The Sun's High School Volleyball Players of the Year
Published: Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, December 24, 2010 at 12:14 a.m.
Editor's note: This is the fourth in a series of Sun All-Area athletes of the year teams compiled with the help of area coaches.
GIGI MEYER, Buchholz
The senior setter had 1,011 assists, 231 digs and 410 service points (74) aces in leading the Bobcats to a 25-4 season, the Region 2 semifinals and the District 4-5A title. Meyer signed to play college volleyball at Florida Gulf Coast. She was named MVP at the Gator Town Classic, which Buchholz won, beating Tampa Plant in the final. Praised by her coach Jeff Reavis as being the ultimate leader on the court, Meyer and the Bobcats were unbeaten in district play and didn't lose a game in five matches against Gainesville-area schools. Meyer topped Gainesville High senior outside hitter Eryn Croft for this honor.
Gigi is the daughter of Shelley and UF coach Urban Meyer. Older sister Nicki, a sophomore libero at Georgia Tech, led the Bobcats to the 6A state title in 2007. Gigi started playing volleyball in fifth grade in Utah and became more serious about the sport when she joined Gainesville Juniors in 2005.
"It feels really good to be recognized as player of the year," Gigi Meyer said. "It makes me more excited about playing in college. Even though we lost to Leon (regional semifinals), I was very happy with the way the season went and enjoyed playing with my teammates."
Tina Toghiyani, Oak Hall
The senior middle blocker led the Eagles (22-9) to the Class 1A Final Four and was named the 2010 Florida Dairy Farmers Class 1A Volleyball Player of the Year, outpointing senior outside hitter Taylor Wakeman of three-time state champion Warner Christian. For the season, Toghiyani had 432 kills, 273 digs, 52 blocks and 190 service points (36 aces). She led Oak Hall to the Region 1-2A and District 4-1A titles, and had a match-high 15 kills and two blocks in the loss to Lake Worth Christian in the state semifinals. Toghiyani edged P.K. Yonge senior outside hitter Collyn Welsch for this honor.
Toghiyani has played for coach Cari Martin at Oak Hall since she was in eighth grade and went to three Final Fours during her high school career. She past the 1,000 career kills milestone this season. Toghiyani has received interest from Rollins College, but said she would rather walk-on to a Division I school if she doesn't receive an offer.
"I am really proud of our team," Toghiyani said. "Nobody expected us to go this far, and we made it to the Final Four. We were the only Gainesville team to go. Coach Martin really motivated us throughout the season."
All-Area Volleyball Teams
Class 3A-6A first team
Note: With name, school, year, position and credentials
Gigi Meyer, Buchholz, Sr., S, 1,011 assists, 231 digs, 410 SP (74 aces), signed with Florida Gulf Coast
Tori Lovins, Santa Fe, Sr., S, 653 assists, 105 digs, 178 SP (38 aces), 84 kills, 26 blocks
Eryn Croft, Gainesville, Sr., OH, 264 kills, 194 SP (68 aces), 103 digs, Miami commitment
Lindsay Smith, Eastside, Jr., OH, 272 kills, 197 digs, 197 SP (44 aces)
Caroline Redmond, Buchholz, So., MB, 359 kills, 137 SP (20 aces), 51 digs, 22 blocks
Kayla Bivins, Gainesville, Jr., MB, 234 kills, 111 blocks
Carolyn Fouts, Buchholz, Sr., Lib, 303 SP (54 aces), 297 digs, 31 assists
Class 3A-6A second team
Syd Maynard, Gainesville, Jr., S, 668 assists, 138 SP, 85 digs
Alex Mueller, Eastside, So., S, 678 assists, 204 digs, 69 kills, 211 SP
Gaby Rubeis, Buchholz, So., S, 332 SP (51 aces), 244 digs, 143 kills, 87 assists
Kenyoda Esters, Gainesville, Sr., OH, 213 kills, 166 SP (39 aces)
Kayla Cain, Santa Fe, So., OH, 84 kills, 3 blocks, 260 digs, 207 SP (50 aces)
Alyssa James, Buchholz, Sr., MB/OH, 198 kills, 23 blocks
Carly Hellstrom, Gainesville, Sr., Lib, 302 digs, 135 SP (37 aces)
Coach of the Year
Jeff Reavis, Buchholz
Led the Bobcats to a 25-4 season, winning the District 4-5A title and advancing as far as the Region 2 semifinals. His Buchholz team also won the Gator Town Classic, going 5-0 in the tournament and beating Class 6A state champion Tampa Plant 2-0 in the final. Reavis, the former executive director at Gainesville Juniors, resigned at the end of the season and is the current executive director of the Ocala Power Volleyball Academy. He led the Bobcats to the Class 6A state title in 2007.
