Miss Volleyball

Miss Volleyball is an award voted on by only Varsity coaches at the high school level who are MIVCA members.

This award is for performance during a HIGH SCHOOL CAREER (not club career) with an emphasis on the player’s senior year and who represents the characteristics of scholarship, sportsmanship and citizenship.

A committee works together in late August to narrow the list of all nominees down to the Top Ten. This is an arduous task that takes looking through all applications to come up with each individual ranking.

Congratulations Miss Volleyball 2017, Erin O'Leary!

The Novi High School administration wanted to give senior Erin O’Leary a moment she would never forget.

“We were trying to figure out how to pull this off without anybody knowing,” athletic director Brian Gordon said on Monday afternoon. “That’s difficult at a high school.”

Gordon and Novi principal Nicole Carter told the senior class to meet in the gym around 1:30 p.m. for a photo, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday.

With everyone in place and the bleachers full of her classmates, Carter escorted O’Leary to the gym.

“I got called to the principal’s office, and was like, ‘What’s going on? I’ve never been called to the principal’s office before,'” O’Leary said. “We chatted for awhile. I thought we lost track of time, and she said, ‘Oh, we have to get you to the class photo.'”

As O’Leary approached the gym, she could sense something was going on.

“I was like, ‘This is weird. I’m not really sure what’s going on,'” she said.

In that gym, O’Leary was was awarded the Miss Volleyball trophy. The Michigan Wolverines signee won the honor, voted on by the Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association. O’Leary had 212 points in the voting, followed by Anchor Bay’s Maria Mallon (109), Clarkston’s Abbey Malinowski (100) and O’Leary’s teammate, Abryanna Cannon (88).

“This was awesome,” said O’Leary. who cried during her acceptance speech. “I loved seeing all my friends, teammates and coaches. That made it so much more special. It was an overwhelming feeling.”

O’Leary is the MHSAA career leader in assists with 5,678, to go with 1,311 career digs, 814 kills, 317 aces and 184 blocks. She is also the first Novi player to win Miss Volleyball. The Wildcats had the runners-up the past two years with Ally Cummings (2016) and Victoria Iacobelli (2015).

“For me, the most special moment was how the senior class responded to her and how excited they were,” said Novi coach Jennifer Cottrill. “That shows the kind of person she is. She’s not just a good volleyball player.”

O’Leary’s father, Brian, is a math teacher at Novi and learned of the surprise in advance, but kept it secret from his daughter. Erin’s mother, Kolleen, also was at Monday’s announcement.

“I was emotional,” Brian O’Leary said. “It’s a reward that goes to not only her as an individual, but goes to her team, too. You can’t win individual awards without having a good team. She has great teammates and it’s a great program.”

Erin said there’s only one thing that can top winning Miss Volleyball – helping the Wildcats claim their third consecutive Class A state title. Novi faces Temperance Bedford in the state quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Ann Arbor Huron.

“I’m so excited for Tuesday’s game,” she said. “This is the most fun time of the season.”

O’Leary plans to graduate high school early and enroll at U-M in January. She committed to the Wolverines before her sophomore year at Novi and signed Nov. 8. Michigan volleyball coach Mark Rosen attended Monday’s ceremony.

“We certainly think her volleyball skills are amazing; she’s a great setter,” Rosen said. “More than anything, it was the intangibles with her. She’s a great leader, great student and great person. We’re excited to get her in our program. There’s a great freshman class coming in with her.”

(Photo: Romain Blanquart, Detroit Free Press)

2017 Miss Volleyball Candidates

To view more information, select any photo!

Abby Malinowski

Clarkston High School

Outside Hitter

Abryanna Cannon

Novi High School

Outside Hitter

Erin O’Leary

Gaby Harper

Caledonia High School

Outside Hitter

Hailey Delacher

Kiana Mayer

Lauryn Gibbs

Maria Mallon

Madison Gates

Madison Whitfield

Saline High School

Middle Hitter

Sophie Riemersma

Zeeland East High School

Outside & Middle Hitter

2017 Miss Volleyball Candidates

Abby Malinowski- Clarkston High School, Outside Hitter

Abryanna Cannon- Novi High School, Outside Hitter

Erin O’Leary- Novi High School, Setter

Gaby Harper- Caledonia High School, Outside Hitter

Hailey Delacher- Rockford High School, Setter

Kiana Mayer- Bronson High School, Setter

Lauryn Gibbs, Mount Morris, Libero

Maria Mallon- Anchor Bay High School, Outside Hitter

Madison Gates- Grand Rapids Christian, Setter

Madison Whitfield- Saline High School, Middle Hitter

Sophie Riemersma- Zeeland East High School, Outside & Middle Hitter

Michigan Top 10 Finalist

Miss Volleyball 2016

Meredith Norris says this highest honor for a Michigan prep volleyball players puts her school on the map.

