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VolleyballMag.com DREAM TEAM for March 23:
S: Leah Wilton-Laboy, 5-9 Senior, Absolute 18 Black — The Utah State signee led Absolute to an Open bid this weekend at the SCVA 18s Qualifier in Anaheim. Wilton-Laboy was able to get her hitters one-on-one opportunities all tourney long. She finished with 194 assists over 20 sets, and added 14 aces and 34 digs.
RS: Abigail Mullen, 6-3 Freshman, Dynasty 16 Black (KS) — Mullen was a force for Dynasty, which cemented its status as the No. 1 16s team in the nation with a dominant effort in winning the 16 Open division at Northern Lights. Mullen shined as a six-rotation right side, averaging 4.3 kills per set while hitting over .450. “This weekend she was incredible no matter where she was on the court,” coach Cassie Rockers said. “She was able to score crucial points for us in the front row and in the back row. She has a wicked serve that played a key role in keeping our opponents out of system. She backed that up with some solid defense through the back row, making some impressive digs for a 6-3 right side while also staying in rhythm to attack in transition. To say she was impressive would be an understatement.”
OH: Selina Benguesmia, 5-9 Sophomore, Dallas Summit 16 Nike Blue (TX) — Benguesmia helped lead Summit to its highest finish at a North Texas Region rankings tournament this season. “The team finished in third place in the Texas Classic behind Selina’s impressive tips and tools from the front row and her incredible hustle defense and lights-out serve receive,” noted coach Allison Camp. She finished the weekend with seven aces, led the team in serve receive, passing a 2.3, led the defense in dig percentage with a 79%, finished second in kills with 26, and finished second on the team in total points scored with 34. “Though not a true stat, Selina would also have led the team in ‘hustle percentage’ this weekend,” Camp noted. “She is always the first to dive out of bounds, jump over a chair, and sacrifice her body for the play!”
OH: Lauryn “Lolo” Lambert, 5-9 OH, Dallas Skyline 16 Royal (TX) — “Lolo” delivered a team-high 117 kills and passed a 2.1 as a six-rotation outside for Skyline, which tied for seventh in 16 Open at Northern Lights. Lambert, who added 48 digs, was particularly impressive against tough A5 16-Gabe on Sunday, where she was not slowed by A5’s huge block.
MB: Grace Fiaseu, 6-0 Junior, Spike and Serve 18 (HI) — SAS made a second trip to the Mainland in a month and cashed in with an Open bid earned at the SCVA 18s Qualifier in Anaheim. “Grace Fiaseu is having an amazing year,” said coach Kevin Wong. “Last weekend she was key in our Spike and Serve 18 team’s qualification for the USAV 18 Open National Championships. Offensively, she is one of a kind. Her footwork, vision, and arm speed is the best I’ve ever seen in Hawaii. On the defensive side, she gets the job done is so many ways. Her reading skills are off the charts and led to her ability to close seams like no other. After her tour is done in the front row she stands tall in the back row with her serves and defense. She is the heart and soul of our team.”
MB: Jada Ingram, 6-0 Sophomore, Dynasty 16 Black (KS) — The middles sometimes get lost amidst the star power on the pins, at setter and at libero, but national No. 1 Dynasty is good at the net too! Ingram is Exhibit A. The newcomer to the team was incredible running off one foot behind the setter and put up a massive block that propelled her team to a National Qualifier title at Northern Lights. “Her offensive game is impressive, but her defense this weekend was a game changer,” noted coach Cassie Rockers. Over 20 sets, Ingram finished with 25 blocks and hit. 333. “She is quick, powerful and elevates with ease!” Rockers said. “Her athleticism and quick twitch make her hard to beat at the net blocking. Jada was phenomenal all weekend. She definitely turned some heads!”
