A memorable 2017 high school volleyball season wrapped up last week with the UIL state championships.
Class 6A Hebron claimed its third straight state title. In 5A, Prosper won its first by edging Texas Girls Coaches Association No. 1 Leander Rouse in five sets.
On the west side of the Metroplex, Class 5A Aledo was a state semifinalist for the first time since 2014, Glen Rose clinched its first trip to state in program history, and nine area teams made it to a regional tournament.
Perhaps no school was more deserving than Weatherford.
Barely a playoff team before last season, the 2017 Kangaroos earned a share of the District 3-6A title, won their first postseason game in 16 years and advanced to their first regional tournament.
Graduating early and enrolling at Texas A&M in the spring, Weatherford senior setter Kaitlyn Rogers had a record-breaking season. For her standout performance, Rogers is the Star-Telegram volleyball Super Team Player of the Year.
Player of the Year
Kaitlyn Rogers, Sr., Weatherford
What she did: Set a school single-season record 1,521 assists, and added 261 digs, 161 kills, 68 aces and 52 blocks. Recorded double-digit assists in each game, with 20 or more assists 46 times for the Kangaroos (41-7).
Notable: 3-6A MVP
College: Texas A&M
What she said: “I’ve been playing since I was eight, and year-round too, which has really helped me grow into the player I am. These last four years have been a journey and it’s indescribable how much fun I’ve had. I haven’t been on a team with such heart and dedication to the game and I hope that carries on to further years.”
What her coach said: “I think any coach would want a 6-foot-2 lefty setter to run their team. But more than that she has learned to be a great leader and decision maker. She’s constantly learning new sets and offensive patterns to help her hitters score. She loves to play the game and can use her left hand as an offensive weapon too, and she can also be a shutdown blocker and great server.” – Nicholas Gay
Hitter of the Year
Emilie Ickes, Sr., Arlington Martin
What she did: Helped the Warriors to their first regional final since winning state in 2005. Ickes led the team with 444 kills and 66 aces, and added 330 digs. Recorded 10 or more kills in 21 games.
Notable: District 4-6A Co-Hitter of the Year
College: McNeese State
Setter of the Year
Grace Koper, Jr., Colleyville Heritage
What she did: Helped the Panthers to their first regional final since 2013 and recorded a team-high 1,440 assists, as well as 313 digs, 55 aces, 46 kills and 23 blocks.
Notable: District 8-5A Setter of the Year
Defensive Player of the Year
Allegra Rivas, Sr., Aledo
What she did: Rivas recorded a team-high 1,122 digs and added 192 assists for the state semifinalist Bearcats. She made 20 or more digs 33 times, and 30 or more 10 times.
Notable: District 6-5A Defensive MVP
Utility Player of the Year
Molly Phillips, Jr., Mansfield
What she did: Phillips recorded a school single-season record 655 kills and team-high .326 hitting percentage and 78 blocks, and was second with 272 digs and 61 aces. She had 10 or more kills in 34 games, and 20 or more in 12 games.
Notable: District 4-6A Co-Hitter of the Year
Newcomer of the Year
Natalie Glenn, Fr., Southlake Carroll
What she did: Finished second on the Dragons with 466 kills and 518 digs, and had 18 double-doubles. She made 10 or more digs 27 times, and 10 or more kills 22 times.
Notable: District 5-6A Newcomer of the Year
Coach of the Year
Tracy Perez-Petersen, Arlington Martin
What the Warriors did: The Warriors had their best season in 12 years, finishing 14-0 to win the District 4-6A title and 41-6 overall with a trip to their first regional final since 2005. Martin recorded 33 wins by 3-0 set scores, and they dropped just five sets during district play. Perez-Petersen, whose been at Martin 17 years and head coach since 2005, has amassed 337 career wins, was named 4-6A Coach of the Year.
What she said: “We’ve been stuck in a rut the last few years. This group worked to figure out what we needed to do to get the program back to where it used to be. They opened a door for the girls that will come after them.”
Hannah Boyd, Sr., Saginaw Boswell: 6-5A MVP, 502 kills, 170 digs, 64 blocks, 31 aces
Lauren Evans, Sr., Colleyville Heritage: 8-5A MVP, 658 kills, 350 digs, 88 aces
London Austin-Roark, Sr., Weatherford: 3-6A Offensive MVP, 437 kills, .538 hitting percentage, 75 blocks
Capri Davis, Sr., Mansfield Lake Ridge: 10-5A MVP, 507 kills, 344 digs, 69 blocks, 56 aces
Danielle Duis, Sr., Trophy Club Nelson: 5-6A Defensive MVP, 970 digs, 99 assists, 44 aces
Kylie Courtney, Sr., Boswell: 1,289 assists, 224 digs, 53 aces
Katie Clark, Sr., Arlington: 4-6A MVP, 650 kills, 415 digs, .352 hitting percentage, 41 aces
Marissa Hernandez, Sr., FW Arlington Heights: 7-5A MVP, 457 kills, 469 digs, 81 aces
Elizabeth Carroll, Jr., Martin: 1,274 assists, 373 digs, 125 kills, 64 aces, 37 blocks
Paige Flickinger, Soph., Nelson: 5-6A Co-Offensive MVP, 504 kills, 672 digs, 44 aces
Annabelle Smith, Soph., Carroll: 5-6A Co-Offensive MVP, 533 kills, .417 hitting percentage, 105 digs, 102 blocks
Kate Lang, Soph., Keller: 3-6A Setter of the Year, 881 assists, 340 digs, 46 aces