MAHOMET — The Mahomet-Seymour volleyball team had a historic first season under new head coach Stan Bergman. The Bulldogs finished 30-8 with an Apollo Conference crown and a regional championship.
Let’s hand out some end-of-the-year awards.
Most Valuable Player: Ainsley Ranstead
The junior outside hitter had a magnificent season. Ranstead led the Bulldogs with 360 kills this season. She averaged over four kills per set, and her hitting percentage was a resounding .293. But she wasn’t just a one-trick pony. Ranstead had 194 digs this season, which was good for fourth on the team. She also racked up 26 block which was also tied for third. Ranstead was also a monster in the biggest of games this season. In the regional championship match against Champaign Central, Ranstead finished with 19 kills and four digs. She was unstoppable. In the final 16 matches, Ranstead finished with at least six kills in each of the contests.
Defensive Players of the Year:
Amber Yeakel and Josie Hess
It’s impossible to name a defensive player of the year when both Yeakel and Hess were so good this season. Yeakel was the team’s top block artist, finishing with 47 stuffs this season. She averaged over one block per match. Meanwhile, Hess led the team with 280 digs. The junior was a big reason why the Bulldogs’ defense was suffocating all season. Yeakel and Hess were both solid offensive weapons, but their defense earned them playing time this season.
Breakout Player of the Year: Haylie Orton
Orton turned into one of Bergman’s biggest weapons this season. The sophomore thrived in his scheme, pouring in 141 kills and contributing 41 blocks. The Bulldogs were loaded with talent, but Orton showcased how good she can be. She finished second on the team in blocks and third on the team in kills. She relieved some of the pressure off Ranstead and Lauren Minick and formed quite the duo with fellow middle blocker Amber Yeakel. Orton has a really bright future and will be a big-time game-changer for Bergman next year.