2020 Journal-World All-Area volleyball team

photo by: Courtesy photo

2020 fall sports all-area photo: Sawyer Thomsen, Free State

Coach of the year: Kyle Billings, Perry-Lecompton

In just his first season at the helm, Billings helped guide the Kaws to their first substate title since 1996. Perry-Lecompton cracked the top 10 in Class 3A for the first time in decades despite having to face some elite squads in the Big Seven league. The Kaws eventually fell to a Big Seven foe, Sabetha, in the Class 3A quarterfinal and finished the season 23-17 overall.

photo by: Courtesy photo

2020 fall sports all-area photo: Sawyer Thomsen, Free State

Player of the year: Sawyer Thomsen, Free State

Thomsen may have only been a sophomore, but her volleyball IQ was unmatched on the court. She was a versatile player for the Firebirds, who made their second straight trip to the state tourney. Thomsen finished with 216 kills, 52 aces and 51 blocks this year, and she was named to the All-Sunflower League first team.

First-team selections

photo by: Courtesy photo of Steven Hertzog

2020 fall sports all-area photo: Reaghan Bible, Bishop Seabury. Photo credit: Steven Hertzog

Reaghan Bible, Bishop Seabury — After Bible’s outstanding career, the Seahawks will be sad to see her go. Bible finished her career with 534 kills, and she led the team in that category in each of the past two seasons. Bible also notched 49 aces this year, which was the 23rd-highest mark in all of Class 2A.

photo by: File photo

2020 fall sports all-area photo: Hadley Bird, Lawrence High

Hadley Bird, Lawrence High — Bird, the Lions’ co-captain and starting libero, was brilliant all year. She led Class 6A in digs with 488, which equated to an average of 6.5 digs per set, and she was a first-team selection by the Sunflower League coaches.

I’yawa Brewer, Lawrence High — Brewer, the other co-captain for LHS, brought plenty of intangible leadership skills to the role, but her play was just as important. The senior middle blocker posted 167 kills and 50 blocks this season. She ranked sixth in the Sunflower League in blocks and 11th in kills.

photo by: Courtesy photo

2020 fall sports all-area photo: Brooklyn Chase, Baldwin

Brooklyn Chase, Baldwin — Chase was the team captain during her senior season to cap off her three-year varsity career. The libero finished the year with 366 digs for an average of 5.6 digs per set and also notched 21 aces. Chase earned an All-Frontier League honorable mention selection, and she is signed to play at Labette Community College.

photo by: Courtesy photo

2020 fall sports all-area photo: Aubrey Duncan, Free State

Aubrey Duncan, Free State — Another dynamic sophomore for FSHS, Duncan has superb athleticism and can jump extremely high. She registered 250 kills, 49 blocks and 32 aces this year.

Katy Hurd, Perry-Lecompton — Hurd is one of the most dominant middles in the state, and she put together an impressive junior campaign. She ranked No. 1 in blocks in the eastern Kansas area with 166, and she also finished in the top 10 in kills in all classes. Hurd was named to the first team in the Big Seven league, as well.

photo by: Courtesy photo

2020 fall sports all-area photo: Satchel Koch, Veritas

Satchel Koch, Veritas — In her second season at the high school level, Koch had to adjust to a new position at setter. But she settled in nicely, finishing with 2.34 aces per match and recording 40 digs and 54 assists.

photo by: Courtesy photo

2020 fall sports all-area photo: Jayla Pierce, Eudora

Jayla Pierce, Eudora — Pierce, a senior middle blocker, helped guide the Cardinals to a 17-11 finish for the 2020 campaign. She finished the year with 140 kills, and she also had 104 blocks — 22 stuff blocks and 82 assisted blocks — for the fourth-highest mark in program history. Pierce was also named to the All-Frontier League first team.

photo by: Courtesy photo

2020 fall sports all-area photo: Rylee Unruh, Free State

Rylee Unruh, Free State — Unruh, a sophomore who switched to setter this year after playing libero in 2019, showed plenty of leadership and competitive spirit for the Firebirds in 2020. She finished with 665 assists and also had 52 aces and 149 digs on her way to earning an All-Sunflower League second-team selection.

photo by: Courtesy photo

2020 fall sports all-area photo: Lexi Ziolo, Tonganoxie

Lexi Ziolo, Tonganoxie — For four years, Ziolo has been a force for THS both on and off the court, and that was especially true during her senior season. She was a big part in getting the team together for workouts and scrimmages in the summer. This fall, Ziolo had 351 digs, 40 aces and 23 kills.

Honorable mention

Fisayo Afonja, Baldwin; Ozi Ajekwu, Lawrence; Lila Avila, Veritas; Allyson Baker, Perry-Lecompton; Sophie Baker, Baldwin; Gianna Cooper, Lawrence; Taylor Damme, Perry-Lecompton; Shea Hanna, Bishop Seabury; Megan Malm, Veritas; Harper Schreiner, Eudora.


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