By Perry A. Farrell Detroit Free Press

It was a long morning for Meredith Norris. She came arrived at Corunna High School with a puffy face after a dentist appointment.

Then she got a tweet from a friend, alerting her that she had been named Michigan’s Miss Volleyball minutes before a celebratory assembly. Grandmothers Mary Norris and Maple Smith surprised her, along with grandfather Harvey Norris and aunt Terre Smith.

“It was still really cool,” Norris said. “My face was numb until 20 minutes ago, so I’m really glad that resolved itself. That would’ve been awkward.’’

Norris won the closest Michigan Miss Volleyball vote ever, edging Novi’s Alyssa Cummings, 160-159, in voting points. Norris had 22 first-place votes Cummings had 19.

“Wow,’’ Norris said of the close vote total.

Lexi Nordmann of DeWitt was third in voting conducted by the Michigan Volleyball Coaches Association, with 127.

The 6-foot-3 senior outside hitter made up her mind at an early age that volleyball would be her ticket to a college scholarship. She is headed to Michigan State next season.

“My eighth-grade history and conditioning teacher made that phrase up for me: D-I or D-none,” Norris said. “He’s a lifelong friend and an amazing person. He’s the AD at Fowlerville right now, Brian Osborn. He made it up for me, and I stuck to it.’’

Norris became only the second player in Michigan history to record 3,000 kills in her career. She also led the team to its first regional championship and has a Tuesday date against Cadillac in Grayling for a chance to advance to the Class B state semifinal at Battle Creek.

She has 3,093 kills, 306 aces, 2,182 digs, 289 blocks and 283 assists in her career. Norris also has the top two all-time single-game kill marks (56 and 53), according to the Michigan High School Athletic Association, and four of the top 13.

Incredibly, the team lost when she set the record against Goodrich last year.

“It was the district final,’’ she said. “We had an amazing fight. We were down, 16-24, and came back and won the set, 32-30. I don’t even know how to explain it. Then we came back down, 9-14, in the fifth set and came back to within 14-13, and they scored that last final point, and it was heartbreaking. We worked so hard and we just couldn’t pull out the win. That same team went to the quarterfinals. Imagine if we would’ve gotten one more point.’’

When Norris was born in 1999, her mother, Nikki, was coaching volleyball at Corunna. As she grew up, Meredith would find herself bouncing around the gym during practices and at the end of the bench during games, soaking up what was happening on the floor.

“I remember one trip to Warren, I had both girls in the car, and she said, ‘I’m doing this to get a college scholarship,’’’ said Nikki, now the school’s athletic director. “I said, ‘Oh, that is not our intention for you. That’s not our expectation. I don’t want you to feel the pressure that you need to get a college scholarship.’

“I told her I just wanted her to do what she loved. She said, ‘Well, that’s what I’m going to do.’ … It has been a lot of fun to watch her work and understand what it takes to achieve that goal.’’

Added coach Kari Carnell: “She has worked extremely hard; she’s a definite student of the game. She picks things up quickly. She set goals for herself and she has been able to reach them by working hard and getting it and understanding it. She has traveled all over to play volleyball. She has a lot of experience. She has an awesome job of representing herself and the things she stands for.’’

Even though she stands out physically and athletically, Norris embraces her teammates.

“She’s a really good friend and super at volleyball,’’ said Skye Rivett, her best friend on the team. “She’s easy to talk to and really understanding. She’s not cocky about it. She could be, but she’s not. It kind of rubs off. Everyone wants to be that good to impress her. She makes everyone a little bit better.”

