McKnelly, York, Haslag earn all-state laurels; others nab regional, district awards

Coaches select players for volleyball honors

Jefferson City’s Abbi McKnelly, shown tipping a ball against Hickman during a match this season, has earned all-state honors for the second straight season.

Jefferson City’s Abbi McKnelly, shown tipping a ball against Hickman during a match this season, has earned all-state honors for the second straight season. Photo by News Tribune.

Several area volleyball players picked up honors recently as handed down by the state’s coaches.

Six area players were tabbed for all-state honors — three in Class 4 and three in Class 2.

Leading the way in Class 4 was Jefferson City’s Abbi McKnelly, as she was one of nine players in the state to earn first-team honors. It was the second straight season McKnelly has been named all-state. Landing on the honorable mention portion of the squad were Helias’ Erica Haslag and Jefferson City’s Mallory York.

There were two area players on the Class 2 First Team, as California’s Sydney Deeken and Fatima’s Angela Keilholz earned that honor. Also, Fatima’s Shelby Thoenen was a second-team pick.

Earlier, a total of 20 area players were named to the all-region teams for the Central/South Central Region.

Nine players from Helias and Jefferson City made the squad in Class 4. First-teamers for the Lady Crusaders were Haslag and Brittney Engelbrecht, while the Lady Jays had McKnelly and York. Second-team picks were Maggie Albert of Jefferson City and Anna Murphy of Helias, while honorable-mention selections were Helias’ Blake Berhorst and Tory Wiley and Jefferson City’s Madison Bond.

A whopping 10 area players made the Class 2 all-region team, with Deeken, Keilholz and Thoenen landing on the first team. Second-team picks were Blair Oaks’ Jessica Clark, Maggie Hoskins and Paige Stockman, along with Fatima’s Kenadi Huhn and Kayla Nilges. The honorable-mention picks were Fatima’s Emily Keilholz and Eugene’s Sarah Pringer.

In Class 3, Eldon’s Alex Griffith was a first-team all-region pick.

In addition, Helias had three players earn spots on the Class 4 District 9 Team. Berhorst and Murphy were first-team honorees, while Haslag was a second-team pick.

The All-District teams are selected by the coaches at the district tournament and is based solely on play just at districts. The all-state and all-region teams, meanwhile, are based on the players’ performances the whole season. The all-state teams are picked from the all-region honorees, which are selected by the coaches in each region who are members of the Missouri High School Volleyball Coaches Association. All area players are in the Central/South Central Region, which spans west to Pleasant Hill, east to Washington, north to Columbia and south to Osceola.

For the complete list of all-state players, please see All-State volleyball honors listed.

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