It was a wild year in Southeast Conference volleyball. Burlington was able to come in and take over in year one, but the other five SEC teams were more even than ever, leading to quite a bit of parity in league play.
The three Union area teams only combined for 26 wins this season, but all three challenged for that second spot in the conference. The parity between the three teams allowed for the Trojans, Panthers and Demons to each get multiple selections on the big school list.
Listed below is the 2019 All-Southeast Iowa Union big school volleyball team.
Coach: Diana Drish, Fairfield: After losing eight seniors from their co-SEC champion squad from last season, the Trojans needed to reload fast to try and stay toward the top of the conference. Fairfield had a rough start to the season that included road losses to both Washington and Mt. Pleasant, but pulled together when the conference tournament came around.
At the SEC tournament, Fairfield was able to knock off both Keokuk and Mt. Pleasant, going 2-3 to secure a third-place finish. The Trojans then advanced the furthest in the postseason out of the three Union area teams, knocking off Mt. Pleasant in a four-set first round match before falling to state qualifier North Scott in the regional semifinals.
Captain: Addison Six, senior, Washington: There were just three hitters in the SEC who eclipsed 200 kills in 2019, and one of them was Washington’s leader at the front of the net.
Six was third in the conference with 235 kills on the season and also finished Top 10 in digs, with 210. She was also one of the best servers in the league, finishing the year with a 9.14 serve efficiency and a conference-leading 44 aces.
Hitter: Avery Sutter, junior, Mt. Pleasant: Mt. Pleasant’s most intimidating presence in the front of the net was Sutter, a junior that wreaked havoc on opposing hitters all year.
Sutter finished sixth in the conference with 158 kills but did her best work on defense. Her 125 blocks was best in the SEC, leading the second-best blocker in the conference by over 50. She also finished the year with a .907 serve efficiency and 16 aces.
Hitter: Olivia Jones, junior, Fairfield: The Trojans needed someone to step up at the hitter position this season and nobody stuck out more than Jones.
The junior was seventh in the SEC with 155 kills, tops on the Fairfield team. She also led her squad with 42 blocks, and was one of the squad’s top servers with a .870 serve efficiency and 25 aces.
Setter: Lily Hoskins, senior, Fairfield: Of all the Trojan returners, nobody had more experience than Lily Hoskins, and she rose to the occasion in 2019.
Hoskins was third in the SEC in assists with 443, most among the three Union area big schools. She also had 135 digs on the year, and ended the season with a .957 serve efficiency and 15 aces.
Libero: Olivia McClaran, senior, Fairfield: Nobody in the SEC played tougher at the back line than Fairfield senior McClaran, who stepped into the libero spot for her senior campaign.
McClaran finished the year with 331 digs, tops in the SEC by 44. She also sprinkled in 10 blocks, and had a .871 serve efficiency with a team-leading 27 aces.
Defensive Specialist: Kailyn Mitchell, senior, Washington: The leading lady on the Demon back line was Mitchell, another Washington senior.
Mitchell cracked the Top 10 in the league in digs, with 224, which was tops on the team. She also had a nice year serving the ball, ending the season with a .942 serve efficiency and 28 aces.
Defensive Specialist: Apryl Simon, senior, Mt. Pleasant: When it came to back line defense, the Panthers turned to Simon more than anybody else. The senior took over the libero role in her senior year.
Simon finished the season with 216 digs, which cracked the Top 10 in the SEC. Simon wasn’t the go-to server for Mt. Pleasant, getting just 29 serves this year, but she still reached double digits in aces, with 10.
The 2019 All-Union big school volleyball team was selected by sports editors Doug Brenneman and Andy Krutsinger.