Five Prospects that Stepped Up in State Semis
Elly Drake – 2024 | MB | Mercy McAuleyDrake, a senior middle blocker, is not one of the first names you typically think of regarding the Wolves effort throughout the 2023 season that has earned them a spot in the…
Elly Drake – 2024 | MB | Mercy McAuley
Drake, a senior middle blocker, is not one of the first names you typically think of regarding the Wolves effort throughout the 2023 season that has earned them a spot in the DII state finals. The Wolves have some big presence on the pins yet Drake has contributed well from the middle with 187 total kills on the season for an average of nearly two kills per set. She was big in the semifinal round as she led the Wolves offense with a career high 14 kills through a dominant .619 efficiency. Her effort led four Wolves that earned double-digit kills. She was also among team leaders at the service line as she earned four aces as the Wolves collectively served 14 aces in their win.
Maria Billies – 2024 | S | Archbishop McNicholas
The Rockets my be the biggest surprise of the entire state round across all divisions. Following some big challenges in the regional round they took care of business in 3-0 fashion in the state semifinals. Billies, the team’s setter, earned a match high 33 assists to go with her 14 total digs, which was second on the team. In this her first complete varsity season as the primary distributor, her contributions have led to a massive increase from 2022 regarding her support of the Rockets’ attackers. The Rockets face their biggest test of the season in what may be Ohio’s best team in nationally ranked Lake Catholic, also the DIII defending state champion.
Amelia Dammeyer – 2024 | OH | New Bremen
The senior outside hitter had one of her best performances of the 2023 season as she earned a double-double in helping the defending DIV state champions earn a 3-1 victory over Shenandoah. Her 12 kills were second on the team as were her 11 total digs. She was efficient offensively as well at .360. Dammeyer has veteran experience as part of last year’s squad although the offensive contributions were limited for her in 2022 following earning over 120 kills in 2021. The Cardinals, ranked #2 in the current DIV state poll face #3 ranked Calvert. Both teams have big arms that have experience late in previous postseason play. This will be a fun one.
Izzy Schlovin – 2026 | S | Oletangy Orange
With 40 assists in the Pioneers’ DI semifinal win, Schlovin was a key catalyst to their offensive dominance. She outperformed her senior counterpart on the other side of the net while also leading the Pioneers to a big advantage in kills 47-36. She also added six digs and two blocks on the defensive side as the Pioneers advanced relatively uncontested through a 3-0 sweep. Schlovin is further elevating as one of the better distributors in the 2026 class as she continues to improve her movement and ability to get her attackers into good situations.
Dakota Henry – 2024 | L | Kings
Henry led Kings’ defensive effort from the back row with a team high 18 digs. The senior libero has been the backbone of Kings’ defense for several years as she has earned over 1,300 career digs for a 3.7 d/s average. She is committed to Rhode Island. This match was an absolute battle as these two teams traded set wins before SJA took a 2-1 advantage. Kings bounced back to claim the final two sets to become the first Cincy area public school to get to the state finals in several years. Sets 2, 3 and 4 were all decided through extra points and although SJA outperformed Kings in several statistical categories for the match, Kings prevailed. They next face Oletangy Orange as this should be a balanced contest given the strength of offense, setters, and key defensive presence of which Henry will have one more chance to impact in her high school career on Saturday.