Class 1A-2A first team
Note: With name, school, year, position and credentials
McKenzie Hollen, Oak Hall, So., S, 692 assists, 208 SP (63 aces), 191 digs, 58 kills
Collyn Welsch, P.K. Yonge, Sr., OH, 264 kills, 180 digs, 141 SP (74 aces), 15 blocks
Jasmine Flournoy, P.K. Yonge, Sr., OH, 235 kills, 250 digs, 203 SP (84 aces), 14 blocks
Emily VanGelder, Oak Hall, Jr., OH, 265 kills, 227 SP (61 aces), 285 digs
Tina Toghiyani, Oak Hall, Sr., MB, 432 kills, 273 digs, 52 blocks, 190 SP (36 aces)
Michele Mantel, Cornerstone, Sr., MB, 302 kills, 318 digs, 70 blocks, 240 SP (59 aces)
Devonne DeGance, St. Francis, Sr., Lib, 426 digs, 158 SP (53 aces)
Class 1A-2A second team
Kayla Simmons, P.K. Yonge, Fr., S, 972 assists, 231 SP (56 aces), 167 digs, 58 kills, 20 blocks
Farah Rajaee, St. Francis, Fr., S, 402 assists, 292 SP (93 aces), 172 digs
Tori Mantel, Cornerstone, Jr., S, 461 assists, 181 SP (45 aces), 82 kills, 186 digs, 23 blocks
Katie O'Meara, Oak Hall, Sr., OH, 141 kills, 196 SP (41 aces), 241 digs
Meghan Zinkel, Keystone Heights, Jr., OH, 262 kills, 33 blocks, 228 digs
Jenny Dugan, St. Francis, Sr., MB, 212 kills, 52 blocks
Amanda Krpan, P.K. Yonge, Jr., Lib, 183 digs, 233 SP (72 aces)
Coach of the Year
Cari Martin, Oak Hall
In her 23rd year as head coach, Martin led the Eagles to the Class 1A Final Four at the Lakeland Center, winning the Region 2-1A and District 4-1A titles along the way. It was the deepest playoff run of any area team this season. It marked Martin's 12th trip to the Final Four. She led Oak Hall to state titles in 1999 and 1997.
HONORABLE MENTION: Bell: Jessica Sanders (Jr., Lib), Jennie Smith (Sr., OH), Rielee Moore (Jr., OH), Felicia Thomas (Jr., MB), Preslee Sanders (Jr., S); Branford: Paige Baumgort, Haley Stebbin, Kendra Corden, Jenna Deas; Buchholz: Kristin Ferry (Jr.), Paola Polesi (Jr.); Chiefland: Taylore Fuller (Jr.), Madison Rutkowski (Sr.); Cornerstone: Tori Mantel (So., S), Sydney Fletcher (Sr., OH), Blair Guerry (So., OH); Eastside: Courtney Iwinski (Jr., MB), Rebecca Rosenblat (Jr., Lib); Fort White: Sarah Stringfellow (So., Lib), Ali Wrench (Jr., S); Gainesville: Erica Good (Jr., OH); Keystone Heights: Madyson Maxwell (So., MB), Chelsea Harvin (Jr., S); Newberry: Taylor Whitley (Sr., MB), Tressa Jepsen (Sr., OH & MB); Oak Hall: Danielle Ellis (Sr., DS), Erica Pope (So., DS), Caroline Weingart (So., RH); P.K. Yonge: Jazz Whitaker (So., MB), Jac'cara Walker (7th, MB), Caitlin Doak (Sr., RS); St. Francis: Caron Maris (Jr., DS), Kelsey Sack (Jr., OH), Megan Lee (So., OH), Ann Bzoch (Fr., DS), Felicia Fallo (So., S); Santa Fe: Allison Benton (Fr., OH), Jules Welch (Jr., MB); Union County: Haylee Tucker (Sr., MB), Linsey Clark (Sr., MB), Julie Nettles (Jr., OH), Jordane Spitze (Jr., OH), Jessie O'Steen (Sr., S)
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