Louisburg High School junior Anna Dixon was named the Class 4A-Division 1 Co-Player of the Year by the Kansas Volleyball Association when the all-state team was released Sunday. Dixon, along with teammate Sophie McMullen, was selected to the first team, while junior Carson Buffington was named to the second team.
The Louisburg High School volleyball team found itself just points away from winning the school’s first state championship, but despite that, had one of the better finishes in program history.
The Kansas Volleyball Association (KVA) took notice of the Lady Cats’ success and gave one of their players the highest honor it can bestow.
Junior Anna Dixon was named the KVA Co-Player of the Year for Class 4A-Division I and headlined the all-state team that featured two other Louisburg players.
Senior outside hitter Sophie McMullen also earned first-team honors with Dixon on the seven-member team, while junior setter Carson Buffington was awarded a spot on the second team.
Dixon shared the player of the year honor with Rose Hill junior Gracie Van Driel. The two players squared off in the state championship match in late October and will do so again in college as Dixon has committed to Kansas State and Van Driel will play at the University of Kansas.
“It is a great feeling,” Dixon said. “I was very excited when I heard about being named player of the year and was even more excited when I heard I got to share it with one of my really close friends. Her and I have a very special friendship. Even though we are supposed to be enemies, with her going to KU and me going to K-State, we are still each other’s hypeman and best friend off the court.
“She is a stud athlete and so are the rest of the amazing players that were selected for all-state honors. I’m very thankful to be named player of the year and very proud and happy for the rest of team and their hard work.”
Dixon put together a strong season for the Lady Cats as she led the team with 613 kills and 61 blocks on the season. The 6-foot-3 outside hitter was also third on the team with 58 aces and 329 digs.
Senior Sophie McMullen earned first team all-state and all-Frontier League honors this season.
McMullen, who will play at Northwest Missouri State next season, also had a big year for the Lady Cats as she was first on the team with 114 aces and 437 digs. As an outside hitter, McMullen was second on the Louisburg squad with 381 kills.
These weren’t the only honors Dixon and McMullen have received this season. Both players were named to the Class 4A-DI all-state tournament team and were also first team selections in the Frontier League.
“Both Sophie and Anna had strong seasons,” Louisburg coach Jessica Compliment said. “They both helped carry and lead the team throughout the season. However, it took the work of the entire team to accomplish our goals for the season. Without each player knowing and understanding their role on the team, we wouldn’t have been as successful and neither would have Sophie or Anna.”
A lot of those kills from McMullen and Dixon came thanks to the sets of Buffington. The Louisburg junior performed well in her first year as the team’s full-time setter.
Buffington finished the year with 1,111 assists as she helped the lead the Lady Cats to a 34-10 record on the season. Defensively, she was also a factor with 244 digs and had 30 aces from behind the service line.
Setter Carson Buffington recorded more than 1,000 assists this season and earned second team all-state and all-league honors.
Along with the all-state selection, Buffington was also named to the Class 4A-DI all-state tournament team, along with a second-team all-Frontier League selection.
“Carson really grew this season and did a good job of running our offense,” Compliment said. “Seeing her being recognized for her hard work is great and shows that others recognized that as well.”
Sophomore middle hitter Haley Cain and sophomore libero Riley Kallevig also received honors from the Frontier League coaches. Both players were named all-league honorable mentions.
Sophomore middle blocker Haley Cain earned honorable mention all-league honors.
Cain was third on the Louisburg team with 182 kills and was second on the Lady Cats with 28 blocks. She also ended the year with 38 aces.
As for Kallevig, she helped the Lady Cats in the back and from behind the service line. As the libero, Kallevig was second on the team with 382 digs to go along with 61 aces.
“Riley and Haley were both returning starters from last year, but I think this year they finally came out of their shells and really showed what they were capable of,” Compliment said. “Throughout the season, they had their ‘sophomore’ moments, but they both play with such composure on the court that you couldn’t tell they were sophomores.
Riley Kallevig was second on the team in digs from her libero spot and was named honorable mention all-league.
“That composure really showed at the end of the season. They both made some huge plays at the state tournament, and their play made the difference in a few of the sets.”
KVA Class 4A-DI All-State Team
Anna Dixon, Louisburg, outside hitter, junior
Gracie Van Driel, Rose Hill, middle blocker, junior
Elle Barrett, McPherson, outside hitter, senior
Sophie McMullen, Louisburg, outside hitter, senior
Riley Oglevie, Ulysses, outside hitter, junior
Serena Sparks, Bishop Miege, libero, junior
Emily Witt, Rose Hill, setter, senior
Carson Buffington, Louisburg, setter, junior
Jaycee Burghart, McPherson, setter, junior
Tasiah Nunnery, Hays, outside hitter, sophomore
Brooklyn Strobel, Andover Central, libero, sophomore
Riley Tinder, Basehor-Linwood, outside hitter, sophomore
Hannah Willey, Abilene, outside hitter, junior
Danyel Yardley, Rose Hill, libero, senior
Turner Alderson, Abilene, libero, junior
Kate Gordon, Independence, outside hitter, sophomore
Amber Hildebrand, Wamego, outside hitter, senior
Ava Seaton, Basehor-Linwood, outside hitter, junior
Payton Verhulst, Bishop Miege, outside hitter, freshman
Jaden Walters, Abilene, setter, senior
Laney Ward, Bishop Miege, setter, senior
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Anna Dixon, Louisburg; Gracie Van Driel, Rose Hill
COACH OF THE YEAR: Melissa Segovia, Rose Hill
ALL-FRONTIER LEAGUE VOLLEYBALL
Ally Barnhart, De Soto, junior
Maya Bascom, De Soto, junior
Haley Cuba, De Soto, junior
Anna Dixon, Louisburg, junior
Sophie McMullen, Louisburg, senior
Kamryn Shaffer, Ottawa, senior
Carson Buffington, Louisburg, junior
Jenna DeVore, Ottawa, senior
Audrey Flowers, Baldwin, junior
Riley Foltz, Eudora, junior
Loren Hinkle, De Soto, junior
Jordan Johnson, Paola, senior
Jasmine Boyd, Eudora, senior
Haley Cain, Louisburg, sophomore
Cassy Crist, De Soto, junior
Alli Frank, Spring Hill, freshman
Sutton Jung, Ottawa, senior
Riley Kallevig, