PARKERSBURG - Cabell Midland senior and Marshall University recruit Cassie Weaver has been honored as the state volleyball player of the year by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.Weaver, who finished her career with nearly 1,900 kills and more than 1,500 digs to go along with 269 blocks and 209 aces, edged out three-time Class AAA first-team all-state selection and West Virginia University signee Hannah Shreve of George Washington and Musselman sophomore Taylor Lord."I mean, I just signed with Marshall and I was already happy about that and I found out I was captain [of the all-state team] and I didn't think there would be anything else that could happen, and coach [Cynthia] Machmer texted me and I'm so honored that I got this and that it happened," Weaver expressed. "I was definitely more focused on a state championship rather than any individual titles at all."Obviously, Hannah Shreve and Taylor Lord are just amazing. I knew they would be my biggest competition this year for anything. Hannah's a really good player. This was our first year making state because Parkersburg and Spring Valley were in our region and they went every single year."Although Weaver and her teammates' dreams of a state title were dashed in the quarterfinals by the Big Reds, the future Thundering Herd player had quite the senior campaign. Aside from being a repeat member of the AAA first-team all-state unit, Weaver also was honored as the Mountain State Athletic Conference player of the year."Cassie is truly deserving of this honor," said Machmer, who watched Weaver produce 583 downed spikes, 531 digs, 101 blocks and 69 aces as a senior. "She, by far, is the best all-around player I have coached.
"She not only has power on offense, but can also cover the court on defense. Cassie is a very strong-willed player. She has the drive and desire to be the best."A four-year starter as an outside hitter at Cabell Midland, Weaver was able to hone her skills into a Division I scholarship despite standing just 5-foot-9.In less than a week, Weaver will begin practice with her 18-and-under River City Thunder volleyball teammates."I wanted to play softball in college for the longest time," said Weaver, "but I couldn't play high school softball because of travel volleyball. I couldn't play both, so I just focused on volleyball."Obviously, things turned out quite well."My coaches and all my teammates," she replied when asked about the keys to her success.That, and a lot of hard work and dedication.