2013 SVCsportszone.com's All-SVC Volleyball Team

By Shayne Combs
Please note that the following is the opinion of SVCsportszone.com and in no way is based on the
opinions of the coaches. The official list for All-SVC will be released later this week, but while we
wait, here is a look at the way I would select the individuals in this year’s volleyball league.
Picking my all-league volleyball team is one of the most enjoyable articles to write each year.
Volleyball in the SVC is fun to watch. You stay east of Cincinnati and south of Columbus, and SVC
volleyball is as good as it gets in terms of quality of players and teams.

In selecting all-league, I have always tried to stay consistent in my philosophies. I do think team
success plays a role in selections; however, I do not believe it should make for an automatic ranking
idea. I believe team success plays a bigger role later in the selections rather than earlier when
looking for the elite talents. Secondly, I think a player asked to play all-the-way-around compared to
just the front or back row should be viewed as a little more valuable, but at the same time, all
selections in all sports will have room for some specialty players.
Rodgers, Carle, Lytle top the list

The decision to name Jess Rodgers as my Coach of the Year was not a difficult decision. When I left the preview, I thought there would
be way too many obstacles for the Lady Mustangs to overcome to win this year’s league. I thought Zane Trace’s championship
experience would be too much. I thought Unioto’s talent would be too much. I even thought Adena and Huntington had too much talent
for WF to earn sweeps, and WF went 3-1 in these match-ups with the only loss coming after the league was already won. As always,
SVC volleyball was a well-coached league in 2013, but Rodgers should be considered the runaway winner of this honor.

2013 SVCsportszone.com All-SVC Volleyball Team

The list always starts with picking the best player. What made this year’s list unique is the fact that all my first-teamers were at least in
the discussion. The league champ will always get a look, and beyond that team, the debate of team success starts to play a role. You
have the discussion of the Defensive Specialist of the Year also being a possible Player of the Year.

For me, the final decision was not all that tough. I will go with Zane Trace’s
Hayley Carle. Carle impacts the game at the net, with
defense, and with her serve. Her versatility and leadership throughout her career have been a pleasure to watch. There was even a
match late in the year where ZT was going through injury at the setter position, and Carle jumped in a dished out 22 assists.

The list follows Carle with two more all-around talents in Piketon’s
Aleah Pelphrey and Unioto’s Alexis Overly. Pelphrey has had a
huge second half to her senior season. Pelphrey’s dominance at the net, in terms of hitting and blocking, helped Piketon to start to
separate from the bottom of the league and play with multiple teams in the top half. As for Overly, few players stuff the stat sheet like
she is capable of doing. She impacts the game in so many ways with kills, assists, digs, blocks, and aces. I also felt like her efficiency
improved throughout the year which moves her towards the top of my list.

Next I go with my
Defensive Specialist of the Year in Huntington’s Alayna Lytle. Lytle, by far the best defensive player in the league,
plays the game with such effort and passion.
The debate of the DS being POY will be talked about on our podcast show the week of
Monday, October 14th (CLICK HERE FOR SHOW 68). I do believe the game of volleyball starts with a good pass, but the trio ahead of
Lytle on my list all impacts the game in so many different ways.

Another Huntington player who becomes a no-brainer on my first team is senior setter
Halie Ingram. Ingram is truly one of the league’s
most underappreciated talents over the past three seasons. Good athlete, great hands, and really good vision have been weapons for
her to get hitters an open net. After setting Huntington to the regional and district finals as a sophomore and junior, Huntington
graduated POY Jackie Kellough. Ingram has responded during her senior season by leading a young group of hitters while leading
the league in assists at nearly nine per set.

Next up we give the SVC champions their due respect. Sophomore
Hannah Phillips is Westfall’s most skilled player, and Amanda
is the most powerful hitter in the league. The two of them combined to give Westfall an advantage at the net in every SVC match
this year. Phillips has a match-changing serve, great hands at the setter position, and is an elite hitter. Curry puts up a dominant block
and can obviously take a match over offensively as a hitter.

I round out my first team with
Kylan Strausbaugh of Zane Trace. I am not crazy about having to drop her to the eighth spot, because I
think she is a top-five talent. No way possible I would have let her drop off of first team, but I do feel like the seven players above her are
very deserving. Nonetheless, Strausbaugh is a great athlete and great competitor, and she is definitely a player who can impact a
match in several ways.

The second team starts with two of the most improved players in the league in Adena’s
Kirsten Dawson and Unioto’s Taylor Overly.
Dawson dished out just less than nine assists per game, and Overly, now two years removed from her terrible knee injury, was
outstanding at the net and much improved in the back row.

