2006 All-R-C Volleyball

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 22, 2006

WINDSOR – The 2006 All-Roanoke-Chowan Volleyball Team was announced here last week.

Eight players from teams in Bertie, Hertford and Northampton counties were selected to be honored as members of the third annual First Team All-Roanoke-Chowan squad.

The 2006 All-Roanoke-Chowan Player of the Year is Jo Revelle Murray of Ridgecroft School.

The senior setter was chosen as the area’s top player based on her game performance, attitude and work ethic.

“She’s an excellent setter and this year she developed to be able to back set,” Ridgecroft coach Nancy Brittenham said of Murray. “It’s not an easy position because you have to set certain people certain ways. She’s able to adjust to different player’s hitting styles.

“Jo is a team leader and she’s just easy to coach,” Brittenham added. “She is never satisfied. She’s always trying to get better. She sets the bar a little higher each time.”

The special player Murray has become wasn’t lost on the opposing coaches in the Tarheel Independent Conference.

“Jo is a very special player,” Lawrence Academy coach Dr. Ed Clouse said. “She motivates her whole team. She made everyone around her a better player.”

Clouse, who is coaching a Junior Olympic Team, said he is just glad this time Murray will be on his side of the net.

“I’m just glad I get a chance to coach her,” he said. “With only a couple of practices, I can already tell she’s a born leader.”

Murray was named the area’s Best Setter on the All-Roanoke-Chowan Teams in 2004 and 2005. She was a First Team selection both seasons.

The Best Offensive Player for 2006 is Jenna Griffin of Lawrence Academy. The senior setter was instrumental in her team capturing the Tarheel Independent Conference championship both in the regular season and the tournament.

“Jenna has been instrumental through my transition to Lawrence Academy,” Clouse said. “She helps the girls understand my coaching methods and explains what I’m trying to get across.

“She has been excellent in showing our team what it takes to win,” he added.

Griffin’s choice is her first selection to the All-Roanoke-Chowan Team, but she becomes the third consecutive Lawrence Academy Player named Best Offensive Player. Catherine Outten was named to that spot in 2004 and Jodi White last season.

“Jenna is obviously a good setter too,” Brittenham said. “She keeps her composure. She has helped hold that team together. I think she’s the nucleus of Lawrence’s success.”

The area’s Best Defensive Player is Amanda Bethel of Northampton County High School n East. Bethel was named Player of the Year after her junior season and then underwent off-season surgery on her shoulder.

“Amanda did an excellent job of coming back from surgery,” Rams’ coach David Hasty said. “She was determined. She has the heart of a lion.

“Amanda was determined to be as good as she was and she achieved that,” he added. “She was outstanding in terms of leadership. She was our heart and soul.”

Bethel was Honorable Mention in her sophomore year at East and then made the First Team last season.

The Best Setter Award for 2006 goes to Bertie High School’s Abby Parker. The senior setter paced the Lady Falcons and was a key leader for the squad in the process.

“She had a good senior season,” Bertie coach Alice Lyons-Bennett said. “To me, the setter is like the quarterback of a football team. No matter how hard the hitters can hit the ball, if the setter doesn’t set it well, it’s not going to work.

“Abby did her job very well,” she added. “She will be missed.”

The Coach of the Year is Dr. Ed Clouse of Lawrence Academy. The first-year Lady Warriors’ skipper took over a team with no returning starters and proceeded to win the Tarheel Independent Conference and reach the Elite Eight in the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association tournament.

Brittenham, who sat opposite Clouse in three matches last season, credited him with making the Warriors better.

“I think he did a great job with them,” she said. “When you consider they were expected to be good, but not as good as they were.

“He had them do some things they weren’t used to and developed their game to a higher level,” she added.

The All-Roanoke-Chowan First Team includes Murray, Griffin, Bethel, Laquetta Leary of Bertie High School, Ashley Fountain of Hertford County High School, Kate Hodges of Lawrence Academy, Lauren Lilley of Ridgecroft School and Kayla Overton of Bethel Christian Academy.

Leary helped lead Bertie to a state playoff appearance for the first time in recent seasons and was a powerful hitter for the club. She is making her debut on the All-Roanoke-Chowan Team.

Fountain was the HCHS player who was the most outstanding of the Lady Bears. Her hitting and defense helped her lead the Hertford County squad. Fountain was named Second Team All-Roanoke-Chowan as a sophomore at Ahoskie Christian School and returns to the squad during her senior season.

Kate Hodges was one of the leading hitters in the Tarheel Independent Conference. In her first year of varsity competition, her emergence as a force in the middle helped Lawrence win the league crown.

Lauren Lilley has been a mainstay on the volleyball court at Ridgecroft School. She was a setter and hitter for the Lady Rams, helping lead them to the Elite Eight.

Kayla Overton was one of the reasons Bethel Christian Academy reached the Final Four in the state and the final five in the region.

As a senior, she helped lead the squad to a solid season.

Overton returns to the All-Roanoke-Chowan Team after being named Honorable Mention as a sophomore.

In addition to those eight, another group of talented young ladies were selected to the All-Roanoke-Chowan Second Team.

Headlining that list is Parker of Bertie High School.

Joining her on the second team are Jessica Duncan of Northeast Academy, Tori Conn of Ahoskie Christian School, Kathryn Taylor of Lawrence Academy, Jalissa Parker of Northampton County High School n East, Megan Coker of Ridgecroft School, Kendall Street of Lawrence Academy and Jo Ann Rose of Northampton-East.

The final group of recognized players is the Honorable Mention team.

They consists of Debbie Stotesbury of Lawrence Academy, Keli Martin of Ridgecroft School, Amanda Hall of Ahoskie Christian School, Lindsey Bridgers of Northeast Academy, Shanelle Foster of Bertie High School, Mandy Bazemore of Bethel Christian Academy, Ashley Swain of Lawrence Academy, Brittany Howell of Bethel Christian Academy, April Piland of Ridgecroft School, Shanee Ross of Ahoskie Christian School, Jessica Price of Northampton-East and Sarah Calderado of Ahoskie Christian School.