2016 Miss Volleyball voting

Meredith Norris, Corunna, 160

Alyssa Cummings, Novi, 159

Lexi Nordmann, DeWitt, 127

Ali Finch, Cadillac, 107

Charley Andrews, Harper Creek, 95

Madison Miner, North Branch, 81

Emily Martin, Northville, 70

Stefanie Jankiewicz, Farmington Hills Harrison, 37

Emmalee Flagstead, Montague, 28

2016 Miss Volleyball voting

Meredith Norris, Corunna, 160

Alyssa Cummings, Novi, 159

Lexi Nordmann, DeWitt, 127

Ali Finch, Cadillac, 107

Charley Andrews, Harper Creek, 95

Madison Miner, North Branch, 81

Emily Martin, Northville, 70

Stefanie Jankiewicz, Farmington Hills Harrison, 37

Emmalee Flagstead, Montague, 28

Miss Volleyball 2015

Summer drive nets Milana honor. Romeo standout used motivation from being cut to have standout season

By Perry A. Farrell Detroit Free Press

Gia Milana shows off her Miss Volleyball trophy at Romeo High. “I’m just really excited right now,” she said.

It already was a big day at Romeo High School. The football team, one of four left in the Division 1 playoffs, was being honored at an assembly. The girls golf team, swim and diving teams, boys and girls cross-country teams, and the volleyball team also were being honored Monday. They didn’t know that a Lady Bulldog was being recognized as the best volleyball player in Michigan.

Gia Milana, who led Romeo to the Division 1 state title a year ago, was named Miss Volleyball by the Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association. She received 299 votes to dominate the field.  Victoria Iacobelli of Novi was second with 125 votes, Dylynn Otte of Grand Rapids Christian third with 105, and Emily Tanski of Gabriel Richard fourth with 92.

“I’m just so blessed by God that I have the ability and opportunity to do this,” Milana said in front of a packed gym. “I’m just really excited right now and thankful to everyone that contributed to my success.”

Gina Milana was asked what she wanted the world to know about her daughter. She couldn’t immediately answer.  However, she did say one of the best things that happened to Gia was a disappointment she experienced over the summer.  She was one of 20 high school volleyball players picked to try out for the High Performance Youth National Team. The group trained in Colorado Springs, Colo. Twelve made the team and competed in Lima, Peru. She was one of eight cut.

“That was probably one of the best things that could’ve happened, to be honest,’’ Gina said. “I don’t think she has ever been told she wasn’t good enough in volleyball. I think it’s very easy to get by on what has always gotten you through. I think when she walked into that gym with those girls, she felt for the first time she might not had everything that it took. As much as it hurt, it drove her and focused her on what she really needed to do if she wanted to take the sport to the level that she wants to be playing it at.’’

Monday she had everything that it took. She realized she’s not the same because of what she went through over the summer.

“When you’re training with the top-20 girls in the country and they’re hitting balls at you and you can’t let the ball touch the floor, there’s a lot on you,’’ Gia said. “It’s a lot to learn. I matured a lot over the summer. Being in that atmosphere and being held accountable for every touch that I had, it all mattered. I learned a lot.’’

Teammate and friend Breanna Olley said there was an adjustment period. “We saw it; we knew she was more advanced than us,’’ Olley said. “The way she approached the game … she taught us when she knew. She brought her knowledge to the game and made us and herself better players.’’

Milana was so focused on the task at hand, playing Traverse City West at Midland High today, she didn’t know when the award was handed out.

“I knew it was going to be announced soon, but I didn’t know when,’’ she said. “I want to make the most out of what this team can do and get the farthest that we can.’’

Her mother then realized what she wanted people to know about her daughter they didn’t know. “She hates losing more than she loves winning, how’s that?’’




2003: Linsey Taatjes, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern 2004: Angie McGinnis, Fraser 2005: Stephanie Booms, Marysville 2006: Alisha Glass, Leland 2007: Lauren Jones, East Kentwood 2007: Kyndra Abron, Livonia Churchill 2008: Olivia Kohler, North Branch 2009: Alexandra Cocklin, Birmingham Marian 2010: Jordan Fish, North Branch 2011: Maddy Doyle, Farmington Hills Mercy 2012: Amanda McKinzie, Battle Creek St. Philip 2013: Carli Snyder, Macomb Dakota 2014: Katharine Carlson, Notre Dame Prep


Romeo’s Milana among Miss Volleyball Top 10

By Perry A. Farrell Detroit Free Press

State champions. Outside hitters. Star Liberos.

