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Central High School


Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 07:38 PM

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Player of the Year

Courtney Skinner

Outside hitter

Nature Coast – Senior

COMMENTS: The only returning starter from a team that reached the Elite Eight the previous two seasons … A four-year varsity player, contributed to a Sweet 16 appearance as a freshman … Despite only being 5-foot-2, accounted for more than half the Lady Sharks' 502 kills with 258 … Twice had as many as 20 kills, with a season high of 21 in Oct. 16 win over Weeki Wachee … Though no longer a libero, she still managed 309 digs … Boasted a 94.2 serving percentage and 31 aces.

QUOTES: "I was proud of her for the season she had. Being a senior, you want to go out on top and obviously it was a down season (4-22) for us. But I think she did a good job of being a leader. She was the player we always counted on every game we played. … She's played tons of club volleyball for many, many years. She has perfected the fundamentals and approach to her swing. But to be 5'2" and be that good of a hitter, you've got to have a great vertical. And she loves to hit, even though she knows she doesn't have the body for it."

- Nature Coast head coach Emily Gore

Samantha Bishop

Middle hitter

Central – Junior

COMMENTS: Recorded 306 kills and 38 aces after Anthony DiSciascio took over as head coach for the season's fifth match … Totaled 17 kills in a three-game win over Citrus in the first round of the 6A-6 Tournament.

QUOTES: "She just really matured and came into her own, becoming more of a leader on the court emotionally. And her all-around game keeps improving. … She has a very athletic-type body. She's able to get a swing on just about any ball."

- Central head coach Anthony DiSciascio

Nikki Klukowski

Middle hitter

HCA – Junior

COMMENTS: Finished the season with 93 kills, 50 aces, 47 digs and 39 blocks for the Lady Lions … Had a team-high seven kills in four-game loss to Cambridge Christian in 2A-8 semifinals … Helped HCA pull out a winning record at 13-12.

QUOTES: "She had a really good season. Sometimes she'd try too hard at the net and end up making more errors than if she'd just relax. … Her hitting was good; that and her serving."

- HCA head coach Stacy Hethorn

Bryanna Leonard


Springstead – Junior

COMMENTS: First-year starter produced 321 assists for the Lady Eagles … Topped 30 assists in a match five times, including a season-high 38 in a five-game win over Citrus Sept. 20 … Also notched 42 aces, with a best of seven in that Citrus match.

QUOTES: "She had a really good year. Some games were better than others, but there were a bunch of games where she had 20, 30, 35 assists. … She has ridiculously good hands and moves the ball well. … If she just communicates more she can go very far. She just needs to lead a little more."

- Springstead head coach Noemi Rivera

Layci Martin


Hernando – Senior

COMMENTS: Paced Lady Leopards with 210 assists and 363 digs … Added 72 kills and 31 aces … Peaked late in the season along with the rest of the team, averaging 14.8 assists and 20.3 digs over the final six matches … Posted season high of 20 assists and tied season best with 29 digs in 5A-7 semifinal loss to Crystal River.

QUOTES: "She had the highest jump on our team. She worked really hard all summer on her jump routine to be in the frontcourt. But she really excelled as a setter. … She became more mature. She would look at the other side of the court and think before she set. She could pinpoint who was really on and set for that person."

- Hernando head coach Patti Martin

Ashley Sims

Outside hitter/Setter

Hernando – Senior

COMMENTS: The Lady Leopards' finest hitter with 173 kills, and second on the team with 171 assists and 229 digs … Posted 40 aces and 20 blocks … Combined for 41 kills over final three matches, including a season-high 14 twice … Had season-best 16 assists plus 19 digs in 5A-7 semifinal against Crystal River … Earned All-County honors in softball as a junior.

QUOTES: "She has come a long ways. She learned to control herself. She really matured. She's a real leader and she stayed positive. … She became a strong hitter. … I'm kind of sad that she committed (to play in college) for softball. She had a couple of colleges asking about her. … She really practiced on her swing and approach. She just has a lot of aggression and jumped really high."

- Hernando head coach Patti Martin

Julia Waugh

Middle hitter

Central – Senior

COMMENTS: Compiled 227 kills under head coach Anthony DiSciascio … Had 10 kills in Lady Bears' victory over Citrus during the 6A-6 Tournament.

QUOTES: "She had a good year. You knew every night what you were going to get out of her. She's one of the best hitters and best servers in the county. She's very consistent. … She's just one of the hardest workers we had. She was in the gym every possible second she could be and always trying to improve her game."

- Central head coach Anthony DiSciascio

Marisa Welch

Outside hitter

Springstead – Senior

COMMENTS: Repeat All-County selection … Lady Eagles' lone returning starter, paced team with 153 kills … Had 155 kills – across several more matches – as a junior … Season high in kills was 20 against Citrus on Sept. 5 … Added 27 aces, including six on Sept. 13 versus Ocala-West Port.

QUOTES: "She had a great year. She was our go-to person. In crunch time, I could count on her to make a pass, get the kill. … She was very vocal on the court; very encouraging, too. She'd always bring up the girls. If things were going wrong, she was never down and out. She always had a positive attitude. … The girl can play. She can do it all."

- Springstead head coach Noemi Rivera

Halie Werkmeister

Outside hitter

Weeki Wachee – Senior

COMMENTS: The Lady Hornets' first-ever All-County selection … Despite missing six matches in September due to sprained right ankle, still totaled 192 kills, 121 digs and 24 aces … In first match back against Lecanto on Sept. 20, had 18 kills and 12 digs … Tallied 11 and 10 kills respectively in two 4A-6 Tournament matches.

QUOTES: "She was the player who since Day 1 never gave up on the team. Even being hurt during the season, she came back and gave 110 percent. She was always a leader on the court and had a good attitude. … She was one of the elite players on the team because she was all-around. She was our primary passer. She filled every position on the team."

- Weeki Wachee head coach Kelly Werkmeister

Coach of the Year

Patti Martin

Hernando – 4th year

COMMENTS: Guided the Lady Leopards to a 12-10 record overall, but a 9-3 mark down the stretch … Though Springstead won the county championship, Hernando captured the final matchup between the teams on Oct. 10, 25-23, 25-27, 25-23, 23-25, 15-10 … The Lady Leopards came the closest among county teams to advancing to regionals, nearly upsetting top seed Crystal River in the 5A-7 semifinals before losing in five … Is stepping down to pursue an assistant principal position … Also the 2010 Coach of the Year, she finishes 49-52 at Hernando – 42-34 over her final three seasons with a Sweet 16 appearance two years ago.

QUOTES: "I love coaching volleyball. I'm sad I won't be coaching it. It's easy when you have a great group of girls. I've been pretty lucky. I'd stay, but I do want to further my career as an AP and I can't coach. … The team that played at the end of the season was the way I thought we'd play all year. … I had pulled out one of our old programs. I keep a scrapbook each year. I pulled it out on one of the bus rides and it was all these girls in ninth grade. I said 'You're the last ones to survive all four years of it. You played hard because you loved the game and that's the girls you need to be.' It's an accomplishment to last four years in my program because I have high expectations. I wish I had thought of that at the beginning of the season."

- Patti Martin (352) 544-5288

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