Neely named best in Southwest

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The do-it-all district player of the year is joined on the first team by Roper, Rogers.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

 HILLSVILLE –– If Maleah Neely couldn’t do it, it probably didn’t need doing.

A Jill-of-all-trades for the Carroll County volleyball team, Neely was an easy choice for the Southwest District’s player of the year award, handed down following the conclusion of the 2010 season recently.

She headlines a first team that includes three Cavaliers among the top six players in the league.

Neely was a proficient point-winner, as her listed position of outside hitter would imply, but she was also one of the most well-rounded players the Cavalier program has seen in many a year. Neely led the team or was tied for the lead in serving points, kills, assists, aces and digs and was third on the team in blocks.

Neely and fellow first-teamers Lauren Roper and Honesty Rogers, along with two Cavs on the second team and four more on the honorable mention list, helped the Cavaliers achieve their second undefeated regular season in three years. Carroll County would win 22 straight matches before falling to Blacksburg in the Region IV tournament.

Neely finished her senior season with 295 serving points, 231 kills, 359 assists, 42 aces and 226 digs, all team highs, and was third on the team with her 34 blocks.

Roper was far and away the top blocker in the Southwest District, finishing the year with 78, and was second on the team with 168 kills. The senior also totaled 213 serving points.

A senior libero, Rogers finished the season tied with Neely atop the digs list with 226. She served for 199 points, including 26 aces.

Rounding out the first team were Crystal Blankenship of Richlands and Abingdon’s Taylor Leland and Logan Viers.

Ronnie Sparks of Richlands was voted the district’s coach of the year.

Second-team picks for the Cavaliers were Dionna Reece and Sarah Singleton. Reece missed out on 20 of Carroll County’s 75 games due to an injury but still finished fourth on the team with 128 kills. She was a .942 server with 28 aces and came up with 87 digs on the year.

Singleton was the Cavaliers’ No. 3 hitter with 147 kills and was third on the team with 258 serving points, which included 28 aces. She was also proficient defensively, with 149 digs on the year.

Honorable mention choices for the Cavaliers were Lindsey Davidson, Morgan Dickens, Autumn Fink and Lexi Hodge.


2010 all-Southwest District volleyball team


First team

Taylor Leland (sr., Abingdon), Logan Viers (soph., Abingdon), Maleah Neely (sr., Carroll County), Honesty Rogers (sr., Carroll County), Lauren Roper (sr., Carroll County), Crystal Blankenship (jr., Richlands).


Player of the year

Maleah Neely, Carroll County

Coach of the year

Ronnie Sparks, Richlands

Second team

Taylor Stewart (soph., Abingdon), Dionna Reece (sr., Carroll County), Sarah Singleton (sr., Carroll County), Maegan Henry (sr., Graham), Morgan Reynolds (sr., Grundy), Hannah Sturgill (sr., Marion), Rachel Alley (soph., Richlands), Emily Whitted (jr., Tazewell).


Honorable mention

Abingdon– Haven Leland, Lynsi Viers.

Carroll County– Lindsey Davidson, Morgan Dickens, Autumn Fink, Lexi Hodge.

Graham– Kat Kramer.

Grundy– Katelyn Cantrell, Jasemine Hagy, Kaitlin Hess, Emily Rife.

Marion– Alex Barr, Savannah O’Keefe, Rachel Martin.

Richlands– Chelsea Asbury, Jordyn Cole, Nicole Davis, Rachel Neely, Junetta Nuckolls, Catherine Smith.

Tazewell– Molly Altizer, Natasha Blankenship, Haley Bradshaw, Taylor Dingus, Olivia Hart, Kaley Holloway, Kayla McCroskey, Rebecca Rife, Sarah Waddle