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Caudill named region's best

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By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

HILLSVILLE –– In voting for the Region IV player of the year award, one of the coaches from the ultra-powerful River Ridge District said she would take Kim Caudill in a heartbeat.

No further endorsement necessary.

Caudill, who helped lead Carroll County to one of its most successful seasons ever, was named the top player in both the Southwest District and in Region IV, capping a career that made her the top offensive threat in CCHS history.

“Kim is probably the best player to ever come through here, her and Erin [Gibson],” said Carroll County coach Cindy Edwards, who credited Caudill's success to her desire and work ethic. “I can picture her as an eighth-grader who had hardly ever played before, and she came back in the spring and just had this great blocking ability, which is why I kept her on varsity as a ninth-grader. She just put in a tremendous amount of hard work in camps and club ball.”

Caudill, who has drawn interest from King College, Lees-McRae and Emory & Henry, finished her senior season with 406 kills and 150 blocks, both of which are school records, and came up just 27 kills shy of 1,000 for her career, also a school record.

“[The award] is huge, with the River Ridge in there,” said Edwards. “They're always so strong. One of their coaches said Kim could play with any of them. They talked about her leadership and her demeanor. She and Leanna [Rippey] did a great job as far as their leadership. This was the closest-knit team I've ever had.”

Caudill also led the Twin Counties in serving points (336) and digs (191).

Caudill was joined on the first team by Rachel Turk of Salem, Mallory Stewart of Bassett, Lauren Bosche of Cave Spring and Hidden Valley’s Eva Delaney and Jessica Church.

Hidden Valley’s Carla Poff was the region’s coach of the year.

Caudill and Edwards were the top honorees in all-SWD balloting, joined on the first team by Maleah Neely. Edwards was named the district’s coach of the year for at least the eighth time, capping a tremendous year for the Carroll County coach. Edwards guided her team to the first undefeated regular season in school history, surpassing the 200-win mark along the way.

Neely was the lone sophomore on the first team after doing a little bit of everything for the Cavaliers. Neely led the team in assists (315) and serving percentage (.964) and was second in serving points (316) and digs (188). She also put away 105 kills on the year and was an honorable mention all-Region IV pick.

Rounding out the first team were Marion’s Tabby Minton and Candice Moore, Abingdon’s Sami Mitchell and Tazewell’s Natalie Parsons.

Rippey was a second-team all-district selection, finishing the year with 167 kills, a .912 serving percentage, 257 points, 33 aces, 134 digs and 23 blocks.

Sophomores Honesty Rogers and Sarah Singleton were honorable mention picks. Rogers had 234 serving points, 38 aces and 114 digs. Singleton contributed 300 serving points, 45 aces and 152 digs.

All-Southwest District

volleyball team

First team

Kim Caudill (sr., Carroll County), Tabby Minton (sr., Marion), Sami Mitchell (sr., Abingdon), Maleah Neely (soph., Carroll County), Natalie Parsons (jr., Tazewell), Candice Moore ( jr., Marion).

Player of the year

Kim Caudill, Carroll County

Coach of the year

Cindy Edwards, Carroll County

Second team

Emily Lockhart (jr., Marion), Taylor Leland (soph., Abingdon), Leanna Rippey (sr., Carroll County), Cara Cecil (jr., Tazewell), Misty Charles (jr., Grundy), Nicole Branch (sr., Graham), Cassie Ringstaff (jr., Richlands), Sydnei Lester (jr., Tazewell).

Honorable mention

Abingdon – Sabrina Viers, Julie Stepp, Katie McKinny.

Carroll County – Honesty Rogers, Sarah Singleton.

Graham –Kayla Muncy, Jessi Davis, Kelli Landreth, Molly Dove, Chelsea Gallinger, Bethany Spracher, Crystal Dickens.

Grundy –Kaitlin Hess, Carlie Bishop, Danielle Stacey, Keely Lowe.

Marion –Jessi Shuler, Kelsey Hart, Miranda Hayden.

Richlands – Audra Morrow, Natalie Weaver, Ashley Morgan, Morgan Hill, Samantha Martin.

Tazewell – Brittney Muncy, Bekka Pike, Lindsey Scribner, Bethany Shupe, Olina Hart, Krystal Bralley.

All-Region IV

volleyball team

First team

Kim Caudill (sr., Carroll County), Rachel Turk (sr., Salem), Mallory Stewart (sr., Bassett), Eva Delaney (sr., Hidden Valley), Lauren Bosche (sr., Cave Spring), Jessica Church (sr., Hidden Valley).

Player of the year

Kim Caudill, Carroll County

Coach of the year

Carla Poff, Hidden Valley

Second team

Kelsey Bradshaw (sr., Salem), Tabby Minton (sr., Abingdon), Sami Mitchell (sr., Abingdon), Lizzy Leeper (sr., Patrick County), Catelyn Stephens (sr., Tunstall), Jennifer Blankenship (sr., Bassett).

Honorable mention

Maleah Neely (soph., Carroll County), Jenna Rudder (sr., Tunstall), Natalie Parsons (jr., Tazewell), Candice Moore (jr., Marion), Lauren Causimona (sr., Blacksburg), Allie Wiekline (sr., Martinsville).