After a historic season from Oconee County’s volleyball teams, 27 players were awarded with postseason accolades ranging from region recognition to national recognition by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

North Oconee, led by Jordan Childs in her first year as a coach, finished with a 14-17 regular season record before falling to Marist, the eventual Class AAAA state champion.

The Titans were led by junior outside hitter Lexie Spencer, who was named to the Region 8-AAAA first team. Additionally, Spencer was invited to the GACA sophomore/junior all-star match on Nov. 20.

Defensive specialist Morgan Morreale was the only North Oconee player named to the all-area second team, but Titans Meghan Tucker, Brooke Williams, Isabella Machado and Claudia Iglesias were named to the region’s honorable mention team.

Athens Academy, which finished as Class A-Private state runner-up for the first time since 2010, had a handful of players honored after the 42-3 season. Outside hitter Peyton Wheeler and setter Mara Thomas were named to the GVCA all-state team and the Region 8-A-Private first team. 

Thomas, daughter of head coach Jane Thomas, was named to the region all-tournament team, while Wheeler was named region tournament MVP. Wheeler was additionally invited to the GVCA senior all-star match on Nov. 13.

Outside hitter Olivia Nealy joined her teammates on the all-region first team while middle blocker Addison Ollendick-Smith joined the Spartans on the region all-tournament team. Ollendick-Smith was additionally dubbed with a second team all-region award with teammate Emma Hooper. Mary Miller capped off the Spartan awards as an all-region honorable mention honoree.

Additionally, Nealy, Thomas and Miller received invitations to the GACA sophomore/junior all-star match.

Prince Avenue, part of the same region and class as the Spartans, had three Wolverines awarded with postseason mentions after a Sweet 16 appearance and 33-9 record under second-year coach Morgan Garretson.

Sophomore setter Kelsey Cascella was named to the Region 8-A second team while sophomore defensive specialist Brooke Shambo earned honorable mention status. 

Right side hitter Anna Greer Vandagriff was named Region 8-A-Private’s Player of the Year as well as a member of the region all-tournament team. Following the Wolverines’ state playoff run, Vandagriff earned a Class A-Private all-state award and was invited to the GVCA senior all-star match.

Additionally, Vandagriff was recognized by the AVCA and named to the Best and Bright first team and Region 3 all-area team, which consists of players from Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.

Oconee County setter Grace Wenrich joined Vandagriff as an AVCA honoree. The senior was named to the Region 3 all-area team, was a Best and Brightest honoree and was dubbed an honorable mention All-American. Wenrich was additionally named the GVCA Class AAA and Region 8-AAA Player of the Year and received an invitation to the GVCA senior all-star match.

Wenrich and second-year coach Mark Oglesby led their team to a 42-6 record before falling to Sandy Creek in the semifinals, a round the Warriors had not been to since 2016. 

After doing so, outside hitter Brinley Bartlett was named to the GVCA Class AAA all-state and Region 8-AAA first teams. Defensive specialist Isabel Miller was named as an all-state honorable mention. Miller and Bartlett, along with Bailey Bartlett and junior Braeden Koch, were named to the regional first team. 

Marilyn Whitener, Ivy Baugher and Olivia Miller received all-region second team honors, while Caitlin Feilmeier, Sydney Freeman, Alena Salazar and Addie Eberhardt were named to the region’s honorable mention team.

Isabel Miller, Koch, Whitener and Brinley and Bailey Bartlett were additionally invited to the sophomore/junior all-star match.

Because of their historic state playoff runs, Oconee County head coach Oglesby and Athens Academy head coach Jane Thomas were both dubbed GVCA Coach of the Year for their respective classifications.

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