June 21st, 2012
LCS.com Year In Review: Volleyball
No. 1 Assumption Rockets earn national accolades
LouisvilleCatholicSports.com chronicles the 2011-2012 sports year in review. We will bring you every sport, every season, every team’s results in a capsule each weekday until we're finished. From Cross-Country to Softball and all sports in between, here’s what happened in 2011-2012 on the Louisville Catholic sports scene.
The 2011 Volleyball season showcased outstanding performances from all five local Catholic high schools. From Assumption’s top 3 national ranking, to thrilling matches among Mercy Academy, Sacred Heart Academy and Holy Cross, to the rise of a young, talented Presentation Academy team, the local Catholic schools were prominent players in Kentucky state volleyball in 2011 culminating with another Assumption crown.
But let’s be honest, the 2011 Kentucky volleyball season was Katie George’s domain and we were just spectators. The fiery competitor and University of Louisville signee was selected as the Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year, Miss Kentucky Volleyball and was named to several All-American teams, leading Assumption to a state championship and tournament wins in Muncie, IN, Las Vegas, and Chicago.
With 10 players from the local Catholic high schools earning full scholarships to play on the college level, the high end talent fueled highly competitive matches throughout the season. Here is a look back at some of the highlights from 2011.
Assumption – record: 43-1; Kentucky State Champions (16th title in school history)
Arguably the best team in the nation in 2011, the Assumption Rockets won 15 straight games to start the season, suffered a 2-1 loss in the LIVT to Chattahoochee (from Georgia), and then reeled-off 28 straight wins to close out their season with their second consecutive state title (16th in school history).
Along the way they defeated top nationally ranked teams from California (No. 2 ranked Los Alamitos, CA and No. 14 ranked Mater Dei, CA) at the prestigious Durango Classic tournament in Las Vegas, as well as prominent teams from Florida (No. 6 ranked Berkeley Prep), Illinois and Indiana.
Head coach Ron Kordes’ Rockets dropped just 9 games and won 100 on their way to posting a 43-1 win/loss record. George, the team captain, had to play most of the season with a soft helmet and a compression sleeve on her leg to prevent further damage from a blood clot that was surgically removed from her leg just two months before the season started.
But no injury, no surgery was going to hold back the supremely talented setter. George was the unquestioned leader of her team. All season long, when the Rockets needed a point she either scored it or delivered the assist.
Joining George on the All-Catholic first team were libero Chelsea Bowles (UT-Martin signee), outside hitter Taylor Long (Jacksonville State University signee) and junior middle blocker Taylor Paulson. Named to the second team All-Catholic squad were senior Dallas Zimmerman (UT-Martin signee), and sophomores Hannah Moore and Alexa Philley.
Holy Cross – record: 26-11; Region 6 runners-up
Led by star outside hitter and UT-Martin signee Lynsey Hazelwood, the Holy Cross Cougars enjoyed a 16 game winning streak in 2011, picking up a few big wins along the way.
The Cougars defeated rivals Sacred Heart and Mercy early in the season, and managed to go 5-0 in the Scott County September Slam tournament. Head coach Matthew Thomerson, in his last year coaching the Cougars, had a roster that included 3 juniors, 5 sophomores and 2 freshmen. Freshman Monica Loftus was the team’s number one setter and gained valuable experience in big game environments.
Seniors Hazelwood, hard-swinging outside hitter Jenna Conway, middle blocker Allayna LaPaille, outside hitter/defensive specialist Coral Maybrier provided the leadership for the 6th Region runner-up Cougars.
Mercy Academy – record: 29-12; Region 6 Champions, lost in Sweet 16 of state tourney
Youth was served with the Mercy Academy Jaguars volleyball team in 2011. A trio of talented sophomores—outside hitter Courtney Crable, setter Makenzie Montano and middle blocker Ashley Witt—helped lead the Jaguars attack. Bolstered by seniors and two-time state championship team members Lauren Schneidtmiller, Amanda Crask (UT-Martin signee) and Paige Stewart, the Jaguars found their footing late in the season as they recorded eight straight wins before bowing-out in the first round of the state tournament.
Head coach Todd Garvey worked with his young squad all season on the little details that will help make future seasons even more successful. Communication, staying focused and maintaining a positive attitude were consistent themes for this young squad. And though the Jaguars may have encountered some bumps along the way, they maintained their trademark, never-quit, all-out-hustle brand of play.
Schneitdmiller and Crable were selected to the first team All-Catholic volleyball team, while Crask and Stewart earned second team honors.
Presentation Academy – record: 13-14; 21st District runners-up
No volleyball team in the area was as young as Presentation Academy in 2011. Head coach Paul Bowling relied heavily on a sturdy group of six gritty sophomores to go with three juniors and two seniors. The Toppers offense was led by junior outside hitter Erin Evans (a second team All-Catholic team selection), but a never-give-up defense was the calling card for this group.
Season highlights include a 2-1 record in the LIVT and a win over Providence (IN) high school. With the youth on this squad and the experience gained in 2011, expect better results from the Toppers in 2012.
Sacred Heart Academy – record: 30-10; Region 7 runners-up
The Sacred Heart Academy Valkyries bid farewell to a successful core of senior leaders in outside hitter Connor Borgmeier, setter Meredith Ashy (Ohio University signee) and outside hitter Megan Lipski (University of Buffalo signee), but the support those seniors received from underclassmen was invaluable during the 2011 campaign.
The high-flying Lipski led the team in kills and kill % and was instrumental in solidifying the Valkyries defense. Ashy, who moved from her libero position (where she will play in college) to the team’s number one setter and back to libero, was a steadying influence on junior setter Amy Evans and a defensive stalwart for the Valkyries. And no one played with the unbridled energy and passion of Borgmeier, who re-captured her free-swinging style during the Durango Classic in Las Vegas.
Sophomore Ashley Askin turned heads with her big swings from the outside and junior middle blocker Annie Adams had a strong season on the front line. The Valkyries won the Silver bracket at the Durango Classic, finishing with a 5-1 record against some of the top teams in the nation.
LCS.com All-Catholic Teams - 2011
- Ashley Askin, Sacred Heart
- Chelsea Bowles, Assumption
- Jenna Conway, Holy Cross
- Courtney Crable, Mercy
- Katie George, Assumption (Miss KY Volleyball)
- Lynsey Hazelwood, Holy Cross
- Megan Lipski, Sacred Heart
- Taylor Long, Assumption
- Taylor Paulson, Assumption
- Lauren Schneidtmiller, Mercy
- Meredith Ashy, Sacred Heart
- Connor Borgmeier, Sacred Heart
- Amanda Crask, Mercy
- Amy Evans, Sacred Heart
- Erin Evans, Presentation
- Alexa Filley, Assumption
- Hannah Moore, Assumption
- Stacey Spalding, Holy Cross
- Paige Stewart, Mercy
- Dallas Zimmerman, Assumption
- Emma Asher, Presentation
- Lisa Azzara, Presentation
- Katie Bradley, Sacred Heart
- Monica Loftus, Holy Cross
- Erin McGrath, Mercy