Several A5 players make Soph 79

March 20, 2013 - Congratulations to everyone who made the 2012 Soph 79 list! You can see the list in its entirety here as part of the PrepVolleyball subscription provided to all high school age families as a benefit of A5 membership.

The Soph 79 are, in's opinion, the top 79 sophomores in the country based on high school achievement. To quote John Tawa of "If you were hurt and hardly played, or you transferred schools or found yourself on JV or on a varsity bench, don't look for your name below. You won't find it. Not on this list. Not this year. You had to achieve on a high school varsity squad to make it."

Here are the A5 players who made the various lists and what had to say about them.

The 2012 Soph 79

Amber MacDonald, 5-4 Libero, Blessed Trinity (Roswell, Georgia) – One of the state’s best defenders, a fearless leader, and a wicked competitor, MacDonald led the 54-2 Titans to the 2012 AAA state title. She posted 532 digs (4.6 per set), including a dominant 17-dig performance in a state finals sweep of St Pius X. MacDonald’s defensive efforts have put both school and state records for career digs in sight and earned her both All-Area and All-State recognition. Coach Paul Stevens says MacDonald is “the real deal.”

Caroline Ostman, 5-10 OH, Harrison (Kennesaw, Georgia) – Ostman helped the Hoyas to a 49-7 mark this season by amassing 296 kills, 216 digs and 29 aces. A team captain, Ostman was an all-state first-team selection and also earned all-area and all-county honors, in addition to being named the team co-MVP. “Caroline is a dominant power hitter,” coach Clay Taylor said.

Maggie Rick, 5-9 Setter, Blessed Trinity Catholic (Roswell, Georgia) – Named First Team All-State, Rick set nationally-ranked Blessed Trinity to the Georgia AAA title this past season. A gifted athlete with terrific hands, Rick was one of the top three assist leaders in the state in 2012, hoisting 1,073 helpers. The unflappable sophomore added 156 digs and 48 kills, including a dump on match point that secured the state title for the Titans.

Mason Rooney, 6-3 S/RS, Westminster (Atlanta, Georgia) – Rooney, a Davidson University recruit, played an integral role in Westminster’s run to the AA championship match in 2012. The hard-working Rooney, who earned All-Area, All-Region and All-State accolades, finished the year with more than 353 assists, 187 kills and 168 digs and 92 aces. “Mason is a calm, competitive, solid-rock emotional leader with a steely focus on the here and now,” said coach Jona Braden. Her teammates look to Mason for reassurance, inner confidence, and an extra-push while being the example of what it means to stay in the moment, fighting for one point at a time, giving her all no matter what as well as raising her level of play as the match got tighter and the stakes got higher. To sum it up, Mason was the glue of our team.”

Harley Sebastian, 6-2 OH, The Lovett School (Atlanta, Georgia) – One of the best sophomores in Georgia, Sebastian helped lead Lovett to a Class AA state title this past season. Pacing the Lions with 336 kills, 182 digs and 92 aces, Sebastian set the tone this season with her physical play and outstanding ball control. For her performance on the year, Sebastian was named to both the GVCA All-State and GVCA All-Region teams.

Taylor Svehla, 6-1 MB, South Forsyth (Cumming, Georgia) - A First Team All-State Selection, Svehla is easily one of the top sophomores in the state of Georgia. Slamming an impressive 444 kills on the season, Svehla led South Forsyth to the Elite Eight of the Georgia 6A Tournament. Averaging 3.5 kills per game, Svehla added 85 blocks and 82 aces to her stat sheet for the season. She was named First Team All-Region and First Team All-County and was selected by her team as the Offensive MVP.

Highest Honorable Mention

Kendra Koetter, 5-8 S, Wesleyan (Norcross, Georgia) – Koetter moved from Jacksonville to Atlanta after her freshman year and virtually matched her stats from her standout 2011 season. Named First Team All-County and All-State Class AA, Koetter recorded 893 assists, 215 digs, 49 aces and 118 kills for the 35-12 Wolves in 2012.

Paige McKnight, 5-8 S, Dunwoody (Georgia) – McNight led the Dunwoody Wildcats to the Region 6-AAAAA championship game and their first state playoff appearance in three years. She was the only player among the 20 DeKalb County high school to be listed in the top 10 for all five major statistical categories (Aces, Kills, Blocks, Assists and Digs) while primarily playing the setting position. A First Team All-Region pick, she averaged 9.5 Assists, 5.3 Digs and 4.6 Kills for a young Dunwoody team with 8 freshmen and sophomores on their 12-player roster.

High Honorable Mention

Logan Page, 6-0 S, Sequoyah (Canton, Georgia) – Post-season accolades were plenty for Page, as she was placed on the Area 7-5A First Team, Cherokee Tribune First Team All-County, Ledger News First Team All-County, and her coaches selected her as the team MVP. In her first high school season playing the setter position, Page finished 2012 with 530 assists (6.24 per set), 81 blocks, 99 digs, and 63 kills. “I really cannot say enough about how key of a player she is for us,” said head coach John Edwards.

Kodi Smith, 5-9 OH-DS, Harrison (Kennesaw, Georgia) – Smith recorded 244 kills, 304 digs and 58 aces en route to earning all-state honorable-mention honors. Smith also was an all-area first-team pick. “Kodi is an all-everything type player,” coach Clay Taylor said. “She is the team’s emotional leader who hits with power while using deadly accuracy and placement. She is a natural libero who played outside to help the team be successful. Kodi does not come off the floor when it matters.”

Special Mention

Alex Mills, 5-10 MB, Roswell (Georgia) -- Mills was named to the Area 4-6A All-Area First-Team list after being the go-to player for Roswell in 2012. She finished the fall campaign with 463 kills, 380 digs and 51 aces, earning varsity team MVP honors. Mills led the Hornets to a 26-19 record and berth into the AAAAAA Elite 8. "She is a respected team player, an incredible athlete, and a major threat offensively from both the front and back row," said coach Katie Johnson.

We are so proud of all 11 players named to the various Soph 79 lists that are part of the A5 Family! Thank you for making us part of your team! We are also pleased that three other players from Georgia were recognized:

Elite Honorable Mention - Brooke Warner, 6-0 S/RS, Walker (Marietta, Georgia) – A First Team All-State selection, Warner led the 34-7 Wolverines to the Class A state finals in 2012. Warner, a two-time All-Area pick, recorded 481 assists, 183 kills, 189 digs and 48 aces this past fall season.

Special Mention - Jessi Bartholomew, 6-1 OH, East Coweta (Sharpsburg, Georgia) – Named First Team All-County by the Newnan Times-Herald, Bartholomew delivered 339 kills and 43 blocks for the 25-5 Indians in 2012.

Special Mention - Sasha Fazylov, 5-9 OH, Walker (Marietta, Georgia) – Fazylov recorded 249 kills, 180 digs and 46 aces for the Class A state runner-up Wolverines in 2012. She was named All-Area and HM All-State.

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