In the next spot is Westfall’s
Hannah Wallace. It could be argued that Wallace was the X-factor in WF’s championship season. Her
defense at the net is outstanding, and her improved offensive ability allowed Coach Rodgers to move Curry around in the Westfall
attack. I follow Wallace with a pair of Adena teammates in
Karli Bower and Jenna Hutton. Bower had a solid start and then a great
finish to the 2013 season, and Hutton is an extremely skilled, high volleyball IQ player for the two-shade blue. I stay with elite hitters as
I continue my second team with Huntington’s
Dylana Gragg. Gragg had an up-and-down 2013, but in fairness to her, I think she was
asked to shoulder more responsibility moving into the lead middle hitter spot for the green and white as just a sophomore and was a
top-five (4th in SVC with 3.8 kills per set) hitter in the league.

I complete my second team with two similar players in Westfall’s
Kayla Tackett and Unioto’s Karee Neff. Tackett, the heart-and-soul
of the championship Mustangs, is an incredible defensive player who showed her great versatility by moving from libero last year to
playing all the way around for this year’s Westfall squad. As for Neff, I have always looked at her all-around talent in a similar way I
talked about Ingram’s setting and that is as underappreciated. Neff has great versatility. She is a good server, can attack from all three
spots on the net, and does a solid job in the back row.

I start my final team with two really talented volleyball players in Adena’s
Bridgette Scaggs and Huntington’s Rikki Magill. Scaggs is
not a player who fills the entire stat sheet and Magill did have a slow start to her rookie season; however, anyone who would argue
these are not top-20 talents in the league would be people I would simply have to agree to disagree with. Scaggs is a smart, efficient
player at the net, and Magill is an all-around talent who has an outstanding serve (1st in SVC with .8 aces per set) while providing solid
passing and hitting as well.

My next spot goes to Zane Trace’s
Jillian Pontius. I was concerned I wasn’t going to have room for a third ZT player, but Pontius is
definitely an all-league player. Pontius is a good setter, and late in her career, she has proven to be an efficient all-around player.
Pontius will not always catch your attention on the stat sheet, but she is a player you must watch multiple times to appreciate what she
brings to the team.

I also believe there must be room for two more Unioto players. I can only imagine the emails and phone calls now that the Unioto total
is going to reach five, but
Emily Ward and Halle White deserve to be on the list. Ward, a lot like Pontius but exclusively from the libero
spot, is a quiet, efficient piece to a very good team. The balanced Unioto attack often starts with a dig or a successful serve receive
from Ward. As for White, her game has improved from a year ago in multiple areas. She is a powerful hitter who also was able to step
in and set during
Makenna Steinbrook’s injury (another player probably worthy of a spot if not for that missed time as she dished out
over five assists per set while only setting half the time in the 6-2 Unioto attack).

With just three spots remaining the selections get extremely difficult. I think the emergence of Piketon’s
Payton Reuter during her
sophomore season was a big reason for Aleah Pelphrey’s monster year and the ability of Piketon to become a formidable opponent in
an amazing league, so I will give her my 22nd overall spot. As for the final two spots, I have never been one to think all eight teams
must be represented, but in this year’s case I do think Southeastern and Paint Valley have players worthy of a spot on my list. The
problem is I have only room for one Lady Panther and one Lady Bearcat. I have multiple from each school who are in the discussion.
As for Southeastern, I will give
Emily Dresbach a slight edge over Logan Goebel. As for PV, the Bearcats had some injuries to seniors
Laci Stanforth and Faith Davis, but both
Taylor Baker and Erin Riley have had all-league type seasons. I would have to give Baker the
advantage. Baker impacts the match in the most ways as a setter, hitter, and with a solid serve. Riley had a great year in terms of digs
and aces. If I turned completely bias at this part of the list, I would love to get Riley and Goebel on the list, but to do that other players
would have to come off and I feel very confident about my selections.

To complete the list I want to give a mention to the kids who were definitely on my radar when putting the list together. As just
mentioned Riley and Goebel were on the border as was Unioto’s Steinbrook. The SVC champions also had
Cassidy Williams and
Denise Arledge play a huge role in the championship season. Even though not all-league selections, many feel the depth of Westfall’s
passing and setting were the deciding factors in this year’s league.

Hayley Carle, Player of the Year
Aleah Pelphrey
Alexis Overly
Alayna Lytle, DS of the Year
Halie Ingram
Hannah Phillips
Amanda Curry
Kylan Strausbaugh

Kirsten Dawson
Taylor Overly
Hannah Wallace
Karli Bower
Jenna Hutton
Dylana Gragg
Kayla Tackett
Karee Neff

Bridgette Scaggs
Rikki Magill
Jillian Pontius
Emily Ward
Halle White
Payton Reuter
Emily Dresbach
Taylor Baker

Erin Riley
Logan Goebel
Makenna Steinbrook
Cassidy Williams
Denise Arledge
Agree? Disagree?

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Agree? Disagree?

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