Wednesday night saw a number of awards handed out to the 2017 Northwest 1A Athletic Conference volleyball champions from East Surry. In addition to winning their fifth straight conference tournament title, the Cardinals had three players named to the All-Tournament team, with Bethany Clayton being named the tourney’s Most Outstanding Player for the third consecutive season.
But the night wasn’t just about the achievements of the Cardinals. Having celebrated the accolades of the tournament, conference Commissioner T.R. Richards turned his attention to honoring the top players from the 2017 regular season.
The conference Player of the Year featured not one but two outstanding athletes that happened to have just competed against each other. Mount Airy’s Madeline Mayfield shared the award with Clayton. Clayton led the conference in hitting percentage and kills, was third in digs, and fifth in total blocks. Mayfield was second in the conference in serving aces, third in the conference in kills, and sixth in hitting percentage.
Next up was the All-Conference team. Leading the conference with six members was East Surry. Seniors Clayton and Sarah Marion were joined by sophomore teammates Allie Bruner, Morgan Smith, Kelsey Heflin and Maggie Holt.
In addition to her aforementioned accolades, Clayton led the Cardinals in kills, kills per set, and attacks. Marion finished fourth in the conference in kills with 168 and second only to Clayton in hitting percentage. Bruner finished fourth in the conference in both hitting percentage and serving aces. Bruner was third on the Cardinals in attacks and serving aces.
Morgan Smith led the conference in serving aces with 97, as well as recording the second most digs. Smith led her team in both categories. Kelsey Heflin’s 774 assists were more than double of anyone else in the conference. Heflin was also the only Cardinal to play in 80 sets this season. Maggie Holt was the defensive powerhouse for East Surry by recording 75 total blocks, the second most in the conference.
Mount Airy was second with four players selected for All-Conference honors: seniors Mayfield, Arry Ward and Kayla Hicks as well as freshman Avery Cox. In addition to her previously mentioned achievements, Mayfield led the Granite Bears in kills and serving aces, was second in digs, and third in total blocks. Ward led the conference with 83 total blocks with in addition to finishing third in the conference in hitting percentage.
The third senior from Mount Airy to receive honors was Hicks. Hicks led the conference in digs by nearly 100. Cox was one of two freshmen to receive All-Conference honors. She was third in the conference in assists and serving aces, leading her team in both categories.
The All-Conference squad featured two players from both South Stokes and North Stokes. The two Sauras to receive recognition were senior Mary Weaver and junior Lilly Weaver. Mary Weaver was fourth in the conference in digs, as well as leading her team in serve receptions. Lilly Weaver was second only to Bethany Clayton in kills with 241. Lilly Weaver led the Sauras in kills and serving aces and finished second in to Mary Weaver in digs.
North Stokes’ all-conference members are juniors Meredith Rasey and Lora Wood. Rasey finished fourth in the conference in blocks, as well as finishing fifth in both hitting percentage and kills. Lora Wood was second on the Sauras in serving aces, kills, and blocking.
The final girl honored with all-conference recognition was Jordyn Johnson, a freshman from Bishop McGuinness. Johnson led the Villains in kills and digs. The freshman also finished second in serves received.
Honorable mention All-Conference honors were earned by East Surry juniors Maddie Payne and Jessica Clayton, Mount Airy juniors Hanne Cooke and Piper Draughon, South Stokes junior Lydia Caudill and sophomore Macy Nelson, North Stokes freshmen Jade Tuttle and Skylar Amos, and Bishop McGuinness juniors Caroline Deal and Diana Fernandez-Borunda.