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Volleyball teams honored

Awards distributed

   Madras High School capped its volleyball season with an awards event last week to recognize members of the freshman, junior varsity and varsity teams.
   First-year varsity coach Patti Wright recognized each member of that squad after freshman and JV coaches Kory Langley and Misty Schiewe had honored their players.
   While a few freshman and junior varsity individual awards were presented, Wright said she decided not to have Most Valuable or Inspirational or Coaches' Award designations at the varsity level. There were too many deserving girls on the team she said. Since she felt all of team members deserved some recognition, Wright came up with a series of unconventional awards she passed out to the six seniors and assorted underclass girls earning varsity letters.
   The exact titles she used were different, but the scope of the awards Wright passed out included such a wide variety that they ranged from titles like "most dedicated to the team" to more light-hearted categories such "bounciest pony tail and personality" (awarded to Natalie Mitchell) and "most often caught talking over the coach during practice."
   Wright said she appreciated the mixture of staunch play and fun that prevailed on the team. It finished first in one of its early tournaments and was actually ranked as high as eighth in polling at one point. Had Madras scored four points at the proper moment, in a group of three games, it could have won two more matches and finished fifth in the league instead of sixth. It's 2-10 match record left Madras one spot away from the fifth-place at fourth-place Tri-Valley League playoffs match. The winner of the fifth-at-fourth match got to visit the third-place team for a battle to advance to the state sub-tournament round.
   Despite not making it to those playoffs, the White Buffalos earned some all-league recognition.
   Senior Tarah Sweeney was a second-team selection, while junior Lindsay Carroll earned honorable mention designation, along with senior Tara Barnes.
   Each of the six seniors on the team, which included Jamie Jaca, Michelle Manion, Nikki Daniels and Natalie Mitchell in addition to Sweeney and Barnes, were specially recognized by Wright for -- among other things -- showing an ability to blend their different character traits into a team which gave itself chances to make the playoffs.
   A promising future was painted by the younger teams' coaches.
   Nataha Edwards was recognized as a coach's award winner from the junior varsity by Schiewe, who noted that the group was 6-6 in its league matches.
   Meaghan O'Meara and Kacie Davis shared outstanding player designation among a group which recognized Monica Nagell as its Most Inspirational player.
   Langley had a strong set of statistics that helped her present awards so she recognized manager Molly Morris along with the players.
   Jaylyn Suppah wound up leading the freshman team in both serving and aces, on her way to a "most outstanding" certificate. The team leader in digs proved Nicole Lucero while the setting was split rather equally among Leeann Wolfe, Erika Rosenfeld, Jennifer Clements and Ronda Reynolds at different times during the season.
   Having the girls learn enough skills so that they could move along to help the junior varsity or varsity in a number of positions was the main aim of her coaching, Langley noted.