White named district’s best

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The Galax senior and Maroon Tide coach Rose Houk topped the all-MED volleyball list.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

 Allison White has put up player of the year-type numbers her whole career. She can finally put up a player of the year-type plaque.

White was named the Mountain Empire District’s top volleyball player, voted upon by the league’s coaches and announced at the conclusion of Saturday’s district tournament.

A senior middle hitter, White headlined first team heavy with Maroon Tide players, joining teammates Harley Brewer, Bailey Shumate and Grace Wilson on the seven-person squad, along with coach of the year Rose Houk.

Grayson County’ Natasha Moore and Brandi Goad were first-team selections, as was two-time district player of the year Savanna Burton of Narrows.

Helping lead a balanced Maroon Tide (23-1) to the season and tournament titles, White has put away a team-high 230 kills in 75 games and topped the 1,000-kill mark for her career in the tournament championship match. She also leads Galax with 196 digs and is second on the team with 89 blocks. A .932 server, White has accounted for 124 serving points on the year.

Harley Brewer has put up eye-popping numbers as a defender at the net, as her 105 blocks places her fifth all-time in the VHSL record book for blocks in a season. Brewer stands third on the team with 131 kills.

A solid all-around player, Bailey Shumate is second on the team with 219 kills, 160 serving points and 180 assists. A .922 server, she leads the team with 48 aces and has also provided 142 digs.

Grace Wilson, a senior setter and one of the Tide’s better servers, rounds out the Galax contingent on the first team after accumulating 242 assists on the year. Leading the team with her .956 serving percentage, Wilson served for 154 points, including 30 aces on the year.

Houk picked up another in a long line of coach of the year awards in her 31st and final year as the Maroon Tide’s head coach.  She leads Galax into next week’s Region C Division 1 tournament on a 22-match winning streak following a 1-1 start.

First-teamers Natasha Moore and Brandi Goad led Grayson County to a remarkable turnaround from a dismal season in 2010 to a runner-up finish in the MED tournament this year.

Moore led the team offensively with 185 kills in 21 matches, adding 51 blocks, 53 digs, 17 aces and 149 serving points.

The assists piled up through the year for Goad in Grayson’s one-setter system. The senior capped district play with 553 assists to go with 183 serving points, a .973 serving percentage and 26 aces.

Second-team picks from the Twin Counties were Galax’s Carolyn Vaughan (145 points, .927 serve pct., 140 digs) and Grayson County’s Tayler Hale (.989 serve pct., 152 points, 22 aces, 131 digs and 37 kills).

Named to the honorable mention list were Taylor Bryant, Morgan Neff and Paige Hanks of Galax as well as Jaime Adams, Destiny Shupe, Mary Meier and Madison McCormick from Grayson County.



2011 all-Mountain Empire District

volleyball team


First team

Allison White (Galax), Savanna Burton (Narrows), Natasha Moore (Grayson County), Harley Brewer (Galax), Brandi Goad (Grayson County), Bailey Shumate (Galax), Grace Wilson (Galax).


Second team

Amanda Hagerman (Narrows), Andi Johnson (Narrows), Sydney Fields (Narrows), Carolyn Vaughan (Galax), Keya Dunford (Fort Chiswell), Jessie Blessing (Bland County), Tayler Hale (Grayson County), Kat Kammer (Graham).


Honorable mention

Bland County – Alison Morgan, Alyssa Harris, Holly Williams.

Fort Chiswell – Mara Jones, Raileen Sellnow, Alyssa Ludwig.

Galax – Taylor Bryant, Morgan Neff, Paige Hanks.

Graham – Whitney Browning.

Grayson County – Jaime Adams, Destiny Shupe, Mary Meier, Madison McCormick.

Narrows – Cara Ganoe, Meagan Perdue, Neileen Shoemaker.