setter

Why she made it: Repeat selection led Titans to a program-record 36-3 season and accounted for more than 88 percent of the team’s kills with her assists.
Season highlight: Led state’s third-place Class 1A team in assists (858) and finished fourth in digs (113) and aces (42).
A few of my favorite things: Pizza ... Maya Moore ... Health Occupations class ... “21 Jump Street” ... Lee Brice ... Monical’s ... My best friend, Lizzy Barnard ... Red 2010 Ford Taurus ... Detasseling for JM2 Enterprises.
On my bucket list: Go to Jamaica, join the circus and get chocolate wasted.

Rachel Jones
Centennial,
senior, middle hitter

Why she made it: Bradley recruit is a repeat selection and a three-year letter winner for teams that won at least 32 matches each year and finished in a first-place tie in the Big 12 this year.
Season highlight: Led 37-5 team, which placed third in Class 3A, in kills (276) and blocks (128) and earned All-America recognition.
A few of my favorite things: Tacos ... Misty May-Treanor ... Sociology ... “Pitch Perfect” ... Taylor Swift ... Portillo’s ... Alex Surrells ... 2004 Chrysler Pacifica ... Concession stand worker at Sholem Aquatic Center.
On my bucket list: Go skydiving, swim in the Mediterranean Sea and win the lottery.

Jaelyn Westfield
Champaign Central, senior, middle hitter

Why she made it: Repeat selection who led the 28-8 Maroons to a share of the Big 12 championship. Third-year varsity player compiled a .410 hitting efficiency as a senior.
Season highlight: A first-team selection in all four tournaments in which the team played this year, led team in kills for the second consecutive year (251), also led in blocks (571/2) and had 31 aces.
A few of my favorite things: Pasta ... All my teammates ... History ... “Home Alone” ... Ellie Goulding ... Monical’s ... My family ... 2004 Hyundai Sonata.
On my bucket list: Travel to Italy, donate 10 gallons of blood and go to the Olympics to watch.

Categories (3):Prep Sports, Volleyball, Sports

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