MOUNT VERNON — Highland’s Bridget Oder, East Knox’s Ashley VanHoose and Utica’s Taygan Young were all selected to compete in a senior-only central district all-star game to be played Sunday in Olentangy.
Oder was chosen as one of 12 Division II players from the central district and she is one of two liberos on the roster.
“I was really excited when coach Terrill told me about this,” Oder said. “I was really excited for all he has done for me and that all the hard work paid off.”
The Scot libero earned first-team KMAC, first-team central district and all-state this year. She finished the season with 546 digs and 58 aces.
VanHoose earned the nod for a roster spot as the Bulldog libero and is set to play on the Division III roster.
“I’m excited about it,” VanHoose said. “It doesn’t happen around East Knox that often for volleyball so I’m super excited about it.”
VanHoose finished her final season with East Knox with 540 digs and 27 aces, earning first-team all-KMAC and first-team all-district.
Young had a different route to the all-star game. She missed a large part of her senior season due to an injury, so she is looking at Sunday as another chance to take the court and enjoy a game of volleyball.
“I missed many games this season due to an ankle injury, so being able to play again means a lot,” Young said.
Despite the injury, Young tallied 70 kills, 26 blocks, 69 digs and three aces on the year, earning her a spot on the district second-team.
Joining Young and VanHoose on the court for the Division III squad are two girls VanHoose played against several times in the KMAC. Cardington’s Paige Clinger and Northmor’s Anna Donner both earned a spot on the DIII team.
With the teams selected, the games are set, with Division III taking on Division IV, followed by the Division I against Division II showdown. All of the teams will have a short practice Sunday to tune up and figure out the best rotations before the games at night. With so many all-stars from across the area, there will be a lot of introductions and getting to know each others’ play style during the practice.
“I think it’s going to be difficult just learning how all of us move, since we all have played differently,” VanHoose said. “As the game goes along, we will settle in and the practice before will help with that as well.”
For the girls in their last official high school game, it is a mix of staying competitive, but having fun and meeting other all-stars from the area.
“I want to go out and be focused and have a strategy and try our best,” Oder said. “But, also go out and have fun and enjoy ourselves.”
Young shared those sentiments heading into the game.
“I am looking forward to being able to play with a different group of girls and just being able to meet new people,” Young said. “My main goal heading into the game is to just have fun, since that’s what volleyball is all about.”
The games are set for Sunday at Olentangy Liberty High School. DIII and DIV have their awards ceremony around 4:30 p.m., before the game starts at 5 p.m. The DI and DII awards are slated for around 6:15 p.m. with the match to follow.
“I’m going in to have fun, but the goal is obviously to win,” VanHoose said.