For the second consecutive year, District 9-6A had a representative at the UIL state volleyball tournament.
Plano West once again made the trip to Garland and returned home with a runner-up trophy in hand after advancing to the Class 6A championship match where it dropped a 3-2 decision to national No. 1 Trophy Club Byron Nelson.
The Lady Wolves’ 2019 campaign doubled as the program’s best ever in terms of postseason success and getting there required another strong run through their 9-6A schedule. Once again, that meant meeting some resistance from district co-champion Prosper, and fittingly enough, those two programs raked in a score of superlatives on the 9-6A all-district team.
West’s state runner-up campaign was fueled by a senior class chalked in Division I-bound talent, including program cornerstones Jill Pressly and Iman Ndiaye. Both were recognized for their dominant years on the hardwood, with Pressly earning 9-6A’s MVP accolade and Ndiaye following suit as Offensive Player of the Year.
As versatile a player as there is in the state, Pressly racked up 602 kills, 60 aces, 35 blocks and 407 digs as a six-rotation threat for the Lady Wolves. Ndiaye, meanwhile, posted 463 kills, including 27 in both West’s matches at the state tournament, along with 68 blocks and 50 digs.
West junior Morgan Carter, who carved a role on the back row as part of a stingy defensive rotation, earned Newcomer of the Year honors after logging 417 digs on nearly 10 per match in her first year with the Lady Wolves.
Prosper didn’t come away empty-handed, with senior Mackenzie Jefferson earning Setter of the Year honors for the co-champion Lady Eagles. Filling the void left by last season’s district MVP, alum Madi Whitmire, Jefferson took the reins of the Prosper attack and tallied team-high marks in assists (922) and aces (52) on top of 251 digs and 37 kills.
Jefferson’s head coach, Erin Kauffman, repeated as 9-6A’s Coach of the Year after leading Prosper to a first-place tie alongside West, despite graduating a wealth of talented seniors from 2018. The Lady Eagles were in lockstep with the Lady Wolves for much of the postseason before falling in the regional semifinals to Klein.
Fellow playoff qualifiers Allen and McKinney Boyd also wedged their way into the superlative discussion, with the Lady Eagles sporting the district’s top blocker in junior Chloe Thomas and Lady Bronco senior Darian Markham earning Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Thomas helped lead a resurgent season for Allen, which improved on a winless district campaign in 2018 to qualify for the postseason one year later. Thomas helped anchor the middle of the Lady Eagle attack with 138 blocks, 223 kills, 46 digs and 27 aces.
Markham, meanwhile, was among the top liberos in the entire state this season after digging 788 balls on the Boyd back row.
All four programs, as well as McKinney, Plano Senior and Plano East, were well-represented on the all-district first and second teams as well.
Prosper totaled six selections, with junior outside hitter Sami Jacobs, junior middle blocker Shaylee Shore and junior right-side hitter Bailey Birmingham all named to the first team, while junior outside hitter Nikki Steinheiser, sophomore right-side hitter Kendall Hewitt and junior middle blocker Taylor Youtsey garnering second-team honors.
West’s superlative winners were joined on the all-district team by senior outside hitter Noelle Piatas, senior setter Sydney Yap and junior setter Ashley Le as first-team picks, plus a pair of second-team juniors in right-side hitter Avery Lowe and defensive specialist Lindsey Zhang.
Third-place Boyd’s all-district cast included sophomore outside hitters Avery Calame and Hannah Billeter on the first team and senior right-side hitter Olivia Tarsi and senior setter Abigail Quigley on the second team.
Allen, meanwhile, landed junior outside hitter Maddie Wendland and sophomore libero Emily Canaan on the first team, and sophomore middle blocker Tori Wilson, sophomore setter Leah Reeves and junior right-side hitter Maya Joseph on the second team.
McKinney, Plano and East added two all-district selections apiece, with McKinney senior outside hitter D’Erricka Frierson, Plano sophomore libero Naylani Feliciano and East sophomore middle blocker Tayah Little earning first-team spots, and McKinney senior outside hitter Sammie Hicks, Plano sophomore outside hitter Brooke McHale and East senior hitter Ally Poholsky claiming spots on the second team.
Honorable mention nods in 9-6A went to Prosper junior libero Riley Price, Prosper sophomore setter Jazzlyn Ford, Plano junior setter Ellie Tallent, Plano senior right-side hitter Natalie Huggins, Plano sophomore defensive specialist Samantha Schilt, Boyd senior defensive specialist PJ Marano, Boyd junior setter Morgan Milstead, Boyd junior middle blocker Ella Bose, McKinney junior defensive specialist Annabel Kilroy, McKinney senior middle blocker Olivia Deegan, McKinney junior setter Jenna Ross, Allen junior outside hitter Maya Detwiler and Allen sophomore setter Emma Vu.
2019 9-6A All-District Volleyball Team
MVP: Jill Pressly (Plano West, Sr.)
Offensive Player of the Year: Iman Ndiaye (Plano West, Sr.)
Defensive Player of the Year: Darian Markham (McKinney Boyd, Sr.)
Blocker of the Year: Chloe Thomas (Allen, Jr.)
Setter of the Year: Mackenzie Jefferson (Prosper, Sr.)
Newcomer of the Year: Morgan Carter (Plano West, Jr.)
Coach of the Year: Erin Kauffman (Prosper)
Sami Jacobs (Prosper, Jr.)
Shaylee Shore (Prosper, Jr.)
Bailey Birmingham (Prosper, Jr.)
Noelle Piatas (Plano West, Sr.)
Sydney Yap (Plano West, Sr.)
Ashley Le (Plano West, Jr.)
Avery Calame (McKinney Boyd, Soph.)
Hannah Billeter (McKinney Boyd, Soph.)
Maddie Wendland (Allen, Jr.)
Emily Canaan (Allen, Soph.)
D’Erricka Frierson (McKinney, Sr.)
Naylani Feliciano (Plano Senior, Soph.)
Tayah Little (Plano East, Soph.)
Nikki Steinheiser (Prosper, Jr.)
Kendall Hewitt (Prosper, Soph.)
Taylor Youtsey (Prosper, Jr.)
Avery Lowe (Plano West, Jr.)
Lindsey Zhang (Plano West, Jr.)
Olivia Tarsi (McKinney Boyd, Sr.)
Abigail Quigley (McKinney Boyd, Sr.)
Tori Wilson (Allen, Soph.)
Leah Reeves (Allen, Soph.)
Maya Joseph (Allen, Jr.)
Sammie Hicks (McKinney, Sr.)
Brooke McHale (Plano Senior, Soph.)
Ally Poholsky (Plano East, Sr.)
Riley Price (Prosper, Jr.)
Jazzlyn Ford (Prosper, Soph.)
Ellie Tallent (Plano Senior, Jr.)
Natalie Huggins (Plano Senior, Sr.)
Samantha Schilt (Plano Senior, Soph.)
PJ Marano (McKinney Boyd, Sr.)
Morgan Milstead (McKinney Boyd, Jr.)
Ella Bose (McKinney Boyd, Jr.)
Annabel Kilroy (McKinney, Jr.)
Olivia Deegan (McKinney, Sr.)
Jenna Ross (McKinney, Jr.)
Maya Detwiler (Allen, Jr.)
Emma Vu (Allen, Soph.)