Chambers’ freshman Allen named Player of the Year, five Beulah players make 2018 All-Valley Area Volleyball Team

Published 11:39 pm Tuesday, December 18, 2018

This past fall marked a positive season for volleyball in the Greater Valley Area.

Lanett improved substantially this season, Beulah made its way to the super regionals and have a bright future with eighth-grader Amya Dunn and freshman Katie Morris returning with another year of experience, while Valley and LaFayette finished the year and remained competitive without much experience.

Chambers Academy had a breakout season in AISA play under first-year head coach Jaylan Reynolds. Both the school’s JV and varsity squads were led by freshman Bailey Allen. The JV team went on to win the state championship while the varsity team made it all the way to the state semifinal.

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On the 2018 All-Valley Volleyball Team, the Rebels of Chambers Academy bring in three players on the first team. Bailey Allen finished the year 230 kills, 41 assists, 56 aces, 67 blocks and 23 digs. Claire Allen had seven kills, 203 assists, 67 aces and seven digs. Megan Ware finished the year with a total of 36 kills, 140 assists, 33 aces, two blocks and eight digs in 2018.

No team brought in more area players than Beulah, with five Bobcats being honored in the Valley. Sydney Knight is the lone Bobcat on the first team, finishing the season with 56 aces, 24 attacks, 12 kills, 10 blocks, 34 assists and 21 digs. On the second team, Camryn Harris had 28 attacks, 24 digs and 20 kills this season. Danielle Williams had 32 aces, 29 attacks, 16 kills and 15 digs. Seniors Kensley Taylor and Jasmine Bonilla round up the bunch from Beulah. Bonilla finished her career with 23 aces, 13 attacks, 12 kills, 23 assists and 32 digs, while Taylor had 19 aces, 24 attacks, 14 kills and 15 digs.

Lanett senior RTianna O’Neal also received the first-team nod. O’Neal served as a utility player for the Panthers on the court this season, doing it all on the floor for her team. Her power and ability to anticipate on the floor kept Lanett in a lot of games this year.

LaFayette seventh-grader Toniya Collier is the youngest member of the first team. Collier led the Bulldogs on the court this season with her consistent energy.

“She is a rabbit all over the court,” LaFayette head volleyball coach Beverly Kavookjian said. “She can play up or back, and her serve is fast and furious.”

Joining Collier getting the all-area nod is sophomore Tahia Black. Black was the oldest player on LaFayette’s team this season, and is a powerful player who is a tough match for other teams to meet at the net.

Junior setter Arteria Florence is the lone representative from Valley High School this season. Florence was one of the more active players for the Rams this season. Valley’s varsity team had five seniors this year, one who played all four seasons, one who last played two years ago and three who are playing the sport for the first time. The rest of the roster was filled with juniors, many of whom also didn’t have any experience playing volleyball.