V olleyball finalists

The 2019-2020 Volleyball Player of the Year finalists come from a pool of talented athletes and an exciting volleyball season all around.

Multiple postseason successes and big moments highlighted this fall, and some of those were led by Fulton senior Emily Schipper, Clinton senior Brooke Mulholland and Prince of Peace junior Anabel Blount.

The 2019-2020 Volleyball Player of the Year will take a different format this year, with the announcement coming later next spring. The Clinton Herald is planning a formal recognition of our finalists for each sport to culminate the year. Watch for that announcement in early December.

EMILY SCHIPPER

The Fulton Steamers were the regional champions this year, and it was no doubt that Emily Schipper was the leader.

Schipper is now the school record holderfor season kills, career kills and career aces. She dinished with 397 kills this season, a significant lead on every other player.

She also had 52 aces and dug up 231 balls. She was invaluable to the Steamers.

She served as the go-to set to the outside, especially in clutch situations. Her impressive kill efficiency .334 clearly shows how good she is, but nothing can take away from the power she exudes in person on the attack.

“Emily is an all around stand out,” head coach Stacy Germann said. “She is an amazing player who is fun for anyone to watch play. Her work ethic is outstanding and her talents lead the way.”

BROOKE MULHOLLAND

Brooke Mulholland has been an impressive setter for the River Queens since she was an underclassman, but really showed her skill this year when she took on a utility role.

She was a big reason the Queens made it to the regional final game for the second straight year, narrowly missing a state berth again.

“Brooke was our go-to player this year as the team leaned on her both offensively and defensively,” head coach Micah Cewe said. “She became our primary attacking threat on second contact and on the outside to terminate balls.”

After two years as a varsity setter running a 5-1 rotation, Micah Cewe switched to a 6-2 rotation to try to get his offense sparked early on this season. That left Mulholland not only setting, but attacking and digging for the Queens.

She embraced it. She ended up leading the Queens with 146 kills this year, learning to hone her skills in on her swing.

She had 264 digs this season, second only to libero Rylie Mussman. She also had 28 aces.

The setter is Kirkwood Community College bound, setting her up for a potentially huge college career. The Eagles are just coming back from an appearance at the national tournament, where they finished ninth.

“All around, she was a very cersatile player that could fill any position when needed throughout the season,” Cewe said.

ANABEL BLOUNT

The only junior to be named a Player of the Year finalist, Blount has led the Irish statistically and emotionally for three years now.

He work as an outside hitter has advanced. She can put the ball away in a powerful attack, and has been able to consistently place the ball for the Irish.

She finished with an impressive 314 kills this year, bringing her career total to 659.

She also is a constant presence in the back row. She finished with 289 digs – also a team high – and pulled within 300 digs of hitting 1,000 for a career.

“Anabel is a force all over the court,” head coach Stacie Kenneavy said. “Each year she has improved and each year other team try to key in on her with their defense. She has added more tools to her arsenal this yer and knows how to do more than just hammer the ball.”

Her all-around skill is impressive, but Blount is also a leader for the Irish. She keeps her energy up constantly, celebrating each point and picking her teammates up mentally.

“Anabel has shown leadership skills by jumping in to help the underclassmen learn the game at the varsity level,” Kenneavy said. “It feels good to help others succeed and we are a stronger team for it.

COACH OF THE YEAR – STACIE KENNEAVY

The volleyball finalist for Coach of the Year is Stacie Kenneavy. The overall Coach of the Year will be selected at the same formal recognition next spring, chosen from the pool of finalists from each sport.

Watch for that announcement in early December.

The Prince of Peace volleyball team has undergone a complete transformation in the last three years, with Kenneavy there every step of the way.

In 2017, the Irish didn’t win a single game. Kenneavy’s roster was full of freshman and they were just starting to get their feet under them.

Jump to the 2018 season and her roster stayed young. Her freshman were now sophomores and she filled roster holes with even more freshman who were learning the speed of a varsity game. They went 13-18 last season.

Finally, this season, the Irish put together the best record in over a decade. They finished 22-17, winning two postseason games before falling to No. 7 Lisbon in the district semifinal.

Kenneavy has the same faces on her roster as she did in 2017, with players developing and the game plan advancing every season. She doesn’t lose a single senior from her varsity roster.

Knneavy will be recognized with the other Coach of the Year finalists when the formal recognition takes place next year.

SEE ALL THE ALL-AREA SELECTIONS ON PAGE B6-B7