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Area volleyball in rebuilding mode

The 2012 season was a rebuilding one for area volleyball teams in more ways than one.

Of the six Bureau County teams, only Princeton had a winning season with a 25-12 record. The other five teams won just 39 games between them.

It could be said even the Princeton squad was a work in progress with as many as seven juniors seeing regular court time.

As a result the 2012 All-BCR Team is dotted with junior players with a couple of sophomores in the mix.

Here’s a rundown of this year’s team.

First team

Shiela Browning - LaMoille/Ohio (Jr., MH): The go-to girl, for the Lady Lions, Browning knocked down 131 kills, ranking second in the area per set average. The unanimous Little Ten All-Conference selection also contributed 64 digs, 72 points, 14 aces and 13 blocks. She was named to the Plano All-Tournament Team.

Lindsey Hoffert - Bureau Valley (So. OH): The Storm soph with all-state track talents put her athleticism to work nicely on the volleyball court, and improving tremendously throughout the season, BV coach Abbi Bosnich said, and was “able to put the ball away for us quite a few times in big games.” The Three Rivers Second-Team All-Conference selection led all area hitters with 183 kills (2.7 kpg) and chipped in 1.5 points per game.

Becca Hult - Princeton (Jr., MH): One of the many building blocks for the PHS junior class, the 5-foot-9 middle blocker led the Tigresses with 178 kills and added 31 blocks, utilizing different combinations to always keep the opponent guessing. PHS coach Andy Puck said she constantly devoted herself to her team and to make herself the best middle hitter that she could become,” and looks for her talent to help take the Tigresses to the next level. She was a NCIC Honorable All-Conference pick.

Michelle Kelly - Princeton (Jr., S): The BCR Player of the Year was the quarterback on the floor for the Tigresses from the setter position and really blossomed into her role, Puck said. She had an area-best 665 assists (8.4 per set) and led PHS with 166 points (2.1). The NCIC First-Team All-Conference pick also contributed 194 digs and 29 aces.

Morgan King - St. Bede (Jr., L): A change in position led to a solid junior season for King. She moved to libero from setter when teammate Lydia Stariha was moved to all-around and “handled the job beautifully,” SBA coach Dawn Williams said. King led the area with 459 digs and was the Lady Bruins leader also in points (169) and aces (42) and also contributed 28 back row kills. She was named to the All-Tournament Team at Plano and NCIC First-Team All-Conference pick.

Katherine Pranka - Princeton (Sr., OH): The Tigresses’ most versatile hitter, the 5-9 senior moved from opposite to outside provided the Tigresses with a late-season spark. She finished with 173 kills and would have had many more, Puck noted, had she started the year outside. Puck said “she always wanted the ball, and when she got it, she knew what to do with it.” The NCIC First-Team All-Conference pick used a strong jump serve to tally 157 points and an area-best 43 aces.

Lydia Stariha - St. Bede (Sr., OH): When Williams returned as the Lady Bruins coach after two years away, the first thing she did was to utilize the senior captain’s all-around talents instead of limiting them to libero. The three-year letterwinner was the anchor for the young Lady Bruins team, scoring 106 points with 28 aces and adding 118 kills and 195 digs. She received NCIC Honorable Mention All-Conference.

Second Team

Ragen Forbes - So., L (LaMoille/Ohio): The senior libero patrolled the back row for the Lady Lions making 242 digs this season. She also pitched at the service line with 113 points and 13 aces.

Alicia Poss - Princeton (Jr., MH): The Tigresses’ “big” at 5-foot-9, Poss led the Tigresses with 33 blocks and tallied 174 kills. Puck said she always wanted to take on the opponent’s taller mids and usually won the battle with aggressiveness and preparation. She received NCIC Honorable Mention All-Conference honors.

Danae Ross - Bureau Valley (Sr., L): Moved from setter to libero this year, the BV senior captain took to her new assignment and ran with it. “She was very quick on her feet and allowed for us to depend on her to dig many of the balls in the back row,” said Bosnich. She averaged 2.2 digs and 1.4 points per game.

Emmalee Sears - Princeton (Sr., OH): A source of leadership for the young Tigress squad, the senior outside hitter contributed 161 kills. Described by Puck as “every coach’s dream” for her positive influence on the floor, the 5-8 Sears was an instant offense at any position she was needed to help the team, he said.

Lauren Urbanowski - Sr., MB (St. Bede): One of three in a formidable front line for St. Bede, the 6-foot middle hitter contributed 42 blocks. The SBA senior also led the Lady Bruins with 140 kills and was second on the team with 108 points, incuding 27 aces. She received NCIC Honorable Mention All-Conference honors.

Ashley Schrader - Sr., S (LaMoille/Ohio): The senior setter got the Lady Lions going with 246 assists along with 93 points and 12 aces serving. She also contributed 104 digs and 18 kills. She was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Lady Lion Invite.

Honorable Mention

Bureau Valley: Sydney Lebahn.

Hall: Vanessa Olivares.

LaMoille/Ohio: Vanessa Martinez.

Princeton: Mollie Bates, Brooke Kamphuis.

St. Bede: Morgan Bosnich, Maggie aniewski, Olivia Mueller.

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