Stephenville dominated in the all-District 7-4A volleyball voting, but that tends to happen when a team has a season like the 2019 Honeybees — with a 35-10 record (8-0 in district), a top-15 state ranking, and getting within one win of reaching the regional tournament.
SHS sophomore Landri Withers was voted by the district’s coaches as the Most Valuable Player.
The Honeybees also collected three more superlative awards, with seniors Gabie Lucero and Karlee Easterling as Defensive Player of the Year and Setter of the Year, respectively, and junior Alee McClendon as Offensive Player of the Year.
And Stephenville’s coach, Shay Douglas, earned Coach of the Year honors.
Two Honeybees were named first-team all-district — senior Salette Rios and sophomore Jaylee Matthews.
SHS placed three players on the second team — senior Aubreyanna Ziegler, along with sophomores Kennedy Coffee and Emma Giddings.
Also, junior Cali Carter and sophomore Macie Sheets earned honorable mention for Stephenville.
“When you go through district undefeated and you only lose one set … our girls are very worthy of all the awards we got,” said Douglas, a former Honeybee player who has now completed her second season as the SHS head coach.
The Bees were eliminated in the regional quarterfinal round of the playoffs by Argyle, but they took the sixth-ranked Lady Eagles to four sets. That third-round match drew a near-capacity crowd to Weatherford’s Ninth Grade Center gym and Douglas said the Honeybees could feel the love.
“I want to give a thank-you to the people who came out to the match with Argyle,” Douglas said. “It definitely made the environment awesome. The support we had that night was awesome.”
Withers led SHS in kills and hitting percentage, and was second behind McClendon in blocked shots.
“She’s a very versatile player,” Douglas said, noting that Withers excelled despite being hampered by a hamstring injury in the latter part of the season. “She’s the one player in our district that most teams planned around. She’s a powerful hitter and she has a good nose for the ball.”
All-state honors have yet to be released, but Lucero had been all-state as Stephenville’s libero last season when she was a junior. She once again provided a steady anchor for the defense.
“She pretty much was our solid player defensively all year long,” Douglas said. “She really grew into that leadership role. (She was) just solid.”
McClendon and Withers were co-Newcomers of the Year for the Honeybees for the 2018 season. Douglas said that McClendon was not one who made many mistakes.
“We had several matches where she would not have an error at all,” Douglas said.
Of Easterling, Douglas said “she grew so much from her junior year. She rose to the occasion. She’s a smart setter, and she led us in aces and assists.”
Most Valuable Player — Landri Withers, soph., Stephenville.
Offensive Player of the Year — Alee McClendon, jr., Stephenville.
Defensive Player of the Year — Gabie Lucero, sr., Stephenville.
Setter of the Year — Karlee Easterling, sr. Stephenville.
Blocker of the Year — Ashlyn Storm, jr., Brownwood.
Newcomer of the Year — Emma Burke, soph., Godley.
Server of the Year — Taylor Fellers, sr., Glen Rose.
Coach of the Year — Shay Douglas, Stephenville.
Stephenville — Salette Rios, sr.; Jaylee Matthews, soph.
Glen Rose — Camdyn Hinton, soph.; Alexis Mims, jr.
Brownwood — Aleyia Cotton, sr.; Caitlyn Moody, jr.
Godley — Taylen Thonmpson, sr.; Jaime Babbe, jr.
Stephenville — Kennedy Coffee, soph.; Emma Giddings, soph.; Aubreyanna Ziegler, sr.
Glen Rose — Matti Young, fr.; Jeana Douglas, jr.; Brooklyn Vara, soph.
Brownwood — Olivia Fowler, soph.; Jaylen Savage, soph.
Mineral Wells — Brooklyn Ellis, jr.
Godley — Autumn Darder, sr.; Kenzie Ward, sr.; Taylor McFarland, soph.
Stephenville honorable mention — Cali Carter, jr.; Macie Sheets, soph.