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Novi's O'Leary headlines 2016 All-County Team WITH PHOTO GALLERY

  • Erin O'Leary, Novi
  • Ally Cummings, Novi
  • Abryanna Cannon, Novi
  • Abbey Malinowski, Clarkston
  • Madeline Chinn, Notre Dame Prep
  • Lauren Wenzel, Marian
  • Lindsay Wightman, Lake Orion
  • Erika Ward, Stoney Creek
  • Sarah Austin, Clarkston
  • Natalie Risi, Notre Dame Prep
  • Jessica Robinson, Troy
  • Jessica Mruzik, Mercy
  • Gabriella Shilling, Notre Dame Prep
  • Alexa Rousseau, Bloomfield Hills
  • Madi Jidas, Clarkston
  • Claire Pinkerton, Novi
  • Leah Kalugar, Lake Orion
  • Stefanie Jankiewicz, Harrison
  • Lauren Hunter, Mercy
  • Kathryn Ellison, Novi
  • Alexandra Gudobba, Oakland Christian
  • Izzy Nino, Country Day
  • Nina Rudnitsky, Bishop Foley
  • Samantha Morse, Oakland Christian
  • Nicole Elzerman, Oxford
  • Olivia Smith, Bloomfield Hills
  • Vanessa Vigler, West Bloomfield
  • Kaitlyn Hawke, Lakeland
  • Kayla Guldan, Walled Lake Central
  • Mion Weldon, Walled Lake Central
  • Emily Grathoff, Walled Lake Northern
  • Sydney Mann, Waterford Kettering
  • Amelia Smith, Cranbrook
  • Tiffany Senerius, Waterford Our Lady
  • Molly Ligon, Seaholm
  • Katie LaClair, Holly
  • Madison Dowd, Marian
  • Madison Tuscany, Rochester Adams
  • Lindsey Stration, Stoney Creek
  • Arlie Merucci, St. Catherine of Siena
  • Elise Leverenz, Troy Athens
  • Madeline Halsey, Rochester
  • Sydney Hensley, Lamphere
  • Payton Porter, St. Catherine of Siena
  • Julia Caravias, Bloomfield Hills
  • Kate Winter, Lakeland
  • Kennedy Kuffner, Mercy
  • Aysha Hood, Walled Lake Central
  • Miranda Strongman, Walled Lake Central
  • Taylor Raiola, Notre Dame Prep
  • Marisa Mingle, Oakland Christian
  • Starr Sumner, Oakland Christian
  • Amelie Cekauskas, Seaholm
  • Mallorie Berriman, Lake Orion
  • Margaret DePorre, Marian
  • Emma Sorey, Marian
  • Paige Briggs, Oxford
  • Mackenzie Wild, Stoney Creek
  • Erin Whitman, Bishop Foley
  • Katie Grose, St. Catherine of Siena
  • Erin O'Leary, Novi
  • Ally Cummings, Novi
  • Abryanna Cannon, Novi
  • Abbey Malinowski, Clarkston
  • Madeline Chinn, Notre Dame Prep
  • Lindsay Wightman, Lake Orion
  • Erika Ward, Stoney Creek
  • Lauren Wenzel, Marian
  • Sarah Austin, Clarkston
  • Jessica Mruzik, Mercy
  • Jessica Robinson, Troy
  • Natalie Risi, Notre Dame Prep
  • Gabriella Shilling, Notre Dame Prep
  • Alexa Rousseau, Bloomfield Hills
  • Madi Jidas, Clarkston
  • Claire Pinkerton, Novi
  • Julia Caravias, Bloomfield Hills
  • Stefanie Jankiewicz, Harrison
  • Lauren Hunter, Mercy
  • Kathryn Ellison, Novi
  • Leah Kalugar, Lake Orion
  • Alexandra Gudobba, Oakland Christian
  • Izzy Nino, Country Day
  • Nina Rudnitsky, Bishop Foley
  • Samantha Morse, Oakland Christian
  • Kate Winter, Lakeland
  • Aysha Hood, Walled Lake Central
  • Emily Grathoff, Walled Lake Northern
  • Sydney Mann, Waterford Kettering
  • Amelia Smith, Cranbrook
  • Tiffany Senerius, Waterford Our Lady
  • Amelie Cekauskas, Seaholm
  • Katie LaClair, Holly
  • Madison Dowd, Marian
  • Nicole Elzerman, Oxford
  • Mackenzie Wild, Stoney Creek
  • Elise Leverenz, Troy Athens
  • Madeline Halsey, Rochester
  • Sydney Hensley, Lamphere
  • Erin Whitman, Bishop Foley
  • Arlie Merucci, St. Catherine of Siena
  • Kaitlyn Hawke, Lakeland
  • Miranda Strongman, Walled Lake Central
  • Mion Weldon, Walled Lake Central
  • Vanessa Vigler, West Bloomfield
  • Marisa Mingle, Oakland Christian
  • Starr Sumner, Oakland Christian
  • Molly Ligon, Seaholm
  • Mallorie Berriman, Lake Orion
  • Emma Sorey, Marian
  • Paige Briggs, Oxford
  • Madison Tuscany, Rochester Adams
  • Lindsey Stration, Stoney Creek
  • Payton Porter, St. Catherine of Siena
  • Olivia Smith, Bloomfield Hills
  • Kennedy Kuffner, Mercy
  • Kayla Guldan, Walled Lake Central
  • Taylor Raiola, Notre Dame Prep
  • Margaret DePorre, Marian
  • Katie Grose, St. Catherine of Siena

