DeRonde Leads Postseason Honors

 

by Wade Steinlage

Oskaloosa–Guided by the Class 4A Player of the Year, the Oskaloosa Indian girls’ volleyball team may need to build a trophy room for all of its recent accolades.

Faith DeRonde dominated the awards season as she was not only a first-team all-Little Hawkeye performer (fourth time on top team), but also selected to the all-district team (third laurel). Her awards culminated by her being named not only First-Team All-Class 4A, but also Class 4A Player of the Year.

DeRonde, who guided the Indians to a 31-5 record and a trip to the state tournament, was chosen for the Elite All-State team, which includes the top nine players from all classes throughout the state of Iowa. She has also been picked to compete in the IGCA Senior All-Star Classic. It is DeRonde’s third All-State laurel.

It was a record-breaking campaign for DeRonde, who set marks for single-season kills (521) and kills per set (5.6). At the state tournament, she also broke the Class 4A single-match record with 40 kills versus Waverly-Shell Rock in OHS’ quarterfinal bout. She paced all Class 4A players with 521 kills and 1,078 attempts and was fifth in attack percentage at .360. The senior also notched a team-high 233 digs in addition to 55 aces and 15 blocks.

“Congratulations to Faith and all of the recognition she has received for her talents on the court,” Head Coach Jennifer Comfort said. “While she is being individually recognized, she would be the first to point out she wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her team and all the effort they put in over the years as well. Volleyball is a true team sport, and as a team, we were fortunate to have the best player in Class 4A on our team, and one of the best players in the state. Faith’s talents helped make each of our athletes better over the years, raised our expectations as a program, and allowed us to accomplish dreams and goals set long ago as a team. Her hard work, dedication, and commitment to improving constantly was evident whenever and wherever she was training and competing. The hard work has paid off! Faith, congratulations from all of us and we are proud of you!”

While DeRonde garnered the lion’s share of the recognition, she was joined by several of her teammates at the all-LHC level. Maleah Walker was also on the LHC’s first team; Walker was an all-district selection as well. The junior, who moved up from second-team all-LHC recognition a year ago, tallied 235 kills on a .180 attack clip, while also recording 230 digs, a team-high 56 aces, and 11 blocks.

Second-team all-LHC awards went to senior Olivia Gordon and junior Lucy Roach. Now a two-time second-teamer, Gordon assisted 540 times, while also posting 80 digs, 51 aces, and 27 kills (.172 attack pct.). Roach managed 220 digs and 52 aces this fall.

The blocking duo of Aby Thompson and Aubree Blanco each received honorable-mention all-LHC status as well. Thompson’s 91 kills came on a .257 attack clip; she was also OHS’ top blocker with 32. Blanco hit .191 with 71 kills and had 29 blocks as well. The honorable mention is the second for Thompson in her prep career.

In addition to DeRonde and Walker, the Oskaloosa coaching staff was also chosen as the Southeast Iowa District Coaches of the Year.

“The trust the athletes placed in the coaching staff allowed us to bring out the best in this team, to reach the potential we saw in this team a long time ago, and to turn dreams into goals into accomplishments as a team this season,” Comfort said. “The group effort it took over many years from athletes, coaches, and all others involved is represented in this award.”

Varsity letters were earned by DeRonde, Walker, Gordon, Roach, Thompson, Blanco, Rylee Ebelsheiser, Addison Gerard, Macie Krier, Presley Blommers, Aubrey Boender, and Ali Main.

Obviously great athletes, the Indian girls’ volleyball team also succeeds in the classroom with the varsity squad posting a first trimester team Grade Point Average of 3.55. The entire program’s GPA was 3.65. Eight individuals (Blanco, DeRonde, Krier, Boender, Blommers, Roach, Walker, and Emma Castillo-Basham) collected academic all-LHC laurels as well.

“Not only are these wonderful young women, they are smart and hard-working in the classroom as well,” Comfort said. “We are so proud of you for making your education a priority, as well as balancing being an in-season athlete. Congratulations to all!”

Posted by on Nov 20 2021. Filed under Local News, School Activities. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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