This year’s top-10 finalists for Michigan’s Miss Volleyball Award are all great players, although a couple of stars might have just missed the cut. The coaches who vote for the award will have to do their diligence with the likes of Gia Milana of Class A state champion Romeo, Victoria Iacobelli of Novi and Lake Orion transfer Courtney Wightman, who dominated for three years at Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes.

Here’s a quick look at the final 10:



The hard-hitting four-year starter was first-team all-state in Class C as a junior and third team as a sophomore. Led the team to the 2014 conference title as the team advanced to the regional final before losing to Schoolcraft. The 4.0 student entered the season with 1,247 kills, 1,235 assists and should surpass 1,000 digs for her career this season.



Novi entered the week as the top-ranked team in Division 1, and Iacobelli is a big reason why. The four-year starter was first-team all-state a year ago and was named Oakland County player of the year.  MaxPreps.com   named her All-America and a candidate for the national junior of the year last season. In 2014, she had a school-record 642 kills and started this season with 1,235 for her career. Her 1,320 digs are on pace to finish in the top 15 in MHSAA history.



Made first-team all-state as a junior. Led the team to the Class C state title with a 45-8-2 record. Made the state quarterfinal as a sophomore. Has a 3.61grade-point average and plans on playing volleyball and studying premed in college.



The four-year varsity performer made first-team all-state as a junior in Class B. Made second-team all-state as a sophomore and helped the team to a 62-2-1record and the state title. Had 198 aces entering the season with 330 sets played and 1,497 digs. Has a 3.85 grade-point average and will attend Western Kentucky in 2016.



Made second team all-state as a junior and was on the 2015 preseason All-America list. Led team to a 52-9 record a year ago as the team advanced to the semifinals. She had 128 aces a year ago with 491 kills, 487 digs and received the team’s best defensive player award. Committed to Hillsdale.



The four-year starter had an outstanding junior year, leading the Lady Bulldogs to the Class A state title. Made first-team all-state and was third team as a sophomore. Was selected to compete on the Girls Youth National Training team as one of 20 players across the country. Over the past two years, had 1,231kills and was spectacular in the state semifinal and final. Committed to the University of Maryland and has compiled a 3.58 grade-point average.



Made first-team all-state as a junior, helping her team to a 41-7 record. Had a 94.1% serving percentage. For her career, entered the season with 708 kills, 59 aces and 736 digs. Has a 3.7 grade-point average and committed to Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville.



The four-year starter received all-state honors as a freshman, sophomore and junior, and has made All-Catholic each year. Led the team to three district titles and won the regional championship last season. Plays travel volleyball and has a 3.90 grade-point average. Committed to the University of New Hampshire.



Last season, had 51 aces and a 94.9% serve rating. Recorded 87 assists, 695 digs and helped the team finished the year 39-8. Was all-state first team as a junior and second team as a sophomore.



Transferred from Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes. Made Class Dall-state as a junior, sophomore and freshman. Her Lakes team advanced to the semifinal a year ago. Had 444 kills a year ago, 39 blocks and 34 aces. Committed to Oakland University.


Romeo’s Gia Milana practices a serve last month. She led the Bulldogs to the Class A state title last year and made first-team all-state. Milana carries a 3.58 GPA and has committed to the University of Maryland.


Tanya Carlson was an All-State volleyball player at Pontiac Catholic in 1988 and 89.

About 18 years ago she started coaching at the school renamed Notre Dame Prep, assisting longtime coach Betty Wroubel, whom she ran into while attending a basketball game.

It was about that time she gave birth to Katherine, who literally grew up in the gym.

“Literally, since the day Katherine was born she has been in the gym,” said Tanya. “She’s a gym rat. She has always been around it. She was around when Molly Coldren was there. She was the team mascot, running around at practice, shagging balls and doing her thing.”

Basketball and soccer were always Katherine’s favorite sports.

“Quite honestly she could’ve been better in basketball,” said Tanya.


She turned out not to be bad in volleyball.

On Monday in one of the best fields ever assembled for Miss Volleyball candidates in the state of Michigan, the coaches tabbed Carlson as the 2014 winner.

Carlson, the first winner from the school, received 177 votes. Second place was Katie Placek of Traverse City West with 116, Nicole Rightnowar of Temperance Bedford with 110; Laura Willson of North Branch with 91 and Jenna Lerg of Farmington Hills Mercy with 91. The award is presented by the Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association and the Free Press.


She entered a dark gym with her mom and couldn’t nearly walk as he approached the podium.

