Whatever dissatisfaction Ali Line experienced at the conclusion of her final high school volleyball match has been pushed aside by a sense of accomplishment.
And Center Grove’s 6-foot-2 middle blocker accomplished a lot.
A four-year starter for the Trojans, Line saved her best for last by producing 426 kills, 90 blocks and 31 service aces this season in leading Center Grove to a 29-4 record and Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference championship.
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By no means a stranger to accolades, the senior adds another by being named Player of the Year for the Daily Journal’s 2014 All-County Volleyball Team.
“Ali did anything and everything we asked her to do as far as being a leader and being a sensational middle blocker,” said third-year Center Grove coach Dana Daprile, who by succeeding Deb McClurg in 2012 inherited the sophomore version of Line.
“She improved just being a more physical player. It wasn’t until her sophomore year that Ali played club volleyball, and that’s when her game really took off. She really got a lot stronger and more explosive. In the past year I also saw a big difference in her ball control.”
Currently immersed in all things basketball as a starting forward for Center Grove’s Class 4A sixth-ranked squad, Line, a future Illinois State University student-athlete, relished the opportunity to help return the volleyball program to prominence.
In a career dotted with outstanding individual performances, Line’s finest may well have been the 27 kills she delivered in Center Grove’s 25-20, 19-25, 25-22, 25-21 defeat of then-top-ranked Roncalli on Oct. 14.
“I had a blast. It was a fun season overall and just the way we competed against teams. Even though it ended in a disappointing way (losing to the same Roncalli squad nine days later in the sectional), it showed Center Grove volleyball is back,” said Line, a model of consistency who produced double-digit kill totals in 24 of her team’s 33 matches this season and wound up with 1,039 career kills.
“Since I was a senior and was always on the court, I took it on myself to get everyone involved. When the game was on the line, I wanted the ball coming to me.”
A comparable scenario played out at Franklin, where 5-10 senior outside hitter Jess Admire’s 318 kills, 178 digs and 26 aces earned her All-County status for a third consecutive year.
The Daily Journal’s Player of the Year both in 2012 and 2013, the future Butler Bulldog followed a most difficult act — her own. Admire nonetheless managed to propel the Grizzly Cubs to a 27-9 record and the title match of the Franklin Sectional before losing to Roncalli.
The remainder of the All-County first team is made up of Center Grove and Franklin players.
Trojans juniors Madison Smeathers, a 6-3 middle blocker with 400 kills and 174 digs, and Taylor Hammill, a 5-11 setter who in 33 matches produced a total of 1,106 assists, are part of the six-player squad.
Center Grove sophomore libero Macy Carrabine with 470 digs, 66 aces and 27 assists made first team. So, too, did 5-9 Franklin freshman Rachel Kinney, an outside hitter who tallied 333 kills, 195 digs and 27 aces.
Four of this season’s selections — Line, Admire, Hammill and Carrabine — were part of the 2013 All-County Team.
2014 DAILY JOURNAL ALL-COUNTY TEAM
*Ali Line;Center Grove;Senior;Middle blocker
Madison Smeathers;Center Grove;Junior;Middle blocker
Taylor Hammill;Center Grove;Junior;Setter
Macy Carrabine;Center Grove;Sophomore;Libero
Jess Admire;Franklin;Senior;Outside hitter
Rachel Kinney;Franklin;Freshman;Outside Hitter
*Player of the Year
Edinburgh: Mara Cox, Brianna Howard, Lillie Parmer, Megan Rooks
Franklin: Morgan Hash, Kaylee Phillips
Greenwood: Hanna Anderson, Olivia Stilley, Morgan Dangelo
Greenwood Christian Academy: Elena Check
Indian Creek: Baylee Wilson
Whiteland: Kaylyn Alford, Kylie Glover, Madison Scott, Madison Dotson