Area players earn all-state tourney honors
Published on -10/30/2012, 10:03 AM
By CONOR NICHOLL
Wheatland-Grinnell High School senior setter Brooke Ostmeyer is one of the most decorated players in western Kansas. Her teammate, junior Paige Ramey, is known for her enthusiasm and all-around play.
For Weskan, 6-foot-1 junior Kelsey Hale is arguably the Coyotes' top offensive player. However, she had to overcome an ankle injury early in pool play Friday at the Class 1A, Division II state tournament at Gross Memorial Coliseum. Hale eventually returned and had a solid weekend.
Sophomore Robyn See delivered a huge match against LeRoy-Southern Coffey County when Hale went down.
For Hoxie, junior Kristina Farber also had an ankle injury in pool play and missed part of the match against Centralia. She returned, but the Indians were never the same. Sophomore Carly Heim is known for her all-around play.
The divergent storylines led to the same result for the quintet. They all earned honors on the Kansas Volleyball Association state tournament team. Wheatland-Grinnell finished third in Division II, while Weskan took fourth. Hoxie collected a fourth-place showing in Division I.
Ostmeyer, a four-year starter and two-time all-state setter, holds the school record for career assists and was the foundation for another strong season for the Thunderhawks.
"I love it," Ostmeyer said. "My mom was a really good setter, so I think I got it from her."
Ramey was strong throughout the tournament.
"She kind of picks the whole team up when they are down by playing the way she does," coach Allison Polifka said.
For Weskan, See had a solid state tournament, but was well-known for her play in the pool matches. The 5-foot-4 See continually collected kills against Southern Coffey County's 6-foot middle blocker as Weskan overcome its fifth injury to a starter this fall.
"She stepped up and it's crazy to think they are sophomores, but like I have been telling them, a lot of these girls want to play college volleyball," Welsh said. "This is a time here where a lot of recruits are here, a lot of people are watching, and this is when you can show that off. They just stepped up. Both of my sophomores did -- Robyn See and Shaelynn Compton."
Hale bounced back from the injury and returned to the floor. She wasn't 100 percent versus SCC, but still attacked and delivered several kills.
"She came back in and she was strong for all of us," See said. "She did a really good job. I am proud of all of them."
For Hoxie, the weekend marked a return to state under coach Shelly Hoyt, the longtime successful basketball coach who returned to volleyball after a hiatus this fall. Hoxie collected its fourth fourth-place finish since 2001. The Indians also took fourth in 2003, 2007 and 2010.
"It's pretty awesome," Farber said of Hoyt coming back. "She knows how to win, and she knows we know how to win, so we work really well together."
Heim was one of the team's top setters, attackers and serving throughout the season and tournament.
"At any point, anyone of them can get on a roll," Hoyt said. "It has a lot to do with how the other ones are going to help them keep the serve. At any given point, we have some pretty good servers that can get on a roll. Carly has probably been our most consistent."
Collins, Stewart earn honor for Hill City
After the best finish in 10 years under coach Alan Stein, the Hill City Ringnecks had two earn all-state tournament honors in Class 2A. The Ringnecks, who took third with a win against Jefferson County North in Emporia, were represtented by 5-foot-10 senior Darrien Collins and 5-1 senior libero Shelby Stewart.
Hill City finished its season with five losses after falling to eventual state champion Washington County in the semifinals.