Moody, Lady Tigers get a plethora of awards

........................................................................................................................................................................................

For a team that only lost three matches in 2012-13, the Los Lunas High volleyball team sure had its ups and downs this season.

The rollercoaster season included a third consecutive regular-season District 6-4A title, a state-tourney match win and a 19-3 record. Nearly all of the regular varsity players received some type of individual award for their contributions.

News-Bulletin file photo: Mykayla Moody was one of several Los Lunas High volleyball players honored for their contributions to the team’s 19-3 season.

Many Tiger players received All-District 6-4A and/or State Farm All-Metro awards. The Class 4A All-State teams had not been announced as of press time.

Mykayla Moody was the Tiger senior that received the most honors. She was named to the All-District 6-4A first team and the All-Metro Class 3A/4A third team.

Moody was also named as the team’s Outstanding Senior Student Athlete for the All-Metro awards.

Moody and teammates Teige Zeller, Katie Inman and Kelsey Bell were all named to the Class 4A All-State honorable mention team.

“Mykayla led our team in digs and receptions,” said the Tigers’ second-year coach, Leah Newton. “She touched the ball more than anyone on our team, with the exception of possibly our setter. She had great ball control, and also ended up being one of our leading servers in both aces and percentage.”

Moody was also one of the team’s top servers. She had 43 aces this season.

Juniors Zeller and Inman each made both the 6-4A first team and the All-Metro second team. They tied for tops on the team with 50 blocks each.

Zeller is a 6-foot, 2-inch middle blocker who transferred from Grants. She became eligible for varsity sports right away because her father, Marty, took the LLHS girls basketball coach job. A basketball all-star, Zeller hadn’t played volleyball since middle school.

“Teige was, by far, the most improved player on our team,” said Newton. “She made huge strides in all skill areas. Teige worked really hard every day in practice, and that translated on the court. She blocked well and was force at the net. She added energy and enthusiasm to our team.”

Inman broke her foot late last season, and didn’t get to play in the 2011-12 state tournament.

“Katie is an offensive weapon and really developed her game at the net,” said Newton of the 6-foot Inman. “She was one the leaders in the district in hitting percentage and kills per game. Her court awareness grew tremendously throughout the season, which allowed her to make smart choices and find the holes on the court. Katie also developed her block and defensive play at the net.”

The other All-Metro honoree was senior Melissa Gamez, who made the All-Academic team there.

Bell not only made the varsity rotation as a true freshman, but also became the Tigers’ main setter. She had 616 assists, with only 28 errors all season, and made the 6-4A first team.

“She led the district in assists,” said Newton. “Kelsey improved throughout the season as a setter and did a good job of mixing up her sets. She also improved in defense and serving. Kelsey stepped in as the youngest player on the court and really handled intense matches well.”

Natalie Baca filled in for Inman at the end of last season, and was effective as both a hitter and a blocker this season, accruing 102 kills. The senior was chosen for 6-4A second team.

“Natalie-played last year as middle, and was moved to a different position to help our team,” said Newton. “She was a great team player, and took on that role with positive energy in practice and on the court.”

Isabella Olguin made the 6-4A second team. The senior was used as a serving specialist, where she had 41 aces, and made several headfirst dives to make digs.

“Isabella was one of our leading servers in both aces and serving percentage,” said the coach. “She added energy in the back row, and hustled after every ball defensively.”

Zeller, Gamez and Carley Medina all made the district’s All-Academic team.


-- Email the author at jbrooks@news-bulletin.com.