Back and forth, back and forth.
It wasn’t easy to pick the 2017 All-Area volleyball player of the year, which came down to two excellent candidates. So, they both won.
The co-players of the year are Fort Mill senior Brooke Farley and Nation Ford sophomore Sophie Fischer. Each excelled in her own way -- Farley through versatility and skill at a number of positions, and Fischer through dominant power at the net.
Fischer was named the Region 4-5A player of the year after smashing 580 kills and helping Nation Ford to the third round of the 5A state playoffs. Voted a team captain by her teammates, Fischer played both middle blocker and outside hitter, using her 6-foot-5 length to impact the game offensively and defensively and earning All-Tournament honors at all four tournaments the Falcons played at in 2017.
Farley played every position on the court at different times, and much closer to the floor than Fischer usually, but was just as crucial to the Yellow Jackets’ success. Farley led the region in aces, hitting percentage, was second in assists, fourth in kills and seventh in digs. She made 5A All-State for the second straight season and All-Region for the third year in a row.
Lewisville’s Josh Renaud is the The Herald’s 2017 All-Area volleyball coach of the year. Renaud led the Lions to the 1A state championship. Renaud grew a program that won a few matches his first year into a state champion, with many of its best players returning next season.
▪ Brooke Farley, Fort Mill: Farley earned All-Region 4-5A and 5A All-State honors after a great senior season. The Queens University volleyball signee led the region in hitting percentage and serving aces, recorded 484 assists, 204 digs and 187 kills, as well as 19 kill blocks.
▪ Sophie Fischer, Nation Ford: 5A All-State selection had 580 kills and a 38.6 kill percentage. Fischer added 288 digs and 85 blocks. The sophomore, committed to the University of North Carolina, was also named Region 4-5A player of the year.
▪ Victoria Wilform, Northwestern: All-Region 4-5A selection was named MVP of two different tournaments and signed in November to play college volleyball at Appalachian State. Wilform missed games this year but still had 248 kills and 282 digs, along with 73 serving aces.
▪ Amber Bass, Lewisville: 1A All-State and Region 2-A player of the year produced 426 kills, 79 blocks, 67 digs and 62 assists as a junior middle hitter for the state champion Lions.
▪ Emily Alanis, Indian Land: 3A All-State junior made the Warriors go on offense. She had 322 assists, 145 digs, hit 97.5 percent of her serves in-bounds and made All-Region 4-3A.
▪ Karina Petrovich, South Pointe: Petrovich made 4A All-State after a junior season in which she landed 312 kills, 64 blocks and put 95 percent of her serves inbounds. Petrovich, a junior middle blocker, also earned All-Region 3-4A honors.
▪ Victoria Scurlock, Fort Mill: one of the best defensive players around led Region 4-5A with 349 digs. The All-Region pick also had 71 assists, 30 aces and kept 96 percent of her serves in play.
▪ Ava Philbeck, Nation Ford: senior libero was All-Region 4-5A and led Nation Ford’s defensive efforts with 381 digs.
▪ Emily Lammers, Nation Ford: All-Region 4-5A sophomore did some of everything for the Falcons, recording 322 digs, a 94.6 serving percentage and 212 kills.
▪ Neely Shugart, Rock Hill: All-Region 4-5A senior signed to play volleyball at Anderson recorded 162 blocks, a 91 serving percentage and a 39 kill percentage.
▪ Abby Dixon, Lewisville: All-Region 2-A sophomore middle hitter polished off 220 kills, with 99 assists, 37 digs and 32 blocks.
▪ Allie Keels, Lewisville: sophomore All-Region 2-A setter provided 529 assists and 93 kills.
Linzie Gregory, Clover; Julianna Crane and Grayson Smith, Fort Mill; Lauren Crocker and Aly Butler, Lewisville; Grace Scott and Carly Pigza, Nation Ford; Taylor Drayton, Northwestern; Corbin Goodwin, Maylen Mitrovich and Taylor Ball, Rock Hill; Kaytlin Houston, South Pointe.