The volleyball talent in the state of Michigan continues to blossom.
Over the last three years, Michigan’s Miss Volleyball winners have gone on to play for Florida, Valparaiso and Maryland. Others who finished in the top 10 have also found college success.
This year will be no different, as the 10 finalists have been selected by the Michigan Volleyball Coaches Association.
“We work on improving the process every year,” said Jennifer Thunberg, chairperson of the MIVCA Miss Volleyball committee. “This year we notified the coaches of All-State athletes back in December, letting them know their seniors would be eligible and took additional nominations at our clinic in April.
“This year we received materials from 25 seniors and the committee narrowed it down to the final 10.”
When asked to describe this year’s group, Thunberg said: “I think that it is a good mix of players that have starred for perennial powerhouses and players from programs that may not be as well-known. I think that the committee did a great job of making sure they were aware of the talent all over the state and this list shows that.
“All these players have big aspirations after high school when it comes to volleyball and most have already made commitments of some sort to play.”
Here are the 10 finalists, all seniors, in alphabetical order:
Battle Creek Harper Creek, 5-feet-11, middle blocker
Andrews is a multi-sport star who led the school to its first regional title her freshman year. She was first-team All-State as a junior and helped the team to its first back-to-back Final Four appearance. She is also a standout in track and field in the high jump and on the basketball court. “Charley’s a standout basketball player and a three-year varsity member of the track team,” said coach Terra King. Andrews won the high jump state title as a freshman and sophomore. She broke her foot last year and couldn’t defend her title. She won’t be cleared to play volleyball until mid-September. Committed to Western Michigan for volleyball but is being recruited by MSU for track.
Grand Haven, 5-9, setter
She has been on varsity for three years and was honorable mention All-State last year. She was captain of last year’s team and ranked in the Prepvolleyball.com Class of 2017 top 50 junior recruits. She was the team’s most improved player as a sophomore. Said coach Aaron Smaka: “She makes everyone around her better and is blessed with a high volleyball IQ.”
Novi, 5-11, right side hitter
She was first-team All-Area, first-team All-Oakland County and second team All-State last season. Helped the team to the Class A state title a year ago with a 55-2 record and victory over defending champion Romeo, which beat Novi in the final in 2014. Cummings also played softball as a freshman and sophomore and carries at 3.65 grade-point average. She had 398 kills in 891 attempts last year.
Aline (Ali) Finch
Cadillac, 6-0, setter
Moved up to varsity in the state tournament as a freshman and has been there ever since. She was second-team All-State a year ago and has been team captain for two years. Cadillac has been district and regional champs the last three years and has reached the semifinals since she has been on the varsity. Also stars in track and field and was team MVP a year ago. Committed to Ball State.
Montague, 6-3, middle hitter
A three-year team captain and four-year performer, she has helped put the team on the volleyball map with a district championship a year ago and 48-11-1 record. Coach Shawn Bectel described her as hard-working, dedicated and committed while being a role model to the younger players. Posts a 3.77 grade-point average and has committed to Grand Valley to study nursing and play volleyball. First-team All-State, All-Region and All-Area a year ago with 642 kills.
Farmington Hills Harrison, 5-10, outside hitter/setter
Honorable mention All-State a year ago, she was the team’s most valuable player, making first-team All-Area and All-Conference. Last season she had 123 aces, 346 digs and 528 kills. She’s in the school’s International Baccalaureate World program and has committed to Illinois State University as a setter.
Northville, 5-11, outside hitter
A four-year varsity performer, she was third-team All-State a year ago as team offensive MVP. Team was a Final Four participant in 2013 and lost to Novi in last year’s districts. She has played basketball for Northville and maintains a 3.84 grade-point average. Committed to Oakland University.
North Branch, 5-7, setter
A seasoned veteran, she was on the state championship team of 2015 and the state runner-up of 2014. She was second-team All-State as a sophomore and junior. “She does everything well,” said coach James Fish. “She’ll be a three-time All-Stater.” Committed to Campbell University.
DeWitt, 6-1, middle hitter
She was a first-team All-State as a junior and is fifth all-time for kills in a single game with 39 set in a five-set match. Nordmann led DeWitt to the regional final a year ago with a 44-4-1 record and a top-10 ranking. In 2014 she recorded 269 blocks to rank third all-time in the MHSAA record books.
Corunna, 6-3, outside hitter
A 2011 AAU state champion, Norris is a dominant player for Corunna. She was team MVP as a junior, first team All-State, and player of the year in two newspapers. She holds the MHSAA record for kills in a game with 56, eclipsing her own mark. She was a national finalist for junior player of the year and has spent 2012 through 2014 in Colorado Springs at the High Performance camp for USA volleyball and was in Des Moines, Iowa, for the the High Performance championships in 2015. “Meredith’s performance over her entire volleyball career fits with the idea of being the best senior volleyball player in the state of Michigan,” said coach Kari Carnell. She has a 4.0556 grade-point average to rank fifth in her class and has committed to MSU.