At the end of the year, only one team gets to hoist a championship trophy. But while neither Banks nor Gaston claimed a title, both had successful seasons — and that success was rewarded by way of a couple handful of all-league honorees recently announced by both the Cowapa and Northwest Leagues.
Banks, which finished second in the Cowapa League behind eventual state champion Valley Catholic, finished 18-9 overall, defeated La Grande in a state playoff game and placed sixth at the state tournament, falling victim to the Valiants in the first round, then defeating North Marion before losing to Sisters in the fourth place game to end the year. As a result of their outstanding play, the Braves had four players named all-league, while two more were honorable mention.
Among the all-leaguers were senior libero Emma White, senior outside hitter Haylee Jackson, fellow senior outside hitter Kinely Hoag and senior outside hitter Lindsey Beck. Hoag also earned first team all-tournament team honors at the 4A state tournament for her performance over the Braves' three games.
In addition, Banks' senior setter Noel Herb and senior defensive specialist Halle Vandomelen were honorable mention selections.
Not surprisingly, state champion Valley Catholic boasted the most selections, garnering five first team and two honorable mention honorees, in addition to the Valiants' Allie Merz earning Player of the Year and head coach Becky Kemper being voted Coach of the Year.
Meanwhile, Gaston had two players honored in a highly competitive Northwest League.
Senior Hannah Farmer and freshman Maya Rosenberg were both third team selections. The Greyhounds placed third in the Northwest League with a 9-2 record and were 17-9 overall before losing a state playoff game to Union High School in La Grande.
Gaston qualified for the state playoffs after losing a five-set thriller to Vernonia in the league playoff, then defeating Nestucca to punch the league's final ticket to the postseason.
Greyhounds head coach Melody McMasters was extremely proud of both Farmer and Rosenberg for their individual accolades, and acknowledged their worthiness. But at the same time the coach boasted throughout the season regarding her team's success despite an exceptionally young roster consisting of seven freshmen and sophomores.
League champion Portland Christian led the league with five honorees, including four first-teamers, while Vernonia notched four selections.
The entire list of honrees can be seen below:
Cowapa League Volleyball
Allie Merz, Valley Catholic
Zoey VanVleet, Valley Catholic
Maddie Klopcic, Valley Catholic
Madeleine Beaupre, Valley Catholic
Gretchen Kibbe, Valley Catholic
Emma White, Banks
Haylee Jackson, Banks
Lindsey Beck, Banks
Kinley Hoag, Banks
Kelsey Fausett, Astoria
Julia Norris, Astoria
Ness Hurliman, Tillamook
Emma Meyer, Seaside
Noel Herb, Banks
Halle Vandomelen, Banks
Northwest League Volleyball
Madi Delucia, Portland Christian
Josie Ernst, Portland Christian
Maddy Files, Portland Christian
Olivia Leslie, Nestucca
Danielle Tsague, Portland Christian
Brooklynn Walters, Vernonia
Jordan Walters, Vernonia
Annie Bahr, Portland Christian
Nicole Bishop, Columbia Christian
Jessica Butcher, Vernonia
Sophia Carlson, Knappa
Nita Cook, Vernonia
Hannah Dietrichs, Knappa
Ryleigh Royster, Nestucca
Hannah Farmer ,Gaston
Grace Miller, Neah-Kah-Nie
Clover O'Conner, Neah-Kah-Nie
Gillian O'Reilly, Faith Bible
Vicki Ramvick, Knappa
Maya Rosenberg, Gaston
Rachel Strober, Nestucca
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