SANDPOINT — Junior setter/hitter hybrid Grace Hicks was named Most Valuable Player, while senior libero Kaitlan Ward earned Defensive Player of the Year honors, joining junior outside hitters Jazmin Stockton and Shelby Kluver to give Sandpoint four players on the 4A All-Inland Empire League Volleyball team, as voted on recently by the league’s coaches.
Bulldog head coach Erin Roos was happy to have four players honored, three of whom will return next season.
Roos on what each player did to earn a spot on the all-league team:
Grace Hicks: “This MVP honor is well deserved. Grace not only plays multiple positions well, but exhibits fantastic leadership and a great attitude. Grace was the main focus on our opponents’ scouting reports. She finished the season with 36 aces, and contributed 192 digs. Her height and athleticism helped her lead the team with the most blocks (54), most kills (223) and the highest hitting percentage (24.2). In addition to executing the offense as an attacker, Grace also ran the offense as one of our setters and tallied 302 assists.”
Jazmin Stockton: “She really improved this season, everything technically started to click for her, and she became an offensive threat to our opponents. Jaz jumps out of the gym and has a really quick arm swing. Her serve also scored us many points towards the end of the season, and she took on more passing responsibilities. Jaz finished with 99 kills, and the second highest hitting percentage on the team with 23.4. She was third in blocks with 28.”
Shelby Kluver: “Shelby has a really strong and challenging serve, and she led the team with 40 aces. Shelby received a large portion of the sets and was one of our go-to hitters. She finished the season with 154 kills and a hitting percentage of 11.8. She was one of our most consistent passers and finished the season with 222 digs.”
Kaitlan Ward: “Kaitlan made major positive contributions as our libero this year. She showed great leadership and desire in her final season for SHS, and frustrated multiple attackers with her diving saves. Kaitlan was our most consistent passer all year, led the team with 282 digs, threw in 20 aces and 10 assists. We will miss her fire and drive to get better everyday.”
4A All-Inland Empire League Volleyball Team
MVP — Grace Hicks, Jr., Sandpoint.
Defensive Player of the Year — Kaitlan Ward, Sr., Sandpoint.
Coach of the Year — Toni Claus, Moscow.
All-league: Mattisyn Cope, Sr. Lakeland; Gracey Meyer, Sr., Moscow; Sidyney Carscallen, Sr. Moscow; Jazmin Stockton, Jr., Sandpoint; Shelby Kluver, Jr., Sandpoint; Jailyn Knott, Jr., Moscow.