It’s not easy this time as Santa Margarita setter supreme Devon Chang is named Ms. Volleyball for California in a close call over three other top contenders. We also have a State Coach of the Year, first team all-state, second team all-state and have updated our Ms. Volleyball State Player of the Year list back to 1975.
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After a 2016 season in which the selection of Lexi Sun from Santa Fe Christian as the Ms. Volleyball State Player of the Year took less than 10 seconds, it wasn’t nearly as easy for the 2017 season.
Sun already had been tabbed as a national player of the year by some prior to last year’s announcement. This time, it was much more complicated.
Still, it’s time to choose the winner and the one topping the list will be senior Devon Chang from Santa Margarita of Rancho Santa Margarita. The UCLA-bound setter led the Eagles to the CIF Division I state title and already has been chosen as the Orange County Player of the Year.
The complication is that a different Orange County player, Santa Ana Mater Dei’s Siena Secrist, was named as the CIF Southern Section Division I Player of the Year. And there were two others who just as easily could have been Ms. Volleyball as well: senior Kamrin Caoili from Archbishop Mitty of San Jose and senior Jaden Whitmarsh from Torrey Pines of San Diego.
While some may argue that Santa Margarita’s D1 state title came against much weaker competition than the CIF Open Division, Chang also was a first-team all-state setter as a junior when the Eagles went all the way to the CIF Open Division state final. She was the highest-placed junior on last year’s all-state team and her total this season of 1,171 assists is one of the top 10 in state history, according to our own state record files.
“She has always been a mature athlete with focus and determination to be the best in her position,” Santa Margarita head coach Katy Daly told the Orange County Register. “She has a great work ethic and she’s a selfless teammate.”
It may be surprising, but Chang is the first girl from an Orange County school to be Ms. Volleyball for California since US Olympic beach player April Ross of Newport Harbor (Newport Beach) for 1999.
CAL-HI SPORTS MS. VOLLEYBALL
STATE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
2017 — Devon Chang (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM) Sr.
2016 — Lexi Sun (Santa Fe Christian, Solana Beach) Sr.
2015 — Noreen Iosia (Redondo, Redondo Beach) Sr.
2014 — Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani (Redondo, Redondo Beach) Sr.
2013 — Taylor Nelson (Granite Bay) Sr.
2012 — Reily Buechler (Torrey Pines, San Diego) Sr.
2011 — Emily Sklar (Presentation, San Jose) Sr.
2010 — Krista Vansant (Redlands East Valley, Redlands) Sr.
2009 — Rachel Williams (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) Sr.
2008 — Rachel Williams (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) Jr.
2007 — Falyn Fonoimoana (Mira Costa, Manhattan Beach) Soph.
2006 — Alix Klineman (Mira Costa, Manhattan Beach) Sr.
2005 — Taylor Carico (Mira Costa, Manhattan Beach) Sr.
2004 — Cynthia Barboza (Wilson, Long Beach) Sr.
2003 — Stecha Selsky (Marymount, Los Angeles) Sr.
2002 — Jessica Gysin (St. Francis, Mountain View) Sr.
2001 — Lindsey Sherburne (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) Sr.
2000 — Jennifer Saleaumua (Bonita Vista, Chula Vista) Sr.
1999 — April Ross (Newport Harbor, Newport Beach) Sr.
1998 — Jennifer Carey (Newport Harbor, Newport Beach) Sr.
1997 — Nikki Hartley (St. Francis, Mountain View) Sr.
1996 — Janae Henry (Centennial, Bakersfield) Sr.
1995 — Kerri Walsh (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) Sr.
1994 — Misty May (Newport Harbor, Newport Beach) Sr.
1993 — Misty May (Newport Harbor, Newport Beach) Jr.
1992 — Tanisha Larkin (Long Beach Poly, Long Beach) Sr.
1991 — Zrinka Kristich (La Habra) Sr.
1990 — Missy Clements (La Habra) Sr.
1989 — Piper Hahn (Mira Costa, Manhattan Beach) Sr.
1988 — Bev Oden (Irvine) Sr.
1987 — Jenny Evans (Newport Harbor, Newport Beach) Sr.
1986 — Keba Phipps (Artesia, Lakewood) Sr.
1985 — Tara Cross (Southern California Christian, Anaheim) Sr.
1984 — Elaina Oden (Irvine) Sr.
1983 — Wendy Rush (Rim of the World, Lake Arrowhead) Sr.
1982 — Alisa Eischen (Marian Catholic, San Diego) Sr.
1981 — Kim Oden (Irvine) Sr.
1980 — Linda Vaughn (Fremont, Sunnyvale) Sr.
1979 — Necie Thompson (Gahr, Cerritos) Sr.
1978 — Cheryl Jo Johnson (Corona del Mar, Newport Beach) Sr.
1977 — Mary Motah (Santa Fe, Santa Fe Springs) Sr.
1976 — Chris Anderson (Laguna Beach) Sr.
1975 — Denise Corlett (Marlborough, Los Angeles) Sr.
2017 STATE COACH OF THE YEAR
Stefanie Wigfall (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth)
She’s in her fifth season as the leader of the Trailblazers’ program and followed up the school’s first CIF Southern Section title in 2016 with the school’s first CIF state title in 2017. Sierra Canyon won the D2 state crown with a sweep of Atherton Sacred Heart Prep. Wigfall is a former valedictorian and two-sport athlete at Quartz Hill who has a master’s degree in clinical psychology. She began her coaching career with the Sunshine club program run by Los Angeles Marymount head coach Cari Klein and was a head coach at St. Monica (Santa Monica) prior to taking over at Sierra Canyon. This year’s team also gained a No. 13 final overall state ranking for beating Long Beach Poly in the semifinals of the Redondo Power Classic and then losing in the title game of that tourney to the host school.
