By Jon Gremmels Herald Sports Editor
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON — Having watched Monique Harris play volleyball for four years, Clinton High co-coach Mark Massey has difficulty differentiating Harris’s accomplishments from one week to the next.
Others apparently can.
Harris, a 5-foot-8 senior setter/outside hitter for the River Queens, was named MaxPreps/AVCA Player of the Week for Iowa for the week of Sept. 9-15. The award is made for each state by the American Volleyball Coaches Association in conjunction with MaxPreps.com.
“You could probably take a calendar of her career the last three years, if not four, and throw a dart,” Massey said. “Maybe the numbers vary from week to week but — we see a lot of incredible things every night in practice — there’s going to be pretty consistent effort every week on Mo’s part.”
A four-year starter for the River Queens, Harris had 32 assists, three aces, three kills and two blocks in three games during the week in which she was honored. For the season, Harris leads Class 5A players and is tied for 10th overall in the state with 43 service aces and is fourth in 5A and 14th overall with 424 assists. In 53 sets, she is averaging 8.0 assists, .81 aces, 2.83 digs, 0.47 blocks and 1.21 kills a game.
“The thing both coach (Aubree) Tanzillo and I have commented on is Monique can impact a high school volleyball match in ways so few girls can,” Massey said. “As she’s gotten older, her level of experience and ability to read the court (are attributes) most other teams can’t match.
“If we pass-serve and get a good pass, Mo is going to set a good ball. She can jump-set, attack second hit with her left hand. I think she could be one of the best liberos in the state if she played there. She made a big impact in the Assumption match (a win Tuesday) as a server; she holds the (CHS) career record for aces. She doesn’t hit much, but if she did she probably would make other coaches deal with that. She’s a very good rightside blocker. She really has grown into her role as a four-year varsity player.”
Massey said players eligible for the honor had to have a coach who is a member of the AVCA, but the player didn’t have to be nominated my the coach.
“It’s certainly not a case of coach Massey nominated her five times and they got tired of him,” he said. “She’s one of the top performing kids in the state of Iowa.”