It would be very difficult to find a county to match the volleyball talent that Randolph County displays every year. This past season was no different.
Five of the six teams who qualified for the state tournament won at least one game with one team — Uwharrie Charter Academy — advancing to the third round and another — Southwestern Randolph — moving to the fourth round.
With so much team success, that can only mean there are some very talented girls in the county and we would like to introduce The Hub’s 2023 All-Randolph County Volleyball Team.
To be eligible, a player had to be nominated by her coach with characteristics such as leadership, sportsmanship and final statistics all weighing into the nomination. The team was then selected from the nominations received. The coaches were also asked to submit one name for the player of the year.
Player of the Year: Coley Shiflet, SW Randolph
Of all the positions on the volleyball court, the libero is certainly one of the most important and the county was full of incredibly smart, athletic and talented liberos. The best of the best was Southwestern Randolph High School’s Coley Shiflet and the senior has been named The Hub’s Player of the Year.
Shiflet, who was named to the NCVCA all-state team, finished with 595 digs, which was first on her team, first in the conference, first among all state 2-A West Region teams and third in the state. She earned the Piedmont Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award and added 96 assists to her senior resume. She will continue her volleyball career at the University of Houston.
Trinity High School coach Rodney Kirby said: “Been coaching this sport at both the collegiate and high school level for over 20 years and she is about as good as I’ve seen at the libero position. She allows (SWR coach Darby Kennedy) to cover 2/3’s of the court with 5 players while Coley takes care of the other 1/3. That’s a luxury that I’ve never had and I’m sure very few coaches have ever had.”
Coach of the Year: Lee Kennell, Uwharrie Charter
As with the Player of the Year, there were certainly a number of candidates for coach of the year. Uwharrie Charter Academy’s Lee Kennell and the Eagles finished second in the PAC, which is certainly one of if not the toughest 1-A/2-A leagues in the state. A 1-A team, the Eagles were 7-3 in the league and 19-7 overall, advancing to the third round before falling at Cherokee. For his efforts, Kennell has been named the Coach of the Year.
Madelyn Smith (SW Randolph) — The senior registered 314 kills, 31 aces and 349 digs for a team that went undefeated in the PAC. She was named the conference Player of the Year and earned second team all-state honors by the NCVCA.
Gracie Hodgin (SW Randolph) — The junior led the team in kills with 352. She was a key part of the Cougars’ success, recording 128 digs and 28 aces. She came through when the Cougars needed a big point.
RAEgan LeRoy (SW Randolph) — The senior setter had an outstanding season as she adjusted to a new offensive scheme. A definite leader on the floor, she was named all-conference after filling out the stat sheet every match.
Sion Murrain (Asheboro) — The senior outside hitter transitioned very well from the inside. She averaged better than four kills per set in playing all six rotations. She had an 88 percent serving success rate and possesses great jumping ability and a powerful spike.
Ellen Long (Asheboro) — The three-year varsity performer ended her high school career as a leader for the Blue Comets, sporting a solid .408 hitting percentage, the best in the conference. She averaged four kills and two blocks per set and was 91 percent on her serves.
Camden Scott (Randleman) — The junior led the Tigers with 364 kills on the season. She was second on the team in digs with 302 and second in blocks as well. Another power hitter on the front line.
Karli Kennington (Randleman) — The senior libero led RHS in digs with 482 on the season, finishing her high school varsity career with nearly 1,600 digs. She also led the team in aces with 39 on the season.
Mailey Way (Providence Grove) — Another of the strong crop of Liberos in the county, Way was a definite spark plug for the Patriots. She brought a fiery presence to the floor, finishing with 472 digs and 90 percent serving.
Addie Flinchum (Eastern Randolph) — The senior had one of the most devastating shots in the county and led the Wildcats to their best season since 2016. She had a 96.2 serving percentage, 356 kills, a kill percentage of 44.2 percent and 255 digs.
Chloe Painter (Uwharrie Charter) — A two-time all-league performer, the senior registered 447 assists, 181 kills, 204 digs, 40 blocks and 64 aces this season. She has signed to play volleyball at Pembroke.
Lizah Moore (Uwharrie Charter) — Athletic with incredible leaping ability, she recorded 325 kills while hitting .320 with 50 blocks. Only a junior, she will return to lead the Eagles next season.
Sarabeth Johnson (Trinity) — The senior outside hitter was a true leader on the court for the Bulldogs, finishing in the top five in the conference with 318 kills and hitting at a .411 clip. She was one of the team’s leaders in digs.
Kaitlyn McCoy (Trinity) — The junior outside hitter finished with 318 kills and hit at .357 for the season. She was also one of the team’s leaders in digs. The 17 wins record by THS was the most since 2019.
Taylor Richardson (Wheatmore) — The senior middle hitter was a bright spot for the Warriors, who had to endure a coaching change during the season. She had 185 kills, 43 aces and 276 digs for WHS, which played approximately 20 fewer sets than most of the teams in the PAC.
Riley Key (SWR), Piper Davidson (AHS), Lia George (AHS), Riley Mazzarone (PG), Kenly Whitaker (ER), Sadie Upchurch (UCA), Kenzie Hill (UCA), Karrington Batten (THS), Lucy Lockwood (WHS), Kynnedi Routh (WHS).