“I had no idea what was going on,” said Carlson. “Ms. Wroubel told me I won Miss Volleyball and I couldn’t believe it.

“My mom had said she lost her wedding ring and she was cleaning out my car yesterday. She was ‘oh I think I left it in your car.’ She pulled me out of class. I had to get my keys and go look for it.’ Then she said she had something to do in the gym and she wanted me to come with her. All of a sudden it’s dark and I see these lights flashing.”

Carlson currently sits at 991 kills this season and 3,165 career for her career heading into Tuesday’s quarterfinal against Dearborn Divine Child at Clawson High School.

“I totally anticipate that she will go over the 1,000 kill mark for the second straight season on this Tuesday,” said Wroubel. “This is simply just an incredible accomplishment.

“From my vantage point I cannot think of a more deserving player than Katherine Carlson. Her skill is just one thing but her love and passion, not only for the game but her teammates sets Katherine above any athlete that I have known or coached. In addition to being a great player and teammate Katherine is also an excellent student and is involved in her community.”

Carlson had a chance to showcase her talents last year in helping the Irish capture the Class B state title.

This year she has the team on track to get to Battle Creek again after a huge regional final victory at Marysville against All-American Ali Bastianelli on her home floor by coming up with 21 kills.

The 5-foot-11 outside hitter was first team All-State as a junior and was first-team All-American by Maxpreps. She was also was named first-team All-State as a sophomore. After being recruited by Notre Dame, Duke, Western Michigan, and George Washington Carlson committed to Valparaiso.

In the classroom she has a 4.37 grade-point average.

“She makes everything look so fluid and easy,” said Wroubel.

In a field that was so impressive that two Division 1 recruits weren’t on the list, both Tanya and Wroubel believed Carlson drew the attraction of coaches because of her love of the game exhibited in her play.

“It wasn’t until freshman year that she developed that true passion for volleyball,” said Tanya. “I never pushed her because it was my favorite sport. We wanted her to be a three-sport athlete. At first she seemed to gravitate towards basketball and soccer. My husband and I were big on multi-sports, using different muscle groups, different teammates; different coaches.

“I was actually surprised when she developed this huge, huge passion for volleyball.”

Carlson said basketball was her favorite sport until high school.

“It changed because I grew a little bit and I enjoyed it more,” said Carlson. “I just enjoyed hitting the ball and getting that kill. I had a passion for the game and I think that what really drove me to where I am today.”

Ashley Knutson, one of Carlson’s best friends on the team said: “It was great to see how happy she was. She plays with a lot of heart. She plays not only for herself, but for her teammates. All of her accomplishments; she always comes back to us and tell us how great we are to help her.

“She’s always very humble about her accomplishments.”

Past Miss Volleyball winners

2003: LinseyTaatjes, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern

2004: Angie McGinnis, Fraser

2005: Stephanie Booms, Marysville

2006: Alisha Glass, Leland

2007: Lauren Jones, East Kentwood

2007: KyndraAbron, Livonia Churchill

2008: Olivia Kohler, North Branch

2009: Alexandra Cocklin, Birmingham Marian

2010: Jordan Fish, North Branch

2011: Maddy Doyle, Farmington Hills Mercy

2012: Amanda McKinzie, Battle Creek St. Philip

2013: Carli Snyder, Macomb Dakota

Contact Perry A. Farrell: 313-222-2555 or pafarrell@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @farrellperry.


Versatile scholar-athletes dominate the 2014 finalists for the Michigan Miss Volleyball award.

Most already have committed to schools ranging from Colorado to Ferris State. Many of the 10 finalists also participate in multiple sports, are members of National Honor Society and are heavily involved in community service.

Some have garnered All-American status while others have already been crowned state champions.

Here’s a look at the 10 finalists. All are seniors. To see photos of the finalists, click here: http://www.freep.com/article/20140910/HSS/309100165/Meet-Michigan-Miss-Volleyball-finalists.

Kayla Rosman

School: Morley Stanwood

Height, position: 5-feet-10, outside hitter

Accomplishments: Four-year varsity starter, was first-team All-State as a junior and second team as a sophomore. Has led team to the conference championship three years in a row and went into the season with 126 victories on the varsity. Was on the 2011 state championship team and set an MHSAA record for kills in a finals match and had a state record for blocks. Committed to Ferris State.