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It was a dominant 2016 season for the Novi volleyball team.

The Wildcats found themselves with not only a second straight Class A championship, but also a No. 2 spot in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national rankings.

So, it should be no surprise that the Wildcats are well represented in this year’s All-County Team. Novi headlines the 2016 class that features a number of impressive players. Here is a closer look at the First Team.

Setter/Player of the Year

Erin O’Leary, Jr. Novi

O’Leary had a lot of competition to be the Player of the Year on her own team, let alone the entire county. Still, O’Leary has found herself on top of our All-County team thanks to another outstanding performance in 2016.

The season began with a great achievement as O’Leary was able to play for Team USA’s Youth National Team in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. And Puerto Rico. While the experience delayed her junior season with the Wildcats, she gained tremendous experience and perspective that carried over into Novi’s season.

“Any time that a player can get international playing experience, they are going to learn, mature and advance their game. Erin's experience with Team USA allowed her to do all of those things as well as train with the best coaches and players in her age group in the country,” Novi coach Jennifer Cottrill said.

Once settled in, O’Leary got to set up tremendous hitters for Novi, including a pair of All-County First Team outside hitters in Ally Cummings and Abryanna Cannon. O’Leary finished with 1,451 assists in 2016, which ranked ninth in MHSAA history for most assists in a season.

O’Leary can do much more than rack up assists, though, as she had 203 kills, 361 digs, 45 blocks and 76 aces.

“Erin is the heartbeat of our team. It is unusual to have a player with such an outstanding skill set as well as all of the intangibles,” Cottrill said. “She is a natural leader, the hardest worker and a tremendous teammate. The goal of every team when you step on the court is to be in system more than the other team is and Erin allowed us to almost always be in system. She had a tremendous ability to track down a pass and find a way to set an attackable ball.”

O’Leary earned First Team All-State honors from MIVCA and was a USA Today All-American selection.

Outside Hitters

Ally Cummings, Sr. Novi

The Miss Volleyball runner-up was another consistent presence for the two-time Class A state champs. The senior finished with 510 kills while hitting .346. She also had 317 digs, 49 blocks and 32 aces in 2016. She was a First Team All-State selection by MIVCA.

“Ally is a 4-year varsity player and provided us with a tremendous amount of confidence and experience this season,” Cottrill said. “Her ability to terminate at a very high level on the right side was the key to our success as were able to keep our offense balance on both pins. Ally always seems to play very well under extreme pressure and her ability to keep the mood light and fun for her teammates allowed us as a team to perform as well.”