Libero: Rya Borer, 5-5 Freshman, Premier Nebraska 15 Gold (NE) — Premier placed seventh in 15 Open at Northern Lights this past weekend. Borer was key to team success. Borer was at her best in helping Premier launch a huge comeback versus qualified Drive Nation 15 Red and was essential in taming Boomers and big hitter Kelly Kinney. She finished with 119 digs and 13 aces and was responsible for a long serving run when Premier came back against DN.
DS: Alivia Wolf, 5-6 Senior, Kairos 18 Adidas (SD) — Regularly on 18 Beta, Wolf played on 18 Adidas this weekend at the Northern Lights National Qualifier in Minneapolis. She played right back on defense for Kairos and was instrumental in the team’s finishing T-3 in the 18 Elite division. “Most importantly. she made some huge defensive plays on Day 2, helping us win against Northern Lights 17-1 to secure a spot in the gold bracket,” said director Mitch Lunning.
Also considered (by position, in order of consideration):
S: Harper Hall, 5-8 Sophomore, Dallas Skyline 16 Royal (TX) – Hall, playing her first year on the club’s top team, led Skyline in assists (105) and aces. Skyline made it to Gold on Sunday before finishing T-7. “She is showing so much improvement every week,” said coach Jon Rye. “Harper has such a high ceiling as an athletic setter. Her decision making is sound and she has the ability to stay in tempo even in the most stressful situations.”
S: Delaney Milhelich, 5-8 Senior, Seal Beach 18 Black (CA) — A Stonehill College recruit, Milhelich directed Seal Beach’s offense well this weekend at the SCVA qualifier in Anaheim. She collected a team-high 13 aces and played solid defense. “Delaney is a fierce competitor and hates to lose,” said coach Danko Iordanov. “She has a wicked serve that can get teams in trouble passing and is our team ace leader.”
OH: Carlie Cisneros, 6-0 Sophomore, Dynasty 16 Black (KS) — A dominant six-rotation outside with phenomenal ball control, Cisneros was the glue that led Dynasty to the 16 Open title this weekend at Northern Lights. “All weekend, Carlie was battling a quad injury, but you wouldn’t have known if it weren’t for the blatant bandage wrapped around her leg during competition,” said coach Cassie Rockers. “She showed no weakness and was a force through the front row as well as the back row. Her ability to score in any position on the court is a key component to our success.” Cisneros finished the weekend second in kills, with 69 over 22 sets. She also was second in digs with 48, passed a 2.1 and was consistent from behind the service line.
OH: Iliase Tuakoi, 5-9 Junior, Seal Beach 18-Black (CA) — A six-rotation force, Tuakoi played without respite, due to other injuries, at the SCVA 18s National Qualifier this past weekend, and was consistently good. She finished the tournament with 55 kills (3.44 kills per set), 38 digs and 11 aces. “She always has a great attitude and is willing to play any position that she needs to for her team,” said coach Danko Iordanov.
OH: Lauren Perry, 6-0 Sophomore, Dallas Skyline 16 Royal (TX) — A six-rotation outside, Perry played a crucial role in Skyline’s contending effort this past weekend in 16 Open at Norther Lights. She passed a solid 2.1, dug up 46 balls and added 46 kills on 146 swings.
MB: Olivia Ryno, 6-0 Freshman, Jacksonville Juniors 15 Teal (FL) — The best is yet to come for Ryno, a freshman who moved back to Jacksonville this year after adding a few inches to her height. Ryno played a big role in JJVA’s fourth-place finish in 15 USA at Northern Lights. She posted a blistering .455 hitting percentage and pounded down 36 kills. She also added 22 total blocks and almost a dozen aces.