Katherine Carlson

School: Notre Dame Prep

Height, position: 5-11, outside hitter

Accomplishments: Helped the Irish to the Class B state title as a junior. First team All-State as a junior. Also was named first-team All-State as a sophomore. After being recruited by Notre Dame, Duke, Western Michigan, and George Washington, committed to Valparaiso. Has a 4.37 grade-point average. “She makes everything look so fluid and easy,” said coach Betty Wroubel.

Cassie Haut

School: Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central

Ht., pos.: 6-2, outside hitter

Accomplishments: Three-year varsity performer has won 139 games entering this season. Tore her ACL as a freshman while playing basketball, but returned to lead the team to the state title as a sophomore. She has committed to Eastern Michigan next season. “She is a true leader of the team while still being a very good and caring person,” said coach Diane Tuller.

Madison Jaqua

School: Portage Central High School

Ht., pos.: 5-10, setter

Accomplishments: A four-year varsity performer, Jaqua was all-Conference as a freshman and was all-tournament at Beast of the East tournament. Has been on a conference championship team all three years and has run track, high jumped, long jumped and was a member of the school’s 4×400 relay team. Committed to attend IPFW. “Madison has the ability to set a complex offense. She is very competitive and driven person,” said coach (and mom) Dawn Jaqua.

Jenna Lerg

School: Farmington Hills Mercy

Ht., pos.: 5-6, outside hitter

Accomplishments: Will be a Libero in college (Michigan). Second-team All-State as a junior and All-Catholic League in 2012 and 2013. Named All-American as a club star. USA volleyball All-American in 2013 and 2014 and has posted a 3.99 grade-point average.

Taylor Joachim

School: Stevensville Lakeshore

Ht., pos.: 6-4, setter

Accomplishments: Second-team all-state as a junior and is a four-year starter. Led team to a record of 34-11-3 mark last season; the team’s best record in eight years. She made the junior volleyball Fab 50 list, making her one of the top juniors in the country a year ago. Posted a 4.0 grade-point average and has committed to Colorado.

Nicole Rightnowar

School: Temperance Bedford

Ht., pos.: 5-11, middle hitter

Accomplishments: Led team in blocks from the first day she started playing on varsity. Helped the team to a 65-11-1 record in 2011, 65-13-3 as a sophomore and 65-10-2 last season. All-conference, All-Region and All-State last year and also starred in basketball and track, where she was All-State in the sprints and relays. Committed to IPFW.

Laura Willson

School: North Branch

Ht., pos.: 6-1, outside hitter

Accomplishments: Four-year varsity starter on a team that has produced two Miss Volleyballs in recent years. Second-team All-State as a sophomore and first-team as a junior; her varsity record is 182-32-5. She is involved in the National Honor Society, student council, 4-H club and has a 3.7 grade-point average. She plays everywhere on the court.

Katie Placek

School: Traverse City West

Ht., pos.: 5-9, outside hitter

Accomplishments: First-team All-State in 2013 and a member of the Dream Team. She started the year with 133 straight games played. Entered the season with 98 varsity victories and has committed to Ferris State. Record her 1,000th dig on Oct. 12, 2013, and 1,000th kill on Oct. 2, 2013. “Katie is an outstanding student, friend and teammate,” said coach Emily Baumann. “She is a blessing to have on the team and by far the most knowledgeable player I have seen play high school volleyball.”

Erica Treiber

School: Unionville-Sebewaing

Ht., pos.: 6-1, middle hitter/outside hitter

Accomplishments: 2012-13 state semifinalist. She has started her fourth year on the varsity and second as captain. She’s also a standout pitcher on the USA softball team and a top scholar-athlete at the school. “Erica carries herself with poise and grace while on the court and in the field,” said coach Teresa Rose. Committed to the Tennessee.

Miss Volleyball 2013

Video link – http://bcove.me/jw6zi38g

Carli Snyder named Miss Volleyball and GATORADE® MICHIGAN VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR for 2014 see that article by clicking here

Carli Snyder 2013

Minutes before a red-faced and surprised Carli Snyder walked into a roomful of her teammates at Macomb Dakota to receive the state’s Miss Volleyball award, mom Sheila Snyder wanted the world to know her daughter’s greatest attribute.


“The volleyball is great, and we’re so proud of her,” said Sheila, the tennis coach at Wayne State. “But what’s more important is Carli is a great person. She loves her teammates and she’s a humble person.

