Some of the best volleyball players in the state reside in the Dallas area.
That includes a score of local stars who last week earned all-state honors by the Texas Girls Coaches Association.
Headlining the list is Lovejoy senior outside hitter Cecily Bramschreiber, who was named the MVP of the Class 5A state tournament after leading the Lady Leopards to their eighth state championship in program history on Dec. 12 in Garland. Bramschreiber, a TCU pledge who finished the season with 243 kills, 211 digs and 30 aces, was also named the Class 6A/5A athlete of the year for volleyball.
Lovejoy, which finished the season with a perfect 26-0 record and ranked No. 2 in the nation by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, had two other players earn their way onto the all-state list for Class 5A – junior setter Averi Carlson and senior libero Callie Kemohah.
Carlson, a Baylor commit, dished out a whopping 649 assists, to go along with 148 digs, 47 kills and 36 aces. Kemohah, an Oklahoma signee, anchored a strong defensive unit for the Lady Leopards, finishing the season with 316 digs and 31 aces.
McKinney North, which served as Lovejoy’s top adversary in District 10-5A and also advanced to the regional finals for the first time in program history this season, was rewarded with two selections on the all-state team – senior middle blocker Nylah Encalade and sophomore setter Lily Nicholson.
Encalade, who missed the final two matches of the Lady Bulldogs’ historic playoff run due to injury, finished the season with 251 kills, 23 aces, 76 blocks and 84 digs. Nicholson dished out 939 assists, in addition to 232 digs and 63 kills.
Lebanon Trail senior middle blocker Tyrah Ariail was the lone representative from Frisco ISD on the all-state team. The USC signee led the Trail Blazers to a share of the 9-5A championship as one of the most well-rounded players in the district, with 437 kills and 324 digs, to go along with 19 aces and 85 blocks.
Districts 5-6A and 6-6A each had a total of three selections on the 6A all-state team.
Allen junior libero Emily Canaan dug out 332 aces and 19 aces, helping the Lady Eagles to advance the playoffs after posting a 3-0 sweep of McKinney in a win-or-go-home match for the final playoff spot out of 5-6A.
Coppell senior middle blocker Madison Gilliland served as the on-court leader for a Cowgirl squad that advanced to the playoffs and took nationally ranked Prosper to five sets in the bi-district round. Gilliland, a Texas Tech signee who was named the 6-6A blocker of the year, recorded 314 kills (3.6 kills per set), 33 aces, 165 digs and 82 blocks.
Flower Mound senior outside hitters Kaylee Cox and Angelique Cyr garnered all-state honors after leading the Lady Jaguars to the state semifinals. Cox, a Missouri pledge who was named the MVP of 6-6A, fired home a whopping 362 kills, to accompany 40 aces, 36 blocks and 331 digs. Cyr, an Arizona State signee was one of the best two-way players in the area, finishing the season with 225 kills, 20 aces, 328 digs and 19 blocks.
Prosper senior outside hitters Bailey Birmingham and Sami Jacobs garnered nods on the all-state team after leading the Lady Eagles to the 5-6A title. Birmingham, a Tulsa signee who was named district MVP, tallied 202 kills – hit at a 50% clip – to go along with 30 blocks and 55 digs. Jacobs, an Alabama pledge, contributed in all facets for Prosper, going for 24 aces, 206 kills, .247, 24 blocks, 208 digs her senior season.
Celina junior setter Megan Hodges earned a spot on the 4A all-state team after she helped lead the Lady Bobcats to the 9-4A title and go three rounds deep in the playoffs. She finished the season with 258 kills, 442 assists, 314 digs, 65 aces and 21 blocks.