Every Wednesday during the high school season, provided there are enough nominees from varsity coaches, VolleyballMag.com will recognize a Dream Team of high school volleyball players who were standouts the weekend before.
Most weeks, the eight-girl Dream Team will consist of the following:
Setter, S/RS or RS
Players will be considered for Dream Team ONLY if they are nominated by their high school coaches using this link: https://volleyballmag.com/hs-player-of-the-week-submissions/.
Nominations will be solicited by email to high school coaches only on our email list. To sign up, follow this link: https://volleyballmag.com/hs-email-sign-up/
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.
VolleyballMag.com HS DREAM TEAM for Aug. 30 2023
S: Rylie Barriger, 5-7 Soph., Lowell (Michigan) – Running a 5-1 offense, Barriger led the Red Arrows to a 4-1 week that included wins over two teams ranked among the top 10 in the state. Over 10 sets, she accumulated 137 assists while adding 32 digs, five blocks, nine kills and eight aces.
RS: Kameron Stover, 5-9 Jr., Highland (Marengo, Ohio) – The uncommitted junior set a school record with 48 kills in a five-set win over Jonathan Alder on Saturday. The total matched the No. 2 all-time mark in Ohio and ranks among the top 10 all-time nationally. Oh, Stover also contributed 25 digs, four aces and four blocks.
OH: Bella Bullington, 6-1 Jr., Marist (Chicago, Illinois) – The Northwestern recruit was named MVP of the Crimson Classic this past weekend. Bullington had double digit kills in all three championship-bracket wins on Saturday, totaling 42 kills, 35 digs, 10 blocks and six aces on the day.
OH: Sally Perez, 6-3 Sr., Middle Creek (Apex, North Carolina) – Perez, a UCLA beach volleyball recruit, had 34 kills, nine digs and four blocks in Thursday’s four-set win over defending North Carolina 4A champion Millbrook.
MB: Piper Risdon, 6-0 Sr., Lowell (Michigan) – Risdon led the Red Arrows to a 4-1 mark last week, including wins over two top 10-ranked teams in the state. Over 10 sets, Risdon had a whopping 69 kills while hitting .400. She added eight blocks and three aces.
MB: Julia Hunt, 6-2 Sr., Holy Cross (Covington, Kentucky) – Hunt led Holy Cross this week in their three matches won. The Washington commit, a true leader on the court, had 68 kills (7.56 per set), 28 digs, 16 aces and 13 blocks. She was a force on both sides of the ball.
Libero: Malyssa Cawa, 5-7 Sr., Mater Dei (Santa Ana, California) – The Stanford-bound Cawa had an unbelievable run to help the Monarchs win Volleypalooza in Texas on Saturday. She passed 2.57 for the tournament with 83 digs and was especially on point in the championship match, passing at a 2.75 clip with 16 digs.
DS: Kat Johnston, 5-6 Sr., Oconee County (Watkinsville, Georgia) – Johnston sparked the Warriors to a five-set win over highly-rated Jefferson last Thursday. She usually plays right back, but switched to left back after Game 1 versus the Dragons and limited their main attacker. Johnston finished the evening with seven digs and passed a 2.67. “Kat is also our energetic leader on the court and the bench, constantly talking, cheering, and lifting up her teammates,” said coach Mark Oglesby. “Her positivity was one of the keys to our win over Jefferson.”
Also considered (by position, in order of consideration):
S: Maddie Berry, 5-5 Jr., Marist (Chicago, Illinois) – The team captain led the Redhawks to a 6-0 week, including a title at the 32-Team Crimson Classic. She totaled 20+ assists in each match on the week and finished with 122 assists, 38 digs, and 7 aces at the tournament. She had 25 assists and 10 digs in the championship win over highly-ranked ranked Oak Park-River Forest.
S: Stella Swenson, 6-2 Sr., Wayzata (Plymouth, Minnesota) – The two-time reigning Gatorade POY for Minnesota, Swenson helped the Trojans steamroll two top 10 teams last week. In sweeps of Rogers and Burnsville, the Minnesota recruit amassed 52 assists and six aces. Her team hit .471 and .304, respectively, in the two wins.
S: Hazel Williams, 5-8 Soph., Fleming Island (Florida) – Williams has quarterbacked Fleming Island to a 2-1 record during the opening week of FHSAA competition. The sophomore setter is part of a 6-2 offense, and currently ranks among the top performers in Florida with 63 assists. She led all players with 31 assists in a 5-set victory over Creekside on Tuesday, finished with a match-high 21 assists in straight-set sweep over St Johns Country Day School on Wednesday, and finished with a double-double (11 assists, 11 digs) on Thursday’s loss to Buchholz.
RS: Paola Aviles Morales, 6-0 Sr., Mandarin (Jacksonville, Florida) – Aviles Morales had a dozen kills in the Mustangs’ 3-1 win over Atlantic Coast to open the season. She went one better on Thursday, notching 13 kills in a four-set win over Oakleaf.
