2019 Tri-County Conference all-conference volleyball awards released

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Clarkton senior Kayla Gentry (pictured) is the 2019 Tri-County Conference Volleyball Player of the Year.

The 2019 Tri-County Conference volleyball awards have been released.

Clarkton senior Kayla Gentry is the 2019 Tri-County Conference Volleyball Player of the Year.

Gentry finished with 36 ace serves, 188 digs, 22 assists, nine blocks, and 254 kills her senior season.

"There is so much that can be said about Kayla and her contributions to our team this season,” Clarkton coach Amy Cowart said. "She is the team captain and definitely established herself as our leader from the get-go. She has been the main offensive weapon for us for the past couple of seasons and this year was no different as she led our team, conference, and district in total kills.

"She may not have the hardest hits, but she is probably one of the smartest hitters from our area,” Cowart added. "She reads the opponent’s court so well and always knows where the open spots are for a big hit or a sneaky tip. This year, for the first time, she had to transition into becoming a six-rotation player after one of her teammates sustained an injury. She came in and filled a big role and enjoyed some success on defense, notching 188 digs in the final two-thirds of the season."

Gentry, a four-year varsity starter, has been selected all-conference all four years of high school.

"Kayla has been a big part of our team the last four years,” Cowart said. "She has always been a leader on and off the court even when she was a freshman and a sophomore. She has been one of the hardest workers I have had the privilege to coach as well as one of the smartest. Her volleyball IQ is off the charts as she has been a student of the game for as long as I can remember. When practices would come to a close, Kayla always wanted to stay longer. She was never ready to be finished for the day.

"It will definitely be a new normal for our volleyball program next season without Kayla's boisterous and passionate presence, but I hope that the things she has contributed to our program will still live on in her returning teammates for many more seasons to come here at Clarkton,” Cowart concluded.

Gideon coach Kristen Ashabranner is the 2019 Tri-County Conference Volleyball Coach of the Year. Gideon finished 29-4-2, won the Gideon Invitational, won the Tri-County Conference regular-season title, and won the Tri-County Conference Tournament for a 10th straight season in 2019.

“The streak of success our program has put together is years and years of hard work and my group gave every bit of effort they had,” Ashabranner said after her squad won the Tri-County Tournament in October. “They work so hard for me.”

Players selected first-team all-conference are: Clarkton’s Kayla Gentry, Gideon’s Hope Raymond, Gideon’s Kinlee Lawrence, Holcomb’s Bailey Cupples, Clarkton’s Raegan Riley, and Risco’s Mackenzie Myers.

Players second-team all-conference are: North Pemiscot’s Reagan Tillmon, Clarkton’s Harley Russell, Delta C-7’s Riley Gilmore, Holcomb’s Addy McClendon, Clarkton’s Taylor Earnheart, and Gideon’s Malerie Sharp.

Players selected honorable mention are: Cooter’s Madison Barnes, Southland’s Haven Baker, Gideon’s Kaitlyn Clenney, Holcomb’s Abby Hellebusch, and Risco’s Molly Fortner.

Note: The Tri-County Conference volleyball coaches vote on the Tri-County Conference volleyball awards.

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Gideon volleyball coach Kristen Ashabranner (pictured in pink providing direction to her team) is the 2019 Tri-County Conference Volleyball Coach of the Year.
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