2017 Journal-World All-Area volleyball team

The 2017 Journal-World All-Area volleyball team, from left, Cameryn Thomas, Free State; Audrey Flowers, Baldwin; Riley Foltz, Eudora; Chloe Holland, Veritas Christian; Player of the Year Rachel Hickman, Free State; Lauren Maceli, Lawrence; Laurel Bird, Lawrence; Sammy Williams, Lawrence; Lindsey Hornberger, Bishop Seabury; Talisa Stone, Perry-Lecompton; and Lauren Willson, Tonganoxie. Not pictures is Coach of the Year Stephanie Scarbrough, Lawrence.

Player of the Year: Rachel Hickman, Free State

One of the most powerful hitters in the Sunflower League, Hickman broke Free State’s single-season school record with 419 kills on a .334 hit percentage. The 6-foot-3 junior earned all-state honors, adding 75 blocks, 49 aces and 134 digs. Committed to Kansas, Hickman broke her older sister’s school record for career kills.

Coach of the Year: Stephanie Scarbrough, Lawrence

Under Scarbrough, the Lions made their first appearance at the Class 6A state tournament since 2009 after defeating Shawnee Mission East and SM Northwest in sub-state. Lawrence finished with a 27-13 record, beating Garden City at state.

First team

Laurel Bird, Lawrence — A second-team all-Sunflower League pick, Bird engineered the Lions’ offense with 535 assists, averaging more than five per set. The senior setter, a four-year varsity starter, recorded 201 digs, 35 service aces and 26 kills.

Audrey Flowers, Baldwin — The junior outside hitter powered the Bulldogs’ offense with 147 kills on her way to second-team all-Frontier League honors. Flowers was second on the team with 250 digs and 30 blocks, helping her team to the Class 4A-II state tournament.

Riley Foltz, Eudora — An efficient outside hitter, Foltz led the Cardinals with 333 kills, which ranked ninth in school history. The 5-foot-11 junior had a .308 attack efficiency, adding 58 service aces and 171 digs on her way to second-team all-Frontier League recognition.

Chloe Holland, Veritas Christian — After leading the Eagles to their first KCAA state title since 2013, Holland was named tournament MVP with 30 kills in the championship match. Leading the Eagles to a 38-14 record, the senior led her team in most statistical categories.

Lindsey Hornberger, Bishop Seabury — A versatile 5-foot-8 junior, Hornberger highlighted the Seahawks’ offense with a team-best 217 kills and 32 service aces. Hornberger added 247 digs and 18 blocks on defense, helping Seabury to 10 wins.

Lauren Maceli, Lawrence — One of the most consistent liberos across the state, Maceli was key to the Lions’ strong defense with 561 digs, which led the Sunflower League. The 5-foot-5 junior averaged 5.5 digs per set, earning second-team all-state recognition. Maceli added 76 assists from the back line.

Talisa Stone, Perry-Lecompton — Stone earned first-team all-Big 7 honors by hurting opponents with her big hits. The junior middle hitter drilled a team-high 305 kills on a .311 hit percentage. Leading the Kaws to a 23-18 record, Stone had a team-best 75 blocks to go along with 92 digs.

Cameryn Thomas, Free State — Behind Thomas, the Firebirds won a share of the Sunflower League title for the first time since 2012 with a 27-15 record. The senior outside hitter recorded 254 kills and 252 digs. A first-team all-Sunflower League selection, Thomas had a .273 hit percentage and totaled 33 aces.

Sammy Williams, Lawrence — Frustrating opposing teams at the middle of the net, Williams registered 215 kills on a .307 hit percentage. The Lions’ 6-foot middle blocker was just as dangerous on defense, ranking third in the Sunflower League with 61 solo blocks (84 total).

Lauren Willson, Tonganoxie — The senior outside hitter was the go-to player in the Chieftains’ offense, registering 302 kills. Earning first-team all-Kaw Valley League recognition, Willson was efficient with a .365 hitting percentage while posting 249 digs and 39 service aces.

Honorable mention

Jasmine Boyd, Eudora; Erin Cushing, Free State; Mya Gleason, Free State; Kaitlyn Hamilton, Free State; Jenna Keller, Perry-Lecompton; Amayah LaTessa, Baldwin; Keagan Shockley, Eudora; Hannah Stewart, Lawrence; Baylee Unruh, Lawrence; Emma Wilson, Veritas Christian.