Hillcrest Rams honor former volleyball stars

Hillcrest Rams honor former volleyball stars

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Hillcrest Rams honor former volleyball stars

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Kelly Kirby and Jamie Lancaster Peele, who formed the foundation of some of the best of Hillcrest High School’s volleyball teams, were recognized as such with the retirement of their jerseys Sept. 13 at A.C. Duckett Gymnasium.

“When I first heard about it, I was completely overwhelmed with emotion, just because of how high an honor it is to have your jersey retired at Hillcrest,” Kirby said. “I couldn’t think of anybody better that I would want to be standing beside on a night like this than Jamie.”

Kirby (Class of 2008), a Class AAAA all-state selection in 2006 and 2007, led the Rams to back-to-back state championships in both seasons.

Peele (Class of 2007), also a two-time all-state selection, missed her senior season because of a knee injury but was a captain on the Rams’ title team in 2006.

“I’ve been very blessed through this whole process,” Peele said. “I feel like we had some amazing opportunities through our career here at Hillcrest and in college, and I’m super thankful for this opportunity to come out and have a piece of Hillcrest history.”

“I think it’s an opportunity for us to represent the girls who played with us,” said Kirby. “It’s been kind of cool looking back through pictures, preparing for tonight, thinking about those memories that we had, those teammates we played with and how overall our lives were changed because of Hillcrest volleyball.”

Kirby, who went on to become a three-time All-Southern Conference player at Furman University, now works in the Paladins’ athletic administration in game-day operations.

Peele, who also was a member of Hillcrest’s state championship softball team in 2004, became a two-time All-Conference Carolinas player at Anderson University. She is in the physical therapy program at MUSC and is doing her first clinical rotation in Simpsonville.

The two became the second and third Hillcrest volleyball players to have their jerseys retired, joining Amy Lindell (Class of 1990). They were the first of those who played under Lynn Avant, who is in her 16th season as Hillcrest coach.

“These two are among the best we’ve ever had, and I’m talking whole body, not just volleyball,” Avant said. “I’m talking as a person. I’m talking as Christian young women. I’m talking as family. And they were outstanding in their college careers, both academically and athletically.”

JAMIE (LANCASTER) PEELE FILE

At Hillcrest

Volleyball

* Class AAAA all-state, 2004, 2005

* Team MVP, 2004, 2005

* Member of state championship team, 2006

Softball

* Member of state championship team, 2004

* All-Region 2-AAAA, 2005

At Anderson

Volleyball

First-team All-Conference Carolinas, 2009

ESPN The Magazine Second-Team Academic All-American, 2009, 2010

Conference Carolinas Student-Athlete of the Year, 2009-2010

Anderson University Ed Oxford Female Athlete of the Year, 2009-2010

All-South Atlantic Conference first team, 2010, 2011

4.0 GPA all sevem semesters

KELLY KIRBY FILE

At Hillcrest

All-Region 2-AAAA, 2005, 2006, 2007

Class AAAA all-state, 2006, 2007

North-South all-star match MVP, 2007

Member of state championship team, 2006, 2007

At Furman

SoCon Player of the Month for October, 2009

All-Southern Conference second team, 2009

Member of SoCon championship team, 2009

All-Southern Conference first team, 2010, 2011

Only SoCon player named offensive and defensive player of the week, 2009

Senior Order, highest honor society for a female senior at Furman, 2012

C. Dan Joyner Most Outstanding Athletic Leader Award, 2012

FCA vice president, 2009, 2010, 2011

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