Abryanna Cannon, Jr. Novi

A new addition to Novi in 2016, Cannon provided a second dominant outside hitter for the Wildcats. She established herself as one of the top junior players in the state this year by amassing 519 kills while hitting .386 at the net. Cannon also had 415 digs, 43 blocks and 70 aces. She had 20 kills in the Class A state championship win over Rockford and was a First Team All-State selection by MIVCA.

“Abryanna was new to our program this year but picked up on things very quickly,” Cottrill said. “She is a terminal attacker that allowed us to balance our offense and was also our most efficient passer. In the postseason, she was unstoppable as she averaged over five kills and four digs per set.”

Abbey Malinowski, Jr. Clarkston

Malinowski continued to build on her impressive career at Clarkston, establishing herself as one of the best all-around players in the state as a junior this season. Malinowski was another MIVCA First Team All-State selection as she had 678 kills in 2016 while hitting .357 at the net. She also had 475 digs and 44 aces for the regional-finalist Wolves.

“As a third-year returner for us, Abbey has shown so much growth and development both as a player and as a teammate,” Clarkston coach Kelly Pinner said. “She broke the school record for most kills in a season and most successful attacks. She continues to push herself and her teammates to a higher level.”

Madeline Chinn, Soph. Notre Dame Prep

The youngest member of the All-County First Team is Chinn, who had an impressive sophomore season for Notre Dame Prep. The 6-foot-2 outside hitter is a six-rotation player for the Irish and she had 682 kills while hitting .405. She also had an impressive 146 blocks, 423 digs, 309 service points and 90 aces. She was also a MIVCA First Team All-State honoree. It’s not surprising that Notre Dame Prep coach Betty Wroubel is very excited to see what Chinn can do for the next two seasons.

“Maddy brings a motivational enthusiasm to our team on and off the court. She adds versatility and a dynamic aspect to this team,” Wroubel said. “Maddy is a team player with a good volleyball IQ and keen understanding of the game. She is an energetic and coachable player with an unmatched determination to compete and win. While it isn’t surprising for her to lead the team in kills and blocks, it isn’t often that you see a 6-2 player play all six rotations and lead the team in digs and rank second in serve receive.”

Middle Blocker

Lauren Wenzel, Jr. Birmingham Marian

Marian had a return to postseason success in 2016, reaching the Class A quarterfinal before falling to eventual champ, Novi. Wenzel was a big part of Marian’s return to success as she had 459 kills while hitting .384 at the net. She also racked up 78 blocks and was a Third Team All-State selection in Class A by MIVCA.

“Lauren grew as a player this year,” Marian coach Angela Kalczynski said. “Early in the season, she struggled to get comfortable in her role as a go-to player. She was asked to do more and be relied upon more. Lauren grew in that responsibility. She was one of our go-to players offensively and defensively. She was a big part of our success at the end of the year. She has a terrific future in front of her and still has untouched potential.”

Libero

Lindsay Wightman, Sr. Lake Orion

Lake Orion faced some tough competition in the OAA Red this season and around Oakland County, but the Dragons managed to hold their own thanks in large part to their defense. Wightman was the captain of the Lake Orion defense, leading the team in digs with 586. She also had a team-high 83 aces this season and was a Second Team Class A All-State pick by MIVCA after leading the Dragons to the OAA Red title for a second straight season.

“Lindsay was our most consistent performer all season,” Lake Orion coach Tony Scavarda said. “I think this stems from how highly competitive she is. She hates to lose or make mistakes and she has that same mentality whether it’s practice or a game.”

Erika Ward, Sr. Stoney Creek

Stoney Creek had a lot of changes for the 2016 season, but one constant for the Cougars was Ward in the backcourt. She racked up a Stoney Creek single-season record with 746 digs this year and also had 49 aces. Her consistent play on defense allowed the Cougars to remain a force in the highly-competitive OAA Red. Ward was a Second Team All-State pick in Class A by MIVCA.

“Erika is the libero that this program will never forget,” Stoney Creek coach Ross Talbott said. “Erika not only led the team on the court with her leadership, she led the team off the court as well. Erika presents leadership in this program that will be remembered for many years to come.”

