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Wheeling Park’s Rachel Simon Earns Second Team All-State

Rachel Simon

PARKERSBURG — It has certainly been a memorable past couple of seasons for the Wheeling Park volleyball team. Winning it’s first OVAC championship in school history in 2019 and finishing runner-up this year, the Patriots seem to be a team that will be on everyone’s radar now. Rachel Simon was one reason of Park’s success. The senior middle hitter collected 307 kills, a 97 blocks, 276 digs, 357 serve receptions and 23 aces this season and was named second team all-state by the West Virginia Writers Association.

The talent level in Class AAA was anything but lacking.

Greenbrier East’s Chylyn Pate, one of six players to earn repeat first team all-state status, was honored as captain.

The senior setter had 262 aces with 86 kills, 690 assists and 226 digs while serving at 83.7% with an ace % of 49.8.

Head coach Matt Sauvage’s Spartans finished 34-4 as Pate’s 262 aces this year and 824 for her career rank second all-time nationally.

George Washington senior Camryn Hughes was the only member of the first team who made their third appearance.

Head coach Missy Smith’s outside hitter finished with 183 kills, a .293 hitting efficiency and a 39.1 kill %. Along with 43 aces, she had 133 digs and 272 serve-receptions.

GW’s Karli Edwards was one of the repeat honorees. The senior libero had just 15 errors on 359 serve-receptions and tallied 58 aces as an 85.6% server. She also had 47 assists and led the Patriots with 234 digs.

State champion Musselman had repeat selections with middle hitter Sadie Wright and outside hitter Hannah Howard. The Applemen of head coach Shawn Martz, who finished 25-1 and captured the school’s seventh crown, watched the junior Wright hit at .344 with 185 downed spikes and a 43.3 kill %. Along with 28 aces and being an 86.3% server, she had 42 total blocks and 20 digs. A 91.6% server, Howard registered 38 aces, 264 kills, hit .264 and came up with 288 digs while posting a 38% kill effort as well as a passer rating of 2.03.

Also repeating on the first unit were Hedgesville’s Skylar Yates and Spring Mills’ Leia Harper, who holds Cardinal school records of kills in a match (28) and career kills (1,067).

Harper, a 6-foot-2 outside hitter who signed with Georgia Tech, had 298 kills, hit .289 with a 43.6 kill % and also served up 32 aces (87.9%) with nine blocks.

Yates, just a junior, hit at .389 with 395 downed spikes, 27 blocks, 34 aces (89.5%) and 252 digs.

Three other seniors complete the first team — Martinsburg setter/hitter Ashleigh Wallin, Parkersburg’s Anna Umpleby and Bridgeport’s Shea Hefner, a first team Class AA honoree in 2019 who has inked with West Virginia University.

Wallin, the lone Mountain State player to earn all-region All-American honors by Under Armour, has a full ride to Robert Morris and prior to the postseason she had 41 aces, 190 assists, 106 kills with a .243 efficiency as well as 69 digs.

Like Hefner, Umpleby also led the Big Reds to the state tournament, but PHS was unable to compete. Umpleby, who will play at Alderson Broaddus, hit .249 and had 317 kills, 17 blocks, 42 aces and 177 digs.

Entering the state tournament, Hefner already was the Indians’ all-time leader in digs and downed spikes. She had 389 kills, 330 digs, 65 aces, 37 assists and five blocks.

Morgantown senior Alayna Corwin, who signed to play as a defensive specialist at Marshall University, was named captain of the second team. The Mohigan hit .259 with 253 kills, 32 aces (90.5%) and 222 digs.

Five other seniors — Greenbrier East’s Madison Boswell, Cabell Midland’s Clara Lewis, George Washington’s Nyla Birch, Hampshire’s Renee Killough and Buckhannon-Upshur’s McKenzie Reynolds — filled spots on the second unit.

Also earning nods on the second team were Woodrow Wilson junior Elysia Salon, Bridgeport 11th-grader Violet Sickles and Morgantown freshman Issy Grushecky.

2020 West Virginia All-State Volleyball

CLASS AAA, FIRST TEAM

Chylyn Pate, Greenbrier East SR (CAPTAIN)

Skylar Yates, Hedgesville JR

Shea Hefner, Bridgeport SR

Hannah Howard, Musselman SO

Karli Edwards, George Washington SR

Leia Harper, Spring Mills, SR

Camryn Hughes, George Washington SR

Anna Umpleby, Parkersburg SR

Sadie Wright, Musselman JR

Ashleigh Wallin, Martinsburg SR

SECOND TEAM

Alayna Corwin, Morgantown SR (CAPTAIN)

Madison Boswell, Greenbrier East SR

Rachel Simon, Wheeling Park SR

Elysia Salon, Woodrow Wilson JR

Clara Lewis, Cabell Midland SR

Nyla Birch, George Washington SR

Renee Killough, Hampshire SR

Violet Sickles, Bridgeport, JR

Issy Grushecky, Morgantown FR

McKenzie Reynolds, Buckhannon-Upshur SR

Special Honorable Mention

Euodia Sauvage, Greenbrier East; Kacee Fansler, Woodrow Wilson; Sierra Lanham, University; Anya Ritz, Wheeling Park; LaZharia Jackson, South Charleston; Ally Franko, Wheeling Park; Shelbi Hickman, Cabell Midland; Lainee Selan, Hampshire; Paige Richmond, Hedgesville; Kierra Anderson, Martinsburg; Madigan Faircloth, Musselman; Presley Ridgely, Brooke; Sam Ellison, Princeton; Julia Griffith, Bridgeport; Ella Vorrhees, Morgantown; Skyler Young, Hedgesville; Emma Pauley, Riverside; Kennedy Stanley, Spring Valley

Honorable Mention

Makenna Gibson, Parkersburg South; Nevaeh Wooding, Greenbrier East; Khylan Plants, Parkersburg; Jacey Lucas, Bridgeport; Maddie Fields, Ripley; Talayah Boxley, Capital; Tess Brown, Huntington; Maya Harris, George Washington; Grace Washburn, Morgantown; Alexa Martin, Bridgeport; Maddie Stull, Princeton; Kantley McKown, Hurricane; Nylah Gonzalez, Spring Mills; Emily Griffith, John Marshall; Natalie Happy, Washington; Jordan Grimes, Spring Mills; Faith Ketterman, Musselman

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