|VALLEY SPORTS REPORT: TIOGA'S HOWLAND NAMED 'PLAYER OF THE YEAR' — HEADLINES ALL-VALLEY VOLLEYBALL TEAM (3 PHOTOS) (2016-11-16)
By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY — Tioga won its fourth Section IV title in five years and senior Olivia Howland was the driving force in the Lady Tigers’ success, earning her the title “Player of the Year” on the 2016 Valley Sports Report “All-Valley” volleyball team.
Sayre freshman Madeleine Dutra was a key cog in the Lady Redskins’ first-ever appearance in the District 4, Class A finals to earn “Newcomer of the Year” honors, while Tom Shay is the “Coach of the Year” for directing Sayre to one of its best seasons in program history.
Howland edged out teammate Kellie Wainwright and Sayre senior Molly Ball for “Player of the Year” honors.
Howland is a dynamic leaper and powerful hitter, who is also comfortable hitting or bumping in the back row. She was also solid at the service line.
Dutra lacks the height you expect from a hitter, but her leaping ability and timing more than make up for it. She was also very good in the back row and at the service line.
Shay returned to the helm of the Sayre program prior to the 2015 season and this two-year stretch is as good as Sayre volleyball has ever been. The Lady Redskins followed up last year’s 10-8 record with a 14-4 record this season.
The Lady Redskins qualified for Districts in 2015 for the first time since 2004, then played in the District 4, Class A title game this season for the first time.
The 2016 “All-Valley” volleyball team is an experienced group with eight seniors in the 14-player group. It contains just one sophomore and one freshman.
2016 All-Valley Volleyball Team
Olivia Howland, senior, Tioga: See above.
Kellie Wainwright, senior, Tioga: A floor general in the purest sense of the word, Wainwright distributed the ball to the hot hand, and kept a deep pool of Lady Tiger hitters involved.
She was also the top server on the team, and held her own at the net.
Molly Ball, senior, Sayre: A powerful hitter, whether it be at the net or in the back row, Ball was also solid on defense in the back row, and at the service line.
Andi Noldy, senior, Sayre: A tremendous athlete, Noldy was a vocal floor leader, and improved her play at the net in each of three years on the hardwoods. She was also one of the top servers for the Lady Redskins.
Martha Schumacher, junior, Tioga: A big-time leaper and powerful hitter, Martha Schumacher has the hang-time to make adjustments to sets that are not quite on the mark. She was also a strong back-row hitter and solid at the service line.
Anna Schumacher, junior, Tioga: Like her sister, Anna Schumacher is a leaper with great timing and the ability to hang in the air and get off-the-mark sets over the net. She also used her impeccable timing to lead the team in blocks.
Domi Woodruff, senior, Sayre: Hands down, the most improved player in the Valley, Woodruff was not afraid to sacrifice her body to keep the ball in the air. She was also much-improved at the service line.
Madeleine Dutra, freshman, Sayre: See above.
Sydney Liechty, sophomore, Athens: Long and lanky, Liechty can get off her feet and that made her a force at the net for the Lady Wildcats, whether it was hitting or blocking.
Grace Kinsman, senior, Athens: A versatile player, Kinsman could set or hit with equal aplomb, and was one of the better Lady Wildcats at the service line as well.
Katie Goodwin, junior, Waverly: Very athletic, Goodwin was Waverly’s top setter, could play at the net, and was one of the Lady Wolverines’ better servers.
Lyndsey Moore, senior, Waverly: Very good at serve-receive, Moore had a knack for being around the ball and keeping it in play.
Charli Hall, junior, Tioga: A powerful leaper and big hitter, Hall improved by leaps and bounds as the season progressed.
Megan Godfrey, senior, Tioga: Solid in serve-receive, Godfrey did a good job of keeping the ball off the floor and was a solid back-row hitter for the Lady Tigers when called upon.
IN PHOTO 1: Tioga’s Olivia Howland. IN PHOTO 2: Sayre’s Madeleine Dutra. IN PHOTO 3: Sayre coach Tom Shay. … VSR STOCK PHOTOS.
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