Coach

Jennifer Cottrill, Novi

It was going to be tough for Cottrill to take her Novi volleyball team to a higher level than winning the 2015 Class A state championship, but she managed to do that in 2016. Novi not only won the title once again, but was dominant throughout the year. The Wildcats suffered a loss very early in the season, but ended up 53-1. Novi dropped just two sets throughout the entire postseason.

2016 All-County Teams

First Team

Erin O’Leary, Novi Jr. Setter (POY)

Ally Cummings, Novi Sr. Outside Hitter

Abryanna Cannon, Novi Jr. Outside Hitter

Abbey Malinowski, Clarkston Jr. Outside Hitter

Madeline Chinn, ND Prep Soph. Outside Hitter

Lindsay Wightman, Lake Orion Sr. Libero

Erika Ward, Stoney Creek. Sr. Libero

Lauren Wenzel, Marian Jr. Middle Blocker

COY: Jennifer Cottrill, Novi

Second Team

Sarah Austin, Clarkston Sr. Outside Hitter

Jessica Mruzik, Mercy Fr. Outside Hitter

Jessica Robinson, Troy Soph. Outside Hitter

Natalie Risi, ND Prep Soph. Outside Hitter

Gabrielle Shilling, ND Prep Jr. Middle Blocker

Alexa Rousseau, Bloomfield Hills Fr. Setter

Madi Jidas, Clarkston Sr. Libero

Claire Pinkerton, Novi Jr. Libero

Third Team

Stefanie Jankiewicz, Harrison Sr. Outside Hitter

Lauren Hunter, Mercy. Jr. Outside Hitter

Kathryn Ellison, Novi Jr. Outside Hitter

Leah Kalugar, Lake Orion Sr. Outside Hitter

Alexandra Gudobba, Oakland Christian Sr. Outside Hitter

Izzy Nino, Sr. Middle Hitter, Country Day

Nina Rudnitsky, Foley Jr. Libero

Samantha Morse, Oakland Christian Sr. Setter

Honorable Mention

Outside Hitter: Marisa Mingle, Sr. Oakland Christian; Tiffany Senerius, Jr. Waterford Our Lady; Julia Caravias, Jr. Bloomfield Hills; Kate Winter, Sr. Lakeland; Kennedy Kuffner, Sr. Mercy; Aysha Hood, Jr. Walled Lake Central; Molly Ligon, Jr. Seaholm; Emma Sorey, Sr. Marian; Paige Briggs, Soph. Oxford; Nicole Elzerman, Sr. Oxford; Madison Tuscany, Sr. Rochester Adams; Lindsey Stration, Jr. Stoney Creek; Mackenzie Wild, Sr. Stoney Creek; Sydney Hensley, Sr. Lamphere; Arlie Merucci, Sr. St. Catherine of Siena.

Middle Hitter: Payton Porter, Soph. St. Catherine of Siena; Starr Sumner, Sr. Oakland Christian; Olivia Smith, Jr. Bloomfield Hills; Miranda Strongman, Soph. Walled Lake Central; Mion Weldon, Jr. Walled Lake Central; Emily Grathoff, Sr. Walled Lake Northern; Taylor Raiola, Fr. Notre Dame Prep; Amelia Smith, Sr. Cranbrook; Alexis Johnson, Sr. Roeper; Mallorie Berriman, Sr. Lake Orion; Margaret DePorre, Jr. Marian.

Libero: Madison Dowd, Soph. Marian; Sydney Mann, Jr. Waterford Kettering; Katie LaClair, Jr. Holly; Elise Leverenz, Sr. Troy Athens; Abby Morrow, Sr. Country Day; Becca Oleskie, Jr. Lutheran Northwest.

Setter: Erin Whitman, Sr. Bishop Foley; Jacqueline Baughman, Jr. Lutheran Northwest; Kaitlyn Hawke, Sr. Lakeland; Kayla Guldan, Sr. Walled Lake Central; Vanessa Vigier, Sr. West Bloomfield; Amelie Cekauskas, Sr. Seaholm; Madeline Halsey, Sr. Rochester; Katie Grose, Soph. St. Catherine of Siena.

Last Updated: 12/18/2016 2:32:35 PM EST


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