For the sixth straight year, Park Hill South put a representative on the Missouri High School Volleyball Coaches Association all-state team, but the Panthers didn’t have just one.
A return to the playoffs that ended with a close loss in the Class 4 quarterfinals helped garner three selections. Allison Sadler, a senior setter, made the first team, while middle blocker Annika Welty made the second team. Both were first-time selections.
Andi Elley, a four-year contributor, made the Class 4 list for a second straight year, making honorable mention after being a second-team pick in 2015.
Park Hill South’s trio of all-staters helped forge one of the best seasons in program history. The playoff run ended with a three-set loss to St. Teresa’s Academy in the quarterfinals.
Sadler, who became a full-time starter as a junior, turned in an all-around year from her setter spot. She finished with 709 assists and averaged 10 per set while also ranking second in blocks (22) and service aces (26) and fourth in digs (188) and kills (96).
Welty led Park Hill South in kills (263) and blocks (47), including 46 solo blocks. The 6-foot-3 junior also contributed 21 service aces.
Elley, the only senior to play in the 2013 state championship match for Park Hill South, took on a different role and played more defense than in previous seasons. She still ranked second in kills (253), a number boosted when fellow senior outside hitter Bri Bartosh missed a few matches with an ankle injury, while topping the Panthers for service aces (32).
Like Sadler a multi-faceted player, Elley’s 285 digs came in just four behind fellow senior Emily Day for the team-high, while Elley also had team-high 422 serve receptions compared to just 26 errors.
Back in the playoffs for the first time since 2013, Park Hill South’s season ended against the same stubborn opponent for a second straight season. The Panthers went 31-2-1, opening with 15 straight wins before a loss to Pleasant Hill in the Lee’s Summit North Bronco Invitational. They then won 16 more in a row, including the Class 4 District 16 title and a sectional vs. Lee’s Summit.
Park Hill South reached the state semifinals in 2013 when the five-player senior class was freshmen. The Panthers went to the district title game in 2014 and 2015, losing to St. Teresa’s Academy in the latter.
The two teams were split into separate districts this season, leading to their playoff meeting.
VOLLEYBALL POSTSEASON HONORS
MISSOURI HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION ALL-STATE
Allison Sadler, sr., Park Hill South
Annika Welty, jr., Park Hill South
Andi Elley, sr., Park Hill South
MHSVCA ALL-KANSAS CITY/NORTHWEST REGION
Andi Elley, sr., Park Hill South; Allison Sadler, sr., Park Hill South; Annika Welty, jr., Park Hill South; Kai Welsh, jr., Park Hill
Bri Bartosh, sr., Park Hill South
Carli Hensley, so., Platte County
Jordan Schultz, sr., West Platte; Nealie Niemeier, sr., West Platte
ALL-CLASS 4 DISTRICT 16
Annika Welty, jr., Park Hill South; Andi Elley, sr., Park Hill South; Allison Sadler, sr., Park Hill South; Sarah Knight sr., Park Hill South; Kai Welsh, jr., Park Hill; Rachel Pella, so., Park Hill
Chelsea Edwards, sr., Park Hill; Kayla Huffman, jr., Park Hill; Emily Day, sr., Park Hill South
ALL-CLASS 1 DISTRICT 15
Nealie Niemeier, sr., West Platte
ALL-SUBURBAN CONFERENCE GOLD DIVISION
Kai Welsh, jr., Park Hill
Kayla Huffman, jr., Park Hill
ALL-SUBURBAN CONFERENCE RED DIVISION
Annika Welty, jr., Park Hill South; Bri Bartosh, sr., Park Hill South; Andi Elley, sr., Park Hill South; Allison Sadler, sr., Park Hill South
Emily Day, sr., Park Hill South; Sarah Knight, sr., Park Hill South
ALL-SUBURBAN CONFERENCE BLUE DIVISION
Carli Hensley, so., Platte County; Kenzie Polley, jr., Platte County
Bailey Harris, sr., Platte County
Nealie Niemeier, sr., West Platte
Jordan Schultz, sr., West Platte; Ciara Davies, jr., West Platte
Faith Stevens, fr., West Platte; Megan Kottman sr., West Platte; Lauren Payne, sr., North Platte