Division I State Semis: Key Role Players
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Kings KnightsAs Kings has a core group of seniors that have been the key contributors for a few years, they have a couple of non-seniors that have been great role players. Sophomore opposite Ava McIntyre Ava McIntyre 5'10" | RS…
As Kings has a core group of seniors that have been the key contributors for a few years, they have a couple of non-seniors that have been great role players. Sophomore opposite is their third best offensive threat at 1.6 k/s. She is a lefty that is not afraid to take big swings. This court energizer can also make an impact defensively. At the net, her 5’11 frame puts good pressure on opposing hitters while her back row effort contributes over seven digs per match. Another sophomore, , has been significant as well as she leads the team in blocking with 69 on the season. Also at 5’11, she can contribute offensively as well, highlighted so far by her match-winning kill to secure Kings’ opportunity to compete for a state championship this weekend.
St. Joseph Academy Jaguars
The 23-4 Jaguars have good tools that can help them close out the season with two more wins. The contributions from their role players could be the key, especially on the offensive side if it can help increase their attacking balance and space for their big arms. Senior setter will be a factor in that regard given her team leading 429 assists and a good portion of their offensive distribution going through her hands. She is also a key threat at the service line as she is second on the team with 45 aces this season. Senior is also one that could make a difference both when she gets offensive opportunities and in the first-touch areas of the game. She has earned double-figure digs multiple times this season, including a high a 19 in an early-season 3-2 win over fellow semifinal qualifier SUA.
Oletangy Orange Pioneers
For the Pioneers, sophomore Maci Gerboth provides two kills per set to help support this team’s big pin action. She has over 120 kills on the season as one of the team’s best in efficiency at .355. She pairs well with senior as the two lead the team defensively at the net with 1.3 and 1.9 b/s respectively. Kelso also provides two kills per set. A big strength for this team is in the ball control and defense. Sophomore libero is one of the best in this Ohio class and she leads this team defensively at 5.7 digs per frame. Cugino has great competition experience behind her that is evident in her ability to stabilize this group from the back row.
St. Ursula Academy Arrows
Sophomore middle contributes to this team well in addition to further elevating the presence of the 2026 class among this group of teams in the state semifinal round. She is third on the team offensively at two kills per set while leading the Arrows defensively with a high of 40 total blocks on the season. Junior libero (*pictured) is leading the SUA defense with 4.7 d/s, including 18 digs in their recent regional win over Avon. Another sophomore, , has been contributing well in a variety of ways throughout the season. She has had some solid moments of offense or defense through which she has provided a handful of double figure digs efforts, including two matches of 19 and 20 digs in 2023. In their victory over Avon, Hasty had eight kills, 13 digs, and three aces for a solid line.