A new cast of stars took their turns making an impact within successful metro volleyball programs this fall.
A total of six athletes are rookie first-team All-Metro selections on The Courier’s annual honor squad as voted on by coaches from Waterloo West, Waterloo Christian, Valley Lutheran, Waterloo East, Waterloo Columbus and Cedar Falls.
Cedar Falls needed a variety of athletes to step up after a talented senior class graduated from last year’s state championship team. The Tigers reloaded by compiling a 46-1 record — with Ankeny Centennial handing the team its lone loss in the state championship match. As a result, five Cedar Falls players have become first-time, first-team All-Metro selections.
That Cedar Falls cast includes elite team all-stater Kacia Brown. The recent Mississippi State volleyball commit led the Tigers with 3.67 kills per set on .377 hitting with 2.74 digs per set in her first season as a full-rotation player.
Cedar Falls’ middle hitters Alayna Yates, a Dayton commit, and Dara Hulstein, a Navy commit, joined Brown on the first team along with setter Emerson Green and libero Kirsten Graves.
University of Northern Iowa volleyball recruit Kaylissa Arndorfer of Waterloo West returned to the first team after averaging 3.82 kills and 1.77 digs per set with 24 total blocks. Her West team secured seven more wins than a season ago before falling to Cedar Falls in the regional final.
Iowa State volleyball recruit Kate Shannon of Waterloo Columbus is another repeat first-team honoree. She averaged 3.42 digs per set and ranked among the state’s leaders with 80 aces from her libero position. Shannon’s Columbus teammate, junior Avery Kroll, elevated herself onto the first team after leading the Sailors’ attack with an average of 3.65 kills per set to go with 1.59 digs per set.
A pair of juniors in standout libero Jenna O’Donnell and right-side hitter/setter Carley Spooner of Waterloo East were named to the second team.
Emily Clapp and Ashley Shildroth finished their senior seasons at Cedar Falls strong to earn second-team accolades.
Waterloo West’s senior setter Christina Campbell and junior outside hitter Lauren Conrey also secured a place on the second team alongside Valley Lutheran’s senior leader Addyson Kaune and Columbus senior Sydney Schultz.