“Michigan Elite also had a great deal to do with her development as a player. They played all across the country.”

A bad left ankle, sustained when she landed awkwardly on a teammate against Lake Orion, and rival Romeo kept Snyder from winning a second straight state title this season.

But coach Tracie Ferguson thinks this award will soften the blow, a little.

The 6-foot-1 Snyder received the award in a landslide vote today from the Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association.

The Florida-bound senior (she committed to the Gators when she was 15) received 326 votes. In second place was four-year starter Sierra Hubbard-Neil of Battle Creek St. Philip, with 126. Jessie Kopmeyer of Birmingham Marian was third, with 87. Holly Toliver of Berrien Springs was fourth, with 75, and Alyssa Garvelink fifth, with 60.

“I thought I was in trouble because of my attendance,” a smiling Carli said of today’s surprise ceremony. “I’m freaking out. I’m shaking. It was tough to take a loss in the state tournament way sooner than we would’ve hoped, but it’s good that we have great support.”

A four-time player of the year in the Macomb Area Conference and the 2012 Gatorade player of the year, Snyder finished her illustrious career with school records of 2,703 kills, 1,851 digs and 491 aces. Along the way, she became a member of the USA Junior Olympic Team and was named that team’s MVP. She also was named a first-team All-America by Under Armour.

Not bad for a youngster who still plays in the backyard with sister Kelsey, brother Cale and dad Bill, a teacher at Dakota.

“She knew the caliber of girls that were up for the award, and I think she would’ve been happy if anyone of those young ladies had won it,” Bill Snyder said. “I think she feels really honored to be in that group.”

Ferguson found out about the award Saturday and only informed Sheila Snyder on Sunday.

“She worked for everything she has gotten,” Ferguson said. “She helped lead us to our first state championship. She has done more than enough and is more than deserving.”

Sheila Snyder said her daughter still isn’t 100% recovered from her injury, which cost a couple of inches on her vertical jump when she did return.

“It has been tough; it has been a tough recovery back,” Carli said. “I just wanted to be with my team during it, and they were very supportive. It was a quicker recovery than I could have hoped. I was pleased with how quickly everything came along. It’s still stiff in the morning and it’s still stiff when I play, but it’s getting there and it’s loosening up.”

Good friend and libero Natalie Janes said: “I think it was really hard on her because she couldn’t be there to play with us, especially with it being her senior year. We all know how badly she wanted to be on the court. Plus, Carli’s such a competitive person that not being able to be out there really crushed her. I think she really handed it well and she came back just as good as she was.”

Contact Perry A. Farrell: 313-222-2555 or  pafarrell@freepress.com


Nominee School Points
Carli Snyder Macomb Dakota 326
Sierra Hubbard-Neil Battle Creek St. Philip 126
Jessie Kopmeyer Marian 87
Holly Toliver Berrien Springs 75
Alyssa Garvelink Holland Christian 60
Christina Porada Divine Child 45
Maeve McDonald East Grand Rapids 41
Paige O’Connor Forest Hills Northern 39
Krysteena Davis Grand Haven 26
Jami Hogeboom Grand Haven 22

Former "Miss Volleyball" Recipients

Meredith Norris

Corunna High School

Miss Volleyball 2016

Gia Milana

Romeo High School

Miss Volleyball 2015

Katherine Carlson

Notre Dame Prep

Miss Volleyball 2014

Carly Snyder

Macomb Dakota High School

Miss Volleyball 2013

Amanda McKinzie

Battle Creek St. Phillip High School

Miss Volleyball 2012

Maddy Doyle

Farmington Hills Mercy High School

Miss Volleyball 2011

Jordan Fish

North Branch High School

Miss Volleyball 2010

Alexandra Cocklin

Birmingham Marian High School

Miss Volleyball 2009

Olivia Kohler

North Branch High School

Miss Volleyball 2008

Kyndra Abron

Livonia Churchill

Miss Volleyball 2007 (Fall)

Lauren Jones

East Kentwood High School

Miss Volleyball 2007 (Winter)

Alisha Glass

Leland High School

Miss Volleyball 2006

Stephanie Booms

Marysville High School

Miss Volleyball 2005

Angie McGinnis

Fraser High School

Miss Volleyball 2004

Linsey Taatjes

Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern High School

Miss Volleyball 2003

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