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Champaign Central's Mira Chopra, middle, tries to hit through the double-block attempt of Urbana's Kynzee Boastick and Raevyn Russell (14) during a Class 3A Unity Regional volleyball semifinal at the high school in Tolono on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. 

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Seven of the 10 2018 News-Gazette All-Area volleyball first-team picks were seniors. Here are 10 girls who could fill those spots later this year:

1. Mira Chopra, Champaign Central

The rising junior committed to the University of Michigan earlier this year, and the loss of teammate Rylee Hinton to graduation means Chopra’s 2.39 kills-per-set average is likely to rise.

2. Katelyn Young, Oakwood

A Murray State women’s basketball commit, the rising senior is a reigning All-Area first-teamer in hoops and track and field who most recently posted a volleyball kills average of 5.00.

3. Addison Oyer, Paxton-Buckley-Loda

The outside hitter made an All-Area second-team splash as a freshman by banking four kills per set. Departure of fellow OH Aubree Bruns opens up more chances for the 5-foot-11 Oyer.

4. Emily Meidel, Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin

Though the rising senior’s best athletic results have come in basketball, she’s no slouch as a volleyball middle back with previous averages of 4.52 kills, 1.49 blocks and 4.24 digs.

5. Olivia Sorensen, Heritage

Rising senior was a strong setter and defensive specialist for a good 2018 Hawks team, placing second in the area with 9.90 assists per set to go with nearly an ace served per game.

6. Anna McClure, St. Thomas More

She was a big hitter as a freshman on the Sabers’ outside, collecting 2.07 kills per set. McClure also added 3.05 digs per bout and has good volleyball genes from mother, former Illini Kelly.

7. Katelyn Berry, St. Joseph-Ogden

Rising senior was among a bevy of talented underclassmen during Spartans’ run to a sectional final, and that experience should up her 2.28 kills-per-set average.

8. Karli Dean, Tuscola

Even with six upperclassmen on the way out, the rising senior is the Warriors’ leading returning attack option at 2.84 kills per set in 2018, also notching 1.05 blocks per game.

9. Raevyn Russell, Urbana

As the rising senior goes, the Tigers tend to go. So if Russell can improve upon her team-best average of 2.90 kills per set from the prior year, they’re likely to get past a regional semifinal.

10. Haley Reynolds, DeLand-Weldon 

Outgoing Raeanne Allen was the Eagles’ bona fide leader last season, but Reynolds appears poised to fill those big shoes at 4.09 kills/3.76 digs/1.40 aces per set in 2018.

Colin Likas is prep sports coordinator at The News-Gazette. His email is clikas@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).


Prep Sports Coordinator

Colin Likas is prep sports coordinator at The News-Gazette. His email is clikas@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).