by JASON GORDON
After an exciting season that came to an end in the area round against eventual state qualifier Cedar Park, the Lady Rebel volleyball team was rewarded with many postseason honors.
Five Hays High players were named All-District, and powerful junior outside hitter Sydney Paradeaux was named to the Texas Girls Coaches Association All-State team.
The Lady Rebels also had three players named honorable mention, and Lehman’s Ofelia Negrete was the lone Lady Lobo named honorable mention.
Paradeaux averaged 5.3 kills per game and 379 total digs to lead the Lady Rebs, who finished 30-16 on the season.
“Being named All-State was a very big honor,” Paradeaux said. “I was very surprised when I heard the news.”
Hays High head coach Erica Walther said Paradeaux was certainly a dominant player for the Lady Rebels this season and with the loss of six graduating seniors this year she has a chance to play an even bigger role next year.
“Sydney is one of those players who can carry you through a match when she’s on. She has that kind of talent,” Walther said. “She certainly deserves being named to the All-State team. Next year as a senior she will also be looked upon as a veteran leader and we expect her to fill that role as we try to build on this season’s success.”
Three Hays players, outside hitter Natalie Valdez, middle blocker Hannah Ramsey and Paradeaux were named first-team All-District.
Ramsey led Hays with 93 blocks and added 327 digs. Valdez had 293 kills this season and 42 aces.
“Natalie and Hannah are both seniors and both will be greatly missed,” Walther said. “They were a big part of what we accomplished. Natalie was one of our most improved players this year and Hannah is one of the fiercest competitors I’ve ever coached.”
Lady Rebel senior libero Courtney Willcox and sophomore setter Kathryn Wristen were named second-team All-District.
Willcox had 204 digs this season while Wristen led the Lady Rebs with 917 digs.
“Courtney is another one of our players who improved tremendously during her time on varsity and was a big part of what we accomplished late in the year,” Walther said. “The sky is the limit for Wristen. She’s going to continue to get better and better.”
Hays players named honorable mention were sophomore outside hitter Kara Conn, senior outside hitter Dezaray Garner and junior middle blocker Melanie Harrington.
Lehman High head coach Megan Cooper said Negrete, who was a sophomore libero last season, will help the Lady Lobos well into the future as the team builds from a young base of players.
“Ofelia is a vocal leader on our team as well as one who leads by example,” Cooper said. “She may be young but she knows how to encourage her teammates to become better players. Ofelia has been and will continue to be a great help to building the Lehman volleyball program.”