Colleyville Heritage junior leads Star-Telegram Super Team in volleyball

Posted Saturday, Dec. 07, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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It was difficult enough for junior Anna Walsh to play with dominance at her middle blocker position for Colleyville Heritage.

So when Panthers coach Jamie Siegel decided to give Walsh more responsibility this season by keeping her on the floor for all six position rotations, neither had a real idea of how much it would impact the team.

Walsh recorded 600 kills, 422 digs and served at 92 percent as the Panthers raced to a 42-7 record. For her performance, she is the Star-Telegram Super Team Player of the Year.

“A lot of coaches won’t even consider leaving a middle on the back row so it took a lot of guts for Coach Siegel to give me that chance,” said Walsh, who plans to play at Virginia. “Just because middles are tall doesn’t mean we can’t do the ball control side of the game.”

Walsh is one of 12 players on the Super Team, selected by the Star-Telegram staff based on statistics, accomplishments and in consultation with coaches.

Walsh said her season was fueled by confidence from last year, when the Panthers dispatched Southlake Carroll in the regional semifinals.

But a loss the next day to Coppell in the regional final left a sour taste in Walsh’s mouth.

So when this year’s playoff brackets were revealed, Walsh said she and her teammates eyed a potential rematch with defending Class 5A state champion Coppell in the regional quarterfinals.

“I’ll take that day with me always, we were so excited,” Walsh said. “We got absolutely no work done during school. None of us could concentrate and all we talked or thought about was the match that night against Coppell.”

Both teams didn’t disappoint, staging a five-set thriller in which the Panthers exacted their revenge and advanced to the regional tournament.

Carroll turned the tables on Heritage in the regional final, leaving another year to find a way to reach the state tournament.

“The program has come a long way,” Walsh said. “We had a team this year with several great players. We just picked the worst day to play our worst game.”

Siegel said she knew Walsh could handle the extra workload because of her passion for the game.

“I have maybe coached one other middle that I can compare to Anna,” Siegel said. “But there really isn’t a comparison, because Anna just doesn’t command the net, she’s plays every position the way it should be played.”

Player of the Year

Anna Walsh, Jr., Colleyville Heritage: Played all six rotations and rarely came off the floor for the Panthers. Committed to Virginia.

First Team

S Piyusha Boteju, Sr., Euless Trinity: A player with height that can play the outside, but needed this year to feed other hitters. Headed to Denver.

OH Holly Milam, Sr., Burleson: Blistering .567 hitting percentage, 600 kills and 149 blocks

OH Lauren Mills, Sr., Keller Timber Creek: The only repeat from the 2012 Super Team, Mills is committed to SMU.

MB Timarie Nymeyer, Sr., Southlake Carroll: Coach Arthur Stanfield called her the Dragons’ most consistent impact player.

OH Christen Sikora, Sr., Southlake Carroll: Had 247 kills, 211 digs and a .977 serving percentage. Headed to Furman.

Second Team

S Ainise Havili, Sr., Haltom: Team started 6-0 then lost 13 straight without her. Committed to Kansas.

OH Baylie Barnes, Sr., Saginaw Boswell: A dominant outside hitter who hit .323 for a team that ran the tables in district play.

OH Aubrey Ezzell, Jr., Granbury: Had 250 kills, 140 aces and .367 kill percentage.

OH Maddie Jones, Jr., Colleyville Heritage: Undersized, but fierce. Had 385 kills, second only to Walsh and played serious defense with 547 digs.

OH Kailin Barnes, Jr., Mansfield Timberview: Has incredible athleticism and came on strong at the end of the season, helping the Timberwolves to the area round.

MB Jacqueline Vernor, Sr., Arlington: Had 405 kills and 86 total blocks for a team that made it to the regional quarterfinals.

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