MB: Angie Lee, 6-3 Senior, Dallas Premier 18 Nike Black (TX) — Dallas Premier played shorthanded during the North Texas big regionals over the weekend, but Lee, an LSU signee, kept her team alive in big matches. “Angie is the greatest teammate I have ever had the privilege to coach,” said Geoff Kiessling. “Not only is she an incredible volleyball player but she gives so much to her teammates and it is truly awesome to watch. Her support on and off the court has kept us in many matches. When players are feeling defeated she is right there to help lift them back up. Some leaders shine on the court with their actions but Angie shows true leadership in all aspects of the team. Her teammates love her and so does everyone in our club. This kid has a bright future in this sport as well as in life.”
MB: Gaby Dials, 5-10 Freshman, Elite VBTC 15 Black (OH) — Dials was impressive at the Mideast PL this past weekend. “She has been working hard on speeding up her approach and it really came together this weekend,” noted coach Gweyn Zechman. “She tripled the number of kills she normally gets in a weekend and really played aggressive. Her blocking was strong and she hit a multitude of overpasses. It was fun to watch her give that much energy!”
MB: Shelby Burriss, 6-1 Freshman, Dallas Skyline 16 Royal (TX) — Burriss was a blocking force (18 blocks) and added 35 kills on 77 swings for Skyline, which tied for seventh in 16 Open at Northern Lights. “Her consistent, very quick tempo helped our outsides be effective all weekend,” noted coach Jon Rye.
MB: Kendall Hopewell, 6-0 Sophomore, FaR Out 16 Black (MI) — FaR Out played four matches this past weekend at the Mideast Power League and put up 24 kills and 11 blocks. Not only did she take care of the ball at the net, she also was a force from the service line, tallying 44 service attempts, which were second best on the team. This was not just due to her aggressive serve, but her relentless pursuit on defense. She made some incredible digs and plays back there that gave her team life and energy. “After months of work on transition and setter connections, Kendall has started to really breakthrough and be a game changer for us,” said Val Lurye. “Her biggest takeaway this weekend was stepping up to be a leader for our team. Her presence makes everyone around her excited to compete, and going forward this will be a big factor in how we play.”
MB: Ashby Daniel, 6-3 Sophomore, Dallas Skyline 16 Royal (TX) — Daniel was impressive for Skyline, which finished T-7 in 16 Open last weekend at Northern Lights. She led the team with a .410 hitting average (20 kills on 39 attempts) and added 11 blocks on the weekend. “Ashby was much improved from the previous event,” said coach Jon Rye.
MB: Paola Aviles-Morales, 5-11 Sophomore, Jacksonville Juniors 15 Teal (FL) — Aviles-Morales helped 15 Teal place fourth in 15 USA at Northern Lights over the weekend. The sophomore hit .416 with 33 kills over 20 sets, which was good; but she distinguished herself on the block, producing 31 total blocks. “She managed the front row with poise and grace!” said JJVA’s CJ Sherman. “Paola also played a few matches six rotations, showing her strength in passing and back-row defense.”
Libero: McKenna Brand, 5-6 Sophomore, Dallas Skyline 16 Royal (TX) — Brand stood out in the back row this weekend for Skyline, which made the Gold Pools in 16 Open at the Northern Lights Qualifier. She led the team in passer rating (2.2) and had a team-high 72 digs. “McKenna stepped up this weekend by showing more leadership of our serve receive and backrow than before,” said coach Jon Rye. “The most impressive part of her leading our passing rating is that she is responsible for more court than any other passer on our team.”
Every Wednesday during the club season, VolleyballMag.com recognizes a Dream Team of eight girls volleyball players (15s to 18s age groups) who were standouts the weekend before.
The team will consist of the following:
Setter or S/RS
Setter, S/RS or RS
We include our eight-player Dream Team, as well as others we considered, based exclusively upon nominations received. (Are you a coach/director who may want to nominate someone next week or in future weeks? Just complete this handy-dandy form: https://volleyballmag.wufoo.com/forms/r7ybeg30hedscp/)
Note to coaches and directors: while there is no science to how we choose members of our Dream Team, performing on bigger stages will give players an edge, as will nomination forms that describe with specificity how well a player performed the previous weekend.
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