River’s Caretti captains all T-L?Volleyball
Another campaign of high school volleyball in the Ohio Valley came to an end this past week.
Area spikers bumped, set and spiked their way to a very memorable season.
The annual all Times Leader Volleyball Team honors 13 of the area’s top players and a most successful coach who took his team to levels it had never reached.
River High sophomore Jensen Caretti has been named the captain of the squad, while her head coach, Jim Turner, is the coach of the year.
Here’s a capsule look at the honorees:
JENSEN CARETTI, River – Only a sophomore, Caretti led the Pilots in kills and blocks. She recorded 349 kills, 102 blocks, 147 digs and compiled a serving percentage of 94.1 as River advanced to the Division IV district semifinals.
”Jensen was a crictical component of the Pilots team that was the OVAC Class 2A champion that also won a sectional title,” Turner said.
Caretti, an honor student, also plays basketball for River.
MIKAYLA CIESZESKI, River – The lone senior for the Pilots, Cieszeski was one of the leaders of a squad that won its first OVAC crown.
”In providing that leadership, Mikayla piled up 91 kills and 69 blocks,” Turner said.
”Mikayla is an honor student, serves as her senior class president and is also a member of the Pilots’ softball and basketball teams.”
ALEXIS ST. CLAIR, St. Clairsville – This Lady Red Devils’ junior is a middle hitter, but according to head coach Christa Truchan, she can play all over the floor.
St. Clair served at a 95 percent accuracy clip. She also had 158 kills, 135 digs, 39 blocks, 18 assists and 31 aces.
“Alexis is a natural leader on and off the court,” Truchan said. “She is key because of her knowledge of volleyball, able to execute plays and has knowledge of the opponent. Plus, she carries a 4.2 grade point average, so she’s an all-around great kid.”
KATIE SUTHERLAND, Martins Ferry – This Lady Riders’ senior had a strong final campaign for Coach Chuck Probst’s squad.
Sutherland had 153 points, 42 aces, 96 digs, 83 kills, nine assists and seven blocks.
“Katie is an all-around player who loves a challenge,” Probst said. “When things got tough on the court, Katie could be counted on. What I like about her the most is that no matter if she’s on the court, or in the classroom, she’s constantly working to be the best she can be. She has a great attitude and would always put the team ahead of herself and do whatever she could in helping her team be successful.”
JESSICA ALVEY, St. John Central – This sophomore dandy was referred to as the “team work horse” according to her head coach, Carrie Ramsay.
Alvey was charted for 104 points and 23 aces this season. She also had an impressive 97 kills and 94 digs.
“Jessica gave 150 percent no matter what position she was playing,” Ramsay said. “She doesn’t even stop to take a breath. She should be a dynamic outside hitter, but due to her vertical, she excelled as a double threat middle.”
LINDSEE PERRY, St. John Central – This senior was the unquestioned leader of the Lady Irish en route to their OVAC Class 1A title.
Perry finished the season with 211 points, 38 aces, 70 digs and 67 kills.
“Lindsee was a quiet, but talented player,” Ramsay said. “She’s always smiling and motivating the team. She’s a great leader. She led our team in passing and she was always trying to out think the other team and look for open dinks and opportunities.”
HUNTER EDEN, Bellaire – The Lady Big Reds’ senior spent a lot of time during the summer honing her skills and it paid dividends.
Eden, an outside hitter, had 135 points, 206 digs, 70 kills and 39 aces for the season.
“Hunter worked hard this summer by attending camps and open gyms,” said Bellaire head coach Kaye Sechrest.
“Her attitude at practice and in matches was always positive and focused.
“She worked with the younger girls. Her ability to be an all-around player allowed us to utilize her talents in a lot of ways.”
MORGAN FEDORKO, Buckeye Local – This Lady Panthers’ leader was a very steady player for Coach Janelle Windsheimer’s squad.
Fedorko had 127 points, 94 kills, 12 blocks and 21 aces.
“Morgan started every set for us,” Windsheimer said. “She’s a very steady player who we’ll certainly miss next season.”
KENZIE FIELDING, Shadyside – This Lady Tigers’ junior had a most productive campaign for Coach Joel Joseph’s squad.
She was the Lady Tigers’ stat leader in nearly every category. She had 25 aces, 65 kills, 25 blocks and 78 points.
“Kenzie is a strong, athletic girl who can really pound the ball,” Joseph said.
“With some extra footwork and striking technique work, she could really become a very good outside hitter.”
MIRANDA PLUMLY, Barnesville – A junior, Plumly was one of the leaders of one of the OVAC’s best squads.
The outside hitter recorded 319 kills, 239 digs, 119 points, 17 blocks and a serving average of 94 percent.
”She has put a lot of hard work in during the season and in the off season and it has paid off,” Shamrocks head coach Nikki McEndree said. ”Miranda has one more year to build on the success she has already enjoyed and I am sure she will take advantage of this.”
MORGAN MARLEY, Beallsville – A senior captain for the Blue Devils, Marley was thought of as a ”coach on the floor” by her head coach, Jeff Fluharty.
”She really understands the game,” he said. ”She started summer practice as an outside hitter, but when our younger players couldn’t step up to be our setter, Morgan volunteered and did an excellent job.”
A four-year starter, Marley, racked up 264 assists, 72 points, 31 aces, 33 digs and 13 blocks.
CHEYENNE FLOWERS, Bridgeport – A four-year letterwinner and co-captain the past four years, Flowers has been instrumental as a defensive specialist and an outside hitter.
”She has been a hard worker on the practice court and this has carried over during her execution in our matches that have played out during the 2013 season,” Bridgeport head coach Ron Kelly said.
As a defensive specialist, she finished at 89 percent. As a hitter, she had 143 kills, 70 good blocks and 43 aces.
JESSE LEDGER, Harrison Central – Ledger was thought of by Huskies Head Coach Sarah Wilden as an all-around good player who you hoped the ball was going to every time it came over the net.
She ended the season with 250 digs and a serving percentage of 96.8, along with 85 kills.
”She was the type of player that would give you everything she had, which she showed this season when playing with a back injury,” Wilden said.
”Although she was injured, she never complained about it or let it bother her playing ability.”
JIM TURNER, River – Turner earned Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Pilots to their first OVAC championship.
River captured the Class 2A championship with a victory against Bridgeport. Then, the Pilots won a sectional crown for the first time in many a year and advanced to the Division IV district semifinals. There, River fell to the eventual-district champ Tuscarawas Central Catholic.
”It’s been a very good season for these young ladies,” he said following the district semifinal defeat. ”There’s no disappointment here.”
The outlook is bright for the River program as everyone on the roster returns expect one senior.
”I think we’ll be very good again next year.”