2017 ALL-STATE FIRST TEAM
(13 players; Listed in alphabetical order)
(Chosen with requirement of at least one libero and at least two middle blockers)
OH/MB Karson Bacon (Rancho Cucamonga) 6-3 Sr.
The University of Oregon recruit has gained some All-American recognition for her skills and is the San Bernardino/Inland Valley Sun/Bulletin Player of the Year. Bacon had 407 kills this season and set a new school record for career kills with more than 1,200.
L Kelsey Campeau (Mater Dei, Santa Ana)
Regarded as one of the top liberos in the nation, Campeau will play next at UCLA. She also was on the OC Register honors squad.
OPP Kamrin Caoili (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) 6-0 Sr.
Already named as the Bay Area News Group Player of the Year, Caoili did everything well for the Monarchs and got the clinching kill in their win over Mater Dei in the CIF Open Division state final. In fact, Caoili played on four state title teams in a row at Mitty, including the last two in the Open Division. She will play next at Santa Clara.
S Devon Chang (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM) 5-11 Sr.
Our 2017 Ms. Volleyball State POY was the only junior on last year’s first team. She had a career high of 63 assists in one match, which came in the 2016 CIFSS D1 final vs. Mater Dei.
L Zoe Fleck (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth) 5-6 Sr.
The UC Santa Barbara-bound Fleck had a hard-to-believe total of 613 digs for the D2 state champs. She already was named a third team All-American by USA Today.
S Julia Handy (Turlock) 5-6 Sr.
She also had an all-time top 10 state season total for assists and ended with 1,218. The University of Arizona recruit also had more than 1,000 assists as a sophomore and junior and led the Bulldogs to their first-ever CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 title.
OPP Kendall Kipp (Corona del Mar, Newport Beach) 6-4 Jr.
A player well-known for future USA national team consideration, Kipp helped the Sea Kings reach the CIF Southern Section D1 semifinals. She already has been named All-Orange County and All-CIFSS D1.
OH Devon Newberry (Marymount, Los Angeles) 6-0 Jr.
She was the leader of the CIFSS D1 runner-ups in kills with 375 and also was second in aces. Newberry, who also was on the All-CIFSS D1 team, will play next on a beach scholarship for UCLA.
OH Nicole Liddle (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) 5-11 Sr.
In Mitty’s CIF Open Division title sweep of Mater Dei, Liddle led the way with 17 kills and played a fantastic all-around match. Liddle, an honors student who is going to Dartmouth for college, also led the Monarchs in kills for the season with nearly 500.
OH Riley Ramsey (Marin Catholic, Kentfield) 6-2 Sr.
For the last two seasons, Ramsey has been the league player of the year and this year she did it for a team that reached the CIF NorCal Open Division championship. Ramsey will play next at University of Pacific.
OH Brooklyn Schirmer (Redondo, Redondo Beach) 6-1 Sr.
She is the former player from Lakewood who would be the top honors’ candidate for Redondo, which played in the CIFSS D1 semifinals (based on a win over Santa Margarita). Schirmer, a USC recruit, was Redondo’s only representative on the All-CIFSS D1 team and she has experience at the international level.
OH Siena Secrist (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 5-11 Sr.
Her selection at the CIFSS D1 player of the year was deserved for being the kills leader of the championship team. Secrist will play next at USC and she had a big outing when the Monarchs beat then-national No. 1 Walton of Georgia to win the Nike TOC title in Arizona.
OH Jaden Whitmarsh (Torrey Pines, San Diego) 5-9 Sr.
The daughter of the late Mike Whitmarsh (one of the best men’s beach players ever), Jaden is the Player of the Year for the San Diego Section. She led the Falcons to the SD Open Division title and to a No. 1 state ranking until they lost to Mater Dei in the CIF SoCal Open final. Whitmarsh, who is heading to UCLA for a beach scholarship, racked up 408 kills and 303 digs for the season.
ALL-STATE SECOND TEAM
(18 players; Listed in alphabetical order)
(Chosen with requirement of at least two liberos, two middle blockers)
S Jordyn Amoy (Temecula Valley, Temecula) 5-8 Jr.
OH Nicole Cavote (Monte Vista, Danville) 6-1 Sr.
OPP Sarah Ciszek (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM) 5-9 Sr.
OH Mollie Ebertin (St. Francis, Mountain View) 6-1 Sr.
OH Madison Endsley (Temecula Valley, Temecula) 5-11 Soph.
MB Lizzy Fleming (St. Ignatius, San Francisco) 6-2 Jr.
MB Kari Geissberger (Marin Catholic, Kentfield) 6-5 Soph.
OH Makayla Lewis (Central, Fresno) 6-0 Jr.
S Olivia Lovenberg (Canyon Crest, San Diego) 5-9 Sr.
OH Katie Lukes (San Juan Hills, SJ Capistrano) 6-1 Sr.
S Kiara McNulty (Torrey Pines, San Diego) 5-9 Sr.
L Sarah Smevog (Santiago, Corona) 5-5 Sr.
S Makaela Tanaka (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) 5-9 Sr.
L Camryn Tastad (Santa Fe Christian, Solana Beach) 5-3 Sr.
S Mia Tuaniga (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 5-9 Soph.
OH Destynye Vailiamu (Lakewood) 5-10 Jr.
OH Peyton Wilhite (Cathedral Catholic, San Diego) 6-4 Jr.
MB/OH Kalyah Williams (Long Beach Poly) 6-2 Sr.