Local high school spikers earn All-Ohio, Central District awards


Ava Francis (left) of Jonathan Alder and North Union’s Journey Blevins (right) have been named to the All-Ohio first teams in volleyball respectively in Divisions II and III. (Journal-Tribune photos by Tim Miller and Sam Dillon)

Several local high school volleyball players and a coach have earned All-Ohio and/or Central District honors for the 2020 season.
The main award winners on the state level come from Jonathan Alder.
Senior Ava Francis was named to the Division II All-Ohio first team, while classmate Emma Shepherd was named to the third team.
Jonathan Alder’s Joe Ross was named the division’s state coach of the year.
The Lady Pioneers posted a 22-1 record and played in the recent state Final Four.
Ross has a 48-3 record in two seasons at the Jonathan Alder helm.
North Union senior Journey Blevins was honored by the state’s first team for Division III.
Blevins was a key performer as the Lady Cats won their first-ever district volleyball championship during the recently-completed season. NU finished the campaign with a 22-2 record.
A number of local athletes also earned Central District honors.
Francis and Shepherd earned first-team honors in Division II. Francis was also named player of the year for the district.
JA’s Kennaday Izzard was named to the second team, while Lizzie Lombardi was named honorable mention.
North Union’s All-District first-team honorees are Blevins and fellow senior Jordyn Hoffman.
Blevins was named player of the year for Division III.
Kaitlyn DeLauter of NU was named to the second team.
Fairbanks had a pair of athletes earn district accolades.
Kaelynn Sphapmixay was named to the first team in Division III, while Lizzie Nicol earned second-team honors.
Statistical highlights for each player are as follows:
-Francis: finished fourth in the Central Buckeye Conference with 394 kills and tallied 52 ace serves (fifth in the circuit);
-Shepherd: topped the conference with 69 ace serves;
-Izzard: the senior was fifth in the CBC with 808 passing points;
-Lombardi: the junior was second in the conference with assists as she tallied 655.
-Blevins: was second in the CBC with 413 kills and was runner-up in blocks with 75;
-Hoffman: led the conference with 709 assists;
-DeLauter: tallied 164 kills on the season and 392 total attacks.
-Sphapmixay: a junior, she finished third in the Ohio Heritage Conference in ace serves for the Lady Panthers (12-4). She tallied 58 aces.
She was also third in the conference with 465 assists.
-Nicol: a senior, she tallied 207 total serves, of which 28 were aces.
She also led the Lady Panthers with 172 digs.

Emma Shepherd of JA, left, digs the ball off the floor. Alder’s Kennaday Izzard (right) passes the ball. Both girls have earned district honors for the 2020 season. (Journal-Tribune photos by Tim Miller and Sam Dillon)

Fairbanks’ Kaylynn Sphapmixay (left) serves the ball during a match. JA’s Lizzie Lombardi (right) sets a teammate up for a kill. Both local spikers earned Central District honors for the 2020 season. (Journal-Tribune photos by Tim Miller)

NU’s Jordyn Hoffman (4) sets for a kill. Hoffman has earned district honors. (Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)

Fairbanks’ Lizzie Nicol digs the ball for a pass during a 2020 match. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)

NU’s Kaitlyn DeLauter (6) sends the ball past a blocker. (Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)

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