2013 Herald All-Area Volleyball Team

December 24, 2013 

Nicole Grant, jr., Lakewood Ranch

Position: Middle blocker.

To her credit: Grant had 204 blocks to go with 386 kills in helping the Mustangs reach the Class 7A-Region 3 final. Grant was selected for the all-tournament team at the county championships, where the Mustangs took third, and had 33 kills during Lakewood Ranch's three Region 3 tournament matches.

Fast fact: Grant's favorite class is psychology, and she hopes to become a child therapist.

Up next: A varsity player since her freshman year, Grant will work on her beach volleyball game with local coach Joe Rohr.

Ashlyn Falahee, sr., Lakewood Ranch

Position: Outside hitter

To her credit: The fiery Falahee was a do-everything dynamo for Lakewood Ranch, totaling 472 kills, 212 digs and 71 blocks in leading the Mustangs to the Class 7A-Region 3 championship match and their third consecutive district title. Falahee came up big when it counted -- she landed on the all-tournament team during the county championships and had a team-best 15 kills in the District 10 final against Sarasota.

Fast fact: Falahee's favorite food is her mother's spaghetti, and her dream job is serving as the president of a large corporation.

Up next: Falahee will be playing club volleyball while deciding on a college.

Becca Butler, sr., Manatee

Position: Outside hitter

To her credit: The player of the year averaged four kills and three digs per set in leading the Hurricanes to the Class 8A-District 8 title and the county championship. Butler overcame a shoulder injury to total 22 kills, four aces and 17 digs against Palm Harbor University in the district final and added 17 kills and 11 digs in the county final against Braden River. Butler was voted MVP of the county tournament.

Fast fact: Butler hopes to become a pediatrician.

Up next: Butler is playing club volleyball and hoping to receive a volleyball scholarship so she can play in college.

Courtney Rapp, jr., Braden River

Position: Setter

To her credit: Rapp helped make the Pirates' offense go, dishing out 492 assists for 14-win Braden River. Rapp added 103 digs, 14 kills, 19 aces and three blocks for the Pirates, who reached the finals of the county tournament for the first time in program history.

Fast fact: Rapp's favorite food is chicken minis.

Up next: A team captain, Rapp is playing club volleyball with Coastline before returning to the Pirates.

Madison Jaco, sr., Braden River

Position: Outside hitter/middle hitter

To her credit: Pirates coach Matt McElhiney called Jaco a "legitimate game-changer", and her numbers backed it up: She piled up 276 kills, 161 digs and 39 aces en route to making the county's all-tournament team.

Fast fact: Madison's sister Brittany was a member of the 2009 Braden River team that won the program's first district title.

Up next: Jaco is a member of the Pirates basketball team and will play club volleyball with Coastline's 18 Rox team. Jaco hopes to play volleyball in college, too.

Jacqui Armer, soph., Manatee

Position: Middle blocker

To her credit: Armer averaged two kills and one block per set and helped Manatee win the Class 8A-District 8 title and Manatee County championship. Armer's play was especially key this year considering Haley Coulter, one of the Canes' top hitters, missed most of the season with an ankle injury. Armer had six blocks in the district final against Palm Harbor University to help the Hurricanes win in five sets. Jacqui's sister, Kayla, was named the Herald Player of the Year in 2012.

Fast fact: Jacqui's dream is to play professional volleyball in Europe before becoming an actuary.

Up next: Armer is keeping busy this winter: Along with playing club volleyball, she is a member of Manatee's basketball and weightlifting teams.

Honorable mention

Bayshore -- Joy Norman, jr., OH.

Bradenton Christian -- Abbie James, sr., OH; Haley Waldo, jr., S; Savannah Shontere, jr., L; Jayme Haynes, jr., OH; Alex Watson, sr., MB; Kara Saylor, eighth grade, DS.

Braden River -- Cassidy Barich, jr., OH; Siena Kelley, jr., OH; Kelsea Guest, sr., L; Emma Boughner, frosh., MH.

Cardinal Mooney -- Madison McNally, frosh., OH, MH; Maria Soscia, jr., L.

Lakewood Ranch -- Ali Milbourn, sr., S.

Manatee -- Kaitlyn Shaver, sr., S; Kelly Stewart, sr., MB; Haley Coulter, soph., OH.

Manatee Heat -- Shelby Miller, sr., MB, MH, OH; Annalee Bowers, sr., OH, MH; Courtney Krause, frosh., S; Macenzie Krause, 8th grade, S.

Out-of-Door Academy -- Cameron Graham, jr., L; Natalie Buffett, jr., OH; Lauren Maxey, sr., OH.

Palmetto -- Danielle Deterding, sr., MB, OH.

Saint Stephen's -- Bryce Liebel, jr., S; Lauren Biach, sr., MH, OH.

Southeast -- Emma Bartges, jr., OH; Lacey Sanchez, jr., S; Richamily Robles, frosh., L; Casey Harman, sr., MB.

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