Enquirer names All-Area Vb team
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enqurier
The Hartselle Enquirer has named its first All-Area volleyball team. Players from Bethel Baptist, Brewer, Danville, Falkville, Hartselle and Priceville were nominated.
Three members of the Hartselle Lady Tigers lead the squad, Sarah Whitlow and Sarah McNutt and Shan Jones. Two Danville Lady Hawks, Lauren Simmons and Kristy Roberts are also on the first unit. Brewer's Mandy Martin rounds out the first team.
Player of the Year
Whitlow, a setter who handed out 19 assists per match and recorded over 1,000 this season, was chosen as the Enquirer's 2004 Player of the Year. Whitlow was a near unanimous choice as the area's top player. She was named on each coach's ballot. One coach split her vote for Player of the Year between Whitlow and her teammate McNutt.
Coach of the Year
Lybarger was chosen Coach of the Year after leading the Lady Tigers to a No. 2 ranking in Class 5A. The Lady Tigers were ranked No. 6 in Class 5A
in this season's first poll and continued to rise. Along the way they captured the Morgan County title as well as winning three other tournaments this season. Lybarger become the first Hartselle coach to have a Lady Tiger team post 50 victories in one season.
Lybarger was chosen over Holly Little of Danville and Ronald Smith of Brewer. Little led the Lady Hawks to the 40-win plateau, while Smith led Brewer into the Top 10 after losing half his starters from last season.
Rest of the first team
McNutt, a middle hitter, averaged over 10 kills and five blocks per match for Hartselle. The senior was named second team All-State as a junior in 2003. McNutt was the leading hitter on a Lady Tiger team averaging over 30 kills per match.
Jones averaged eight kills and five blocks during her junior season. She played beside McNutt, as the Lady Tiger's other middle hitter.
Martin led the Lady Patriots in kills and blocks from her middle hitter position.
The senior helped Brewer maintain a Top 10 ranking for the entire season, as well as leading the Lady Pats to the Morgan County Tournament final.
Simmons, a sophomore with two years of varsity experience, recorded over 400 kills and posted a 47-percent kill rate. In addition, she recorded more than 50 aces from behind the service line.
Simmons teammate Roberts, a senior and two-time All-State softball player, was named the team's defensive specialist.
Roberts excelled with more than 300 digs and served over 100 aces in 62 matches.
Simmons and Roberts helped Danville post a Top 10 ranking the entire season, rising as high as No. 7.