Kayla Armer, Manatee
To her credit: Manatee head coach Ken Deterding said Armer has skills and that the Hurricanes put pressure on her to win matches for them this year. “She’s 6-foot tall and can move the ball around,” Detereding said. The Canes head coach said Armer’s weakness used to be taking charge and running the show, but she did it this year -- including at the Manatee County tournament, where she garnered Most Valuable Player honors.
Tori Biach, Saint Stephen’s
Position: Outside hitter
To her credit: Biach was dominant this season for the Falcons, who advanced out of the district. She earned most outstanding player honors from Saint Stephen’s 2011 Fall Sports Awards. Biach led the Falcons with 342 kills and chipped in 254 digs, third-best on the team. Her performances this season helped Saint Stephen’s earn back-to-back region berths.
Brittané Hunter, Southeast
Position: Middle/Outside hitter
To her credit: Hunter contributed 267 points this past fall between kills and aces. Area coaches took notice, especially former Southeast head coach Carmine Garofalo, now the head coach at State College of Florida. The SCF volleyball coach received a commitment from Hunter to play with the Manatees after she concluded her prep career.
Brittany Jaco, Braden River
Position: Outside hitter
To her credit: Jaco provided consistency to a youthful Braden River squad all season long. The senior played a variety of positions this season after helping lead the Pirates to back-to-back regional title matches in 2009 and 2010. This year, Jaco and the Pirates ran into perennial powerhouse Venice in the Class 7A-District 11 semifinals but Jaco capped her career with 29 digs and 24 kills against the Indians.
Annie Montgomery, Cardinal Mooney
Position: Outside/Middle Hitter
To her credit: Montgomery smashed the ball, averaging 15.5 kills a match. “She was our go-to player,” Cardinal Mooney head coach Kristen Batt said. She reached double digits in kills and blocks in three different matches. Montgomery was tabbed Miss Versatility after starting in the middle and later finding her bread-and-butter position on the outside.
Abi Van Ostenbridge, Bradenton Christian
To her credit: Van Ostenbridge compiled 309 assists and a team-leading 217 kills. But her top skill is setting. BCS head coach Greg Geraldson said she also picked up serving well and despite a torn ACL following her sophomore season, the Panthers’ setter performed consistently for the rest of a stellar career.
-- Capsules by Herald staff writer Jason Dill