Galax sweeps volleyball honors

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By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

There can be little argument about Jamie Cockerham being one of the Mountain Empire District’s top offensive threats. Any defender on the other end of one of Cockerham’s 318 kills can attest to that.

Cockerham, a senior outside hitter, was named the MED’s player of the year in balloting by the league’s coaches, and the Maroon Tide’s Rose Houk was named the district’s coach of the year, leading a list that includes 11 Twin County players on either the first team, second team or honorable mention squad.

Cockerham’s kill total was second overall in the Twin Counties, coming at an average of 3.9 kills per game as the Maroon Tide earned a spot in the Region C tournament, opening play tonight (Wednesday) at George Wythe.

Cockerham led the area with 58 aces on the year and was among the Twin County leaders in several other categories, including kills, serving percentage (.890), serving points (207), digs (136) and blocks (48).

Galax’s long-time head coach, Houk led the Tide to a tie for first place in the Mountain Empire District regular season standings. The Maroon Tide dropped a five-game decision to Fort Chiswell in a playoff for the regular season championship, and the Tide finished as the runner-up in the MED tournament, also with a five-game loss to the Pioneers.

Houk enters Region C tournament action with 299 career wins.

Joining Cockerham on the first team are Galax’s Jenna White, Grayson County’s Catherine Vaughan, Fort Chiswell’s Kayla Gravley and Amy Porter along with Bland County’s Sara Looney.

White, a junior setter, led the Twin Counties with her 4.6 assists per game average, entering the regionals with 370 assists. White also maintained a .921 serving percentage.

Vaughan, a sophomore outside hitter, is one of the main building blocks in the reconstruction of Grayson County, which graduated its entire roster from a year ago.

Earning second-team recognition were Galax’s Arianna Sexton, Grayson County’s Brandi Goad, Savanna Burton of Narrows, Nancy Thacker of Fort Chiswell as well as Bland County’s Danielle Jennings and Grave Sarver.

Sexton, a senior middle hitter, was the Maroon Tide’s top blocker with 71 on the year. She also averaged 2.0 serving points per game, fired 48 and came up with 127 digs.

Earning honorable mention status from the Twin Counties were Rebecca Johnson and Tayler Hale of Grayson County and Allison White, Drew Cardwell and Allena King from Galax.

White, a freshman, was second on the Maroon Tide with 130 kills entering the regional tournament, and Cardwell was one of the area’s top servers with a .961 average, 206 points and 18 aces, while King, a freshman libero, had 81 digs.

All-Mountain Empire District

volleyball team

First team

Jamie Cockerham (Galax), Kayla Gravley (Fort Chiswell), Jenna White (Galax), Amy Porter (Fort Chiswell), Katherine Vaughan (Grayson County), Sara Looney (Bland County).

Player of the year

Jamie Cockerham, Galax

Coach of the year

Rose Houk, Galax

Second team

Savanna Burton (Narrows), Nancy Thacker (Fort Chiswell), Arianna Sexton (Galax), Brandi Goad (Grayson County), Grace Sarver (Bland County), Danielle Jennings (Bland County).

Honorable mention

Allison White (Galax), Drew Cardwell (Galax), Allena King (Galax), Rebecca Johnson (Grayson County), Tayler Hale (Grayson County), Jennifer Webb (Narrows), Ellen Cox (Fort Chiswell), Abby Davis (Narrows), Kristine Morgan (Bland County), Bethany Gregory (Bland County), Nikki Partin (Fort Chiswell).