RS: Lilly Purcell, 5-9 Jr., Prince Avenue Christian School (Athens, Georgia) – In two matches last week, the strong-armed southpaw delivered 14 kills, eight digs, four aces and two assists. She plays bigger than her height, is a factor in all six rotations and plays better the better the competition.
OH: Charlotte Vinson, 6-2 Jr., Yorktown (Indiana) – Vinson, one of the top players in Indiana, tallied 106 kills over 17 sets this past week. Noted head coach Stephanie Bloom: “She is close to a double-double with kills and digs in almost every match we played last week, falling short in one match because we subbed her out to give other players more playing time.”
OH: Emily Davis, 6-1 Sr., Brandon (Mississippi) – Davis had 69 kills, 31 digs, seven blocks and three aces in leading the Bulldogs to third place in a 50-team tournament in Alabama this past weekend.
OH: Morgan Jones, 6-0 Sr., Huntley (Illinois) – Jones, a Missouri recruit, totaled 27 kills over six sets this past week. In Thursday’s win over McHenry, Jones recorded a block with the Red Raiders down 22-13 to earn the side out, then served 11 straight to close out the sweep.
OH: Sarahbelle Jameson, 6-1 Jr. Creekside (Saint Johns, Florida) — The Embry-Riddle commit was dominant in Creekside’s season-opener against Fleming Island, finishing with a match-high 17 kills with only 1 error. Her attacking range kept the defense on their toes, hitting over, around, and through the blockers to find the open court. She added 11 kills in Thursday night’s straight-set sweep against Bolles, and currently ranks among top performers in the state with a 0.338 hitting efficiency.
OH: Nadia Ewton, 6-1 Sr., Fletcher (Neptune Beach, Florida) — In the opening week of FHSAA competition, Ewton posted two double-double efforts: 13 kills and 13 digs on Tuesday night in a 3-0 victory over Oakleaf; and 15 kills and 18 digs in the 5-set loss against Bartram Trail on Thursday.
OH: Addison Burke, 6-1 Jr., Legion Collegiate Academy (Rock Hill, South Carolina) – The Lancers improved to 7-1 overall with a 3-0 week, aided by Burke, who totaled 30 kills, 12 digs, five aces, 42 receptions, three assists and two blocks over eight sets.
OH: Julia Howard, 5-7 Soph. Christ’s Church Academy (Jacksonville, Florida) – A veteran player in her fourth season, despite just being a sophomore, CCA’s go-to had nine kills and 18 digs in an opening-season win over Old Plank Christian then followed up with 10 kills (zero errors) and 13 digs in another win.
OH: Reese Banaszek, 6-0 Sr., Prince Avenue Christian School (Athens, Georgia) – A hustler and senior leader, Banaszek stood out in all aspects for the Wolverines this past week. Over five sets, she accumulated 11 kills, eight digs and five aces.
MB: Bridey Potter, 6-0 Sr., Wando (Mount Pleasant, South Carolina) – In five matches last week totaling 12 sets, Potter recorded 33 kills while hitting .424. The senior added 15 blocks and was a key reason why the Warriors advanced to the championship match at the North Myrtle Beach “Border Battle” Championship.
MB: Emily Lalaian, 6-1 Jr., Prince Avenue Christian School (Athens, Georgia) – In two matches last week comprising five sets, Lalaian hit .380 with 11 kills and three aces. “Emily brought a powerful, big presence to the net and running her early in the matches opened up opportunities for our pin hitters to have clean looks,” noted coach Morgan Garretson. “She is a team player, encouraging, guiding, and challenging her teammates to play to the best of their abilities.”
Libero: Ava Dunnigan, 5-5 Sr., Musselman (Inwood, West Virginia) – The Applemen captured the North Myrtle Beach “Border Battle” Championship on the weekend. Dunnigan was a big reason why. She led the team with a remarkable 2.4 passing rating and led the team in digs with 39 as Musselman bested North Myrtle Beach in the semifinals and Wando in the finals, both in 2-0 sweeps.
Libero: Avery Power, 5-3 Jr., Brandon (Mississippi) – Power, last week’s Dream Teamer at libero, had another amazing week for the Bulldogs. She had 129 digs, 26 assists, 77 receptions and four aces as Brandon placed third out of 50 teams at the Juanita Boddie tournament in Alabama over the weekend.
Libero: Addi Applegate, 5-4 junior, Yorktown (Indiana) – Applegate amassed 75 digs in 17 sets as the Tigers went 5-1 last week. She also passed over a 2.0 consistently.
Libero: Violet Poole, 5-4 Soph., Wando (Mount Pleasant, South Carolina) – In five matches last week, Poole passed a 2.3 on 81 receptions, with 51 digs, for a Wando team that made the finals of the North Myrtle Beach “Border Battle” Championship last weekend.