Player Of The Year – Megan Theiller, John Jay
Position: Outside hitter
Vital stats: Theiller, already a standout as a sophomore, took her game to new heights this season and helped elevate the Patriots to the Section 1 Class AA title game. In 18 matches, the All-Section selection collected 339 kills, 324 digs, 35 blocks and 164 service points, which included 66 aces. Despite many matches ending in three sets, it became commonplace for Theiller to finish with kill and dig totals topping 20 each, like her 25 kills and 21 digs in a losing effort in the sectional final.
Quotable: “She makes the game look effortless. It couldn’t be further from that,” John Jay coach Kalah Lipinski said. “She works so hard on her game when she’s at practice and even when she’s at home. … Megan just has this quickness to her. She always knows where the hole is on the court. Her passing is impeccable. She has this natural grace to it. Her all-around game is phenomenal.”
» “She can adjust to a set and still put it down on the floor where nobody else can catch it,” Our Lady of Lourdes coach Emily Krieger said. “She’s one of the most powerful hitters I’ve seen in our league and our area in a long time.”
School: John Jay
Vital stats: The engine that powered the Patriots’ high-octane run through the Section 1 tournament, Barbara registered 465 assists, 63 digs and 109 service points in 18 matches to earn an All-Section spot. In nine combined games during the sectional playoffs, she totaled exactly 100 assists.
Quotable: “(Megan Theiller and Rachel Sabatini) have the stats they have because Courtney was able to get to the ball and get them the ball,” John Jay coach Kalah Lipinski said. “She was a rock for the team. She didn’t let her emotions get involved. … Courtney has by far improved more than any other athlete on my team. She made it a personal goal.”
Vital stats: The defensive backbone of a Millbrook team that won the Section 9 Class C title with a 23-0 record heading into the state semifinals, Critelli recorded 419 digs with 70 aces, serving at a 94-percent clip in her first season as the Blazers’ libero.
Quotable: “She’s phenomenal as far as getting to the ball and getting it up,” Millbrook coach Shawn Stoliker said. “This team is not much different from the team from last year, to be honest with you. The No. 1 reason for (the increased success) was the defense. … It started with her. She’s on the court for all six rotations and on the ball every single play, basically.”
Vital stats: Handing out just over eight per game, Dignan set the Blazers’ school record with 817 assists this season, in addition to 193 digs and 129 aces, the top total in the state. In the state Class C semifinals she totaled 50 assists to be named to the All-Tournament team.
Quotable: “She’s the best defensive setter I’ve ever seen,” Stoliker said. “She’s able to just control the ball so well. No matter how bad the pass is, she will put a ball up to the hitter and they will hit it. We very rarely sent free balls over, and that is because of Meredith. … She is incredibly smart and she has picked up the game so well.”
Position: Outside hitter/setter
Vital stats: In leading the Blue Devils to the state Class D final, Etta earned conference Most Valuable Player and All-Section 1 honors. The dynamic senior totaled 247 kills and 244 assists through the regular season, in addition to 57 digs and 50 aces. She recorded another 34 kills and 23 assists in state semifinal pool play to put Haldane in the final.
Quotable: “In the back row, she’s a setter, one of the best setters. It comes naturally to her. As a hitter, she jumps very high and she can hit the ball harder than most people out there,” Haldane coach Melissa Rossano said. “She was kind of instrumental in leading the team and encouraging the younger people on the team to play as well as they did. She pulled the team together.”
Position: Setter/outside hitter
Vital stats: The do-everything lefty leader of the Admirals handed out 459 assists in 21 matches, while also providing 128 kills, 217 digs and 44 blocks to earn an All-Section 1 spot. Of her 180 service points, 76 went down as aces.
Quotable: “I think she’s the best setter in the section,” Arlington coach Maria Greenwood said. “She makes it look effortless. If there’s a bad pass, she’s there. Being a left-hander, she’s able to work around the block (as a hitter). You want to take advantage, that if your setter is out of system to set, then you have another hitter.”
Position: Outside hitter
Vital stats: The most potent scorer in a Blazers team full of firepower, Riebe broke her own school record for kills in a season this year with 375, for an average of 3.83 kills per game – another school record – making just 123 hitting errors, to go with 195 digs and 86 aces. She finished with the program record for kills in a career, set as a junior.
Quotable: “She can be a power hitter, but she can also change the speed on her shot. She can mix her shots and be unpredictable,” Stoliker said. “If we really needed a rally to stop right now, she was the person we would put the ball in her hands. The majority of the time, she would take care of that for us. … We’ve had some great players since I’ve been here, and she, by far, I think, became the overall best player we’ve had.”
Arlington: Janine Patora
Franklin D. Roosevelt: Shannon Kelly
Haldane: Kelly Vahos
John Jay: Rachel Sabatini
Our Lady of Lourdes: Samantha Blanchfield
Pine Plains: Mikala McCauley
Spackenkill: Nur Sher
Arlington: Kate McDonald, Brianna Ryan, Jamie Stevens
Beacon: Billie Rothberg, Kelly Scozzafava, Cyann Vazquez
Dover: Kayla Dale, Cassandra Drogan
Franklin D. Roosevelt: Kristen Cole, Heidi Fritz, Sarah Hof, Sara Seo
Haldane: Katie Cunningham, Becky Garrison
John Jay: Chelsea Barberan, Kellyanne Cherry, Halley Dewey, Heather Owen-Robinson
Marlboro: Aubrey Bianco, Angelica DeSantis, Nicole DeSantis, Marissa Howlett
Millbrook: Logan Edson, Brittany Keenan, Audrey Ouimet
New Paltz: Ashley Agor, Hannah Ruiz
Our Lady of Lourdes: Natalie Ciccone, Briana Garnot, Nora McElduff
Pawling: Ashley Owens, Nicolette Smith, Erin Waters
Pine Plains: Lauren Hollick
Poughkeepsie: Zaire Green, Shana Martin, Nina Scott
Red Hook: Ashley Cahenzli, Danielle Region
Rhinebeck: Olivia Brandt, Meagan Cauda, Marissa Cascio, Anna Charny, Bailey Hutchins, Taylor Russell, Samantha Sherwood
Roy C. Ketcham: Gina Feeney, Breanna Lechase, Marissa Notarbartolo, Alyssa Ricciardi, Allison Savidge, Rachel Tierney
Spackenkill: Taylor Carlin, Morgan Hoeft, Ashlynn Mohan, Taylor Mohan
Webutuck: Kayla Ball, Courtney Spaulding, Haleigh Stephenson, Alexis Williamson
Coach of the Year
Vital stats: In reaching the state Class C semifinals with a 23-0 record, Stoliker’s Blazers rarely gave up a game — and in fact did not lose a game throughout sectional and regional play. After topping Wallkill for the Mid-Hudson Athletic League championship, Millbrook swept Spackenkill and Edison for the Section 9 and state regional titles, respectively.
Quotable: “That man does such a wonderful job with that program,” Franklin D. Roosevelt coach Cheryl Wilson said. “It’s well organized. They are well trained on the court and just a great bunch of girls off the court. That definitely is a tribute to their coach.”
» “Shawn coaches in a small school and he’s been successful for a while now,” Pine Plains coach Bob Stevenson said. “Coaching in a small school, yet he has a high number of very skilled young ladies. To have that many skilled young ladies has to be a compliment to him because there are just not that many athletes in any of the small schools.”
» “You want the weakest player to be as good as the best player. He’s really worked that whole team concept,” Webutuck coach Stephanie Bonk said. “They work so well together.”