Brentwood senior named conference player of the year in volleyball
By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
Eight female athletes from Brentwood High School recently received postseason honors in volleyball, softball and field hockey. All eight were voted onto all-conference teams and three of them made all-district as well. The winners were determined by a vote of all the coaches in the district or conference.
The most decorated athlete was senior Emily Connor, who made first team all-district, first team all-conference and co-player of the year in the conference.
The list of BHS honorees has its share of unlikely heroes. Four played on softball and field hockey teams that won fewer than three games all season. Field hockey standout Ashley Cloud had no goals or assists. Third baseman Sophia Rivera is so good that she missed half of the season with an injury and still made all-conference. Caroline Snare accomplished the rare feat of making not just all-conference but all-district as a freshman.
The volleyball team had the most honorees, with four. That’s no surprise, as the Eagles went 24-8 overall and 10-0 in the conference.
Senior outside hitters Connor and Danni Coates made the Class 2 all-district and all-conference first teams and Connor was named the co-player of the year in the South Central Athletic Association Conference.
Freshman inside hitter Snare made the all-district second team and all-conference first team. Senior Libero Lauren Macy was chosen to the all-conference second team.
Connor played with a consistency and aggressiveness that Brentwood coaches would like to bottle.
“Emily has been really consistent for us,” said BHS coach Whitney Ralph. “Pretty much you can always count on her. She’s the kind of person who wants the ball and isn’t afraid to get that set on game point or serve at game point.”
Despite winning only one game this season, the Brentwood softball team had two athletes on the South Central Athletic Association all-conference team. Senior Julianna Nikodym was chosen as an infielder. Rivera, a junior, made it as a third baseman.
Rivera’s award is especially impressive considering that she missed the second half of the season with an injury. On Sept. 12 a base runner collided with Rivera’s catching hand, breaking her thumb. Her cast was removed one day after the last game of the season and she’s now playing basketball.
The Brentwood field hockey team won only two games but put two senior midfielders on Suburban Division II all-conference field hockey teams. Cloud was voted to the first team and Gabby Naumann made the second team. Naumann led the Eagles in scoring.
Cloud honed her skills playing in an offseason Gateway Field Hockey league and it showed this season. She scored no goals from her center midfield position but bested opponents in countless one-on-one battles and didn’t seem to tire as games wore on.