By JAY W. BENNETT, The WVSWA
CHARLESTON – It’s been a steady climb for Williamstown’s Claire Strobl and the senior ended her volleyball career in style by helping the Yellowjackets seal a Class A three-peat following a sweep of Ritchie County.
A full rotation cog for head coach Rachelle Cole, Strobl was chosen captain of the all-state first team by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
“I feel more lucky than anything to have joined a team with amazing players older and younger than me,” admitted Strobl. “The raw talent on my team the last three years has been unbelievable. I’m also very proud of myself for working as hard as I have and maintaining a positive attitude under any circumstance in the game.”
Strobl, who also was quite pleased to surpass 1,000 career kills, was glad to see all of her hard work pay off in the end, not only for herself, but her teammates as well.
“I feel so fulfilled as volleyball has been something I’ve spent so many hours playing, traveling and working out for,” admitted the all-state captain. “One thing a lot of people don’t know about me is my freshman year I played only JV. I worked out consistently all spring and gained around 20 pounds of muscle.
“When my sophomore season came around, I realized quickly I formed a whole new pool of talents including my explosivity, vertical, stamina and control. From there I really shocked my team and myself and was rewarded with a starting spot. Finishing my volleyball career with a three-peat and other accolades could not feel more rewarding.”
The Little Kanawha Conference’s Player of the Year amassed 507 kills, 138 blocks, 52 aces and 264 digs.
Joining Strobl on the first team was junior Yellowjacket Becca Shamblin, who produced 454 kills, 105 blocks, 46 aces and 311 digs.
State runner-up Ritchie County and first-year head coach Michelle Jones landed a pair of players on the first team with seniors Jayci Gray (65 aces, 231 assists, 225 kills, 115 blocks, 200 digs) and Sydney Kopshina (33 aces, 189 assists, 290 kills, 90 blocks, 147 digs).
Kopshina was joined by a pair of juniors – Buffalo’s Zoey Huffman and Ravenswood’s Macy Casto – as repeat honorees on the first team.
Huffman collected 52 aces, 132 kills, 41 blocks, 424 digs and finished with 1,238 assists for the Bison, who had the No. 1 seed at state but were upset by Pendleton County.
Casto had another productive season for the Red Devils, who were ousted in the regional co-final by Buffalo. Casto had 503 kills, hit .410 and also served up 86 aces and had 31 blocks to go along with 783 passes on target.
Huffman’s junior teammate Natalie Baisden also earned a nod on the top unit after collecting 533 kills, 51 aces, 44 blocks and 459 digs.
State tournament participants James Monroe and Greenbrier West also were represented on the first team.
Maverick sophomore Aliyah Clarkson helped her team to the semifinals and finished with 355 kills, 109 aces, 25 blocks, 45 assists and 258 digs. Treadway, a junior for the Cavaliers, hit .439 with 336 kills, 432 digs, 67 aces and 43 stuffs.
Also earning a nod on the first team was Ravenswood senior Abby Scritchfield, who had 107 aces this season and owns the school record with 357. Along with 865 passes on target, the Red Devil hit .460 with 375 kills and had 88 blocks.
Wirt County senior Ally Nicolais was named captain of the second team.
Greenbrier West seniors Riley Robertson and Kadie O’Dell also made the second unit as did James Monroe junior Maggie Boroski and sophomore Ava Pitzer.
The second team also featured Wirt County sophomore Addie Stephens, Williamstown junior Kyndra Johnson, East Hardy sophomore Morgan Miller, Pendleton County senior Allie Cooper and Sherman sophomore Sophia Rollo.
Wooden plaques in the shape of West Virginia that include the high school name, player’s name, licensed WVSWA logo, and year of the honoree, are available to all-state first team, second team, and honorable mentions and can be purchased from the Bear Wood Company throughWVSWA.org or Bearwoodcompany.com.
CLASS A, FIRST TEAM
Claire Strobl, Williamstown, SR (Captain)
Zoey Hoffman, Buffalo, JR
Macy Casto, Ravenswood, JR
Aliyah Clarkson, James Monroe, SO
Preslee Treadway, Greenbrier West, JR
Jayci Gray, Ritchie County, SR
Becca Shamblin, Williamstown, JR
Natalie Baisden, Buffalo, JR
Sydney Kopshina, Ritchie County, JR
Abby Scritchfield, Ravenswood, SR
Ally Nicolais, Wirt County, SR (Captain)
Addie Stephens, Wirt County, SO
Kyndra Johnson, Williamstown, JR
Morganne Miller, East Hardy, SO
Riley Robertson, Greenbrier West, SR
Ava Pitzer, James Monroe, SO
Kadie O’Dell, Greenbrier West, SR
Maggie Boroski, James Monroe, JR
Sophia Rollo, Sherman, SO
Allie Cooper, Pendleton County, SR
SPECIAL HONORABLE MENTION
Aubrey McCoy, Charleston Catholic; Bayley Frashure, Gilmer County; Braeden Wall, Tyler Consolidated; Josie Harris, Buffalo; Chloe Miller, East Hardy; Sarah Iman, Moorefield; Elyse Moore, Clay-Battelle; Lydia Moore, Clay-Battelle; Allyson Cheek, Man; Tori Sizemore, Montcalm; Keylee Lester, River View; Andlyn Corathers, St. Marys; Sidney Hinzman, Doddridge County; Megan Griffith, Greenbrier West; Jenna Blain, Magnolia; Brooke Fuller, River View; Lila Palmer, Valley; Alexis Hood, Wheeling Central; Haley Wilkinson, Wood County Christian; Maddie Morris, Charleston Catholic
Addison Armentrout, East Hardy; Ava Dobbins, Gilmer County; Taylor White, Montcalm; Austyn Paugh, Notre Dame; Hope Woods, South Harrison; Mia Schofield, St. Marys; Gracie Harvey, Summers County; Brooklynn Tinnell, East Hardy; Isabelle Bryant, Hannan; Sky Goddard, Hundred; Delanie Postlethwait, Magnolia; Carlee Sweeney, Paden City; Katie Hedrick, Pendleton County; Gabrielle DePue, Pendleton County; Macey Davis, Sherman; Helene Crall, Wheeling Central; Keatyn Haynes, Williamstown; Kierston Rozell, Meadow Bridge; Jocelynn Thorn, Parkersburg Catholic; Annie Starcher, Ravenswood; Riley Landis, Williamstown; Rachel Felton, Tucker County; Payton Staats, Wahama