Philip Barbour's Shriver captains AA all-state volleyball team
CLARKSBURG - Long, lanky and powerful, Philip Barbour's Nikki Shriver captains the Class AA all-state volleyball first team, announced by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
The senior accumulated 512 kills, 238 blocks, 37 aces, 21 assists and more than 400 digs this season as she led the Colts to a 50-7-3 record and the semifinals of the state tournament.
Shriver, though, has meant much more than statistics to the Colts.
"Players like Nikki don't come around too often," said Philip Barbour coach Heather Halfin. "She just had straight-out raw talent as a freshman and just kept getting better as the years went on. Maybe I'm saying this because I've known her since she was a wee, wee little kid, and I've watched her grow up, but it just amazes me what she was able to accomplish throughout the year. I'm very proud of all that she has done.
"She's just very quiet in what she does, and she just lets her play speak for itself. You never really saw her get real fired up about a kill or a really good dig or anything like that. She just went on about her business. She's a very humble player."
Early in the season, Shriver eclipsed 1,000 kills for her career - the first player in Philip Barbour history to accomplish that feat.
Shriver is joined on the first team by eight seniors and one junior.
Three-time defending Class AA state champion Oak Glen heads that group with three members - seniors Morgan Poling and Vanessa Hissam and junior Jessica Stivason.
Replacing four graduating seniors each of the past two seasons was no problem at all for the Golden Bears.
"We just work really, really hard," said Oak Glen coach Ethel Riser. "Our JV team works with the varsity every day, so they're getting the same skills and teaching that the varsity team is getting. They just come right along and move up into the slots that are being vacated."
Poling, a four-year starter and Fairmont State signee, spiked for 364 kills and had more than 344 combined blocks this season. She also served at a 98-percent accuracy average. Hissam, a three-year letterman, finished with 358 kills and her serving accuracy for the season was 92 percent. Stivason, another three-year letterman, finished with 242 kills and 275 blocks for the Golden Bears.
"They all work hard," Riser said. "If they didn't, they wouldn't be where they're at today because you can't just come to practice and play and have a good ol' time. It's there to work. The fun comes after you win a game. Then, you can celebrate."
Mariah Davis joins Shriver in representing Philip Barbour on the first team.
Davis accumulated 353 kills, 100 blocks, 13 assists and more than 110 digs this season. Hannah King represents runner-up Herbert Hoover. King finished with 472 kills, 115 blocks and 187 digs. Denise Adkins represents state tournament semifinalist Robert C. Byrd on the squad. The Alderson-Broaddus signee led the Flying Eagles, finishing the season with 485 kills, 47 blocks, 47 aces, 27 assists and 168 digs. Brooke Foley averaged 7.4 assists per game for Independence, which advanced to the state tournament this season. In addition, Foley served up 94 aces to go along with 97 kills and 265 digs. Katie Buckbee of Ravenswood totaled 394 kills, 41 blocks and 57 aces to earn a spot on the first team. Frankfort's Autumn Dishman rounds out the first team. The Falcons' libero was one of the top defensive players in Class AA.
The second team is captained by PikeView junior Haleigh Compton and consists of - seniors, Independence's Anne Bass, Robert C. Byrd's Quinn Saunders, Bridgeport's Kyley Pierce, Westside's Mikayla Abbott and Philip Barbour's Hannah Stewart; juniors, Gracen Samples of Clay County and James Monroe's Kayla Via; and sophomores, Kenna DeLancey of Ritchie County and Herbert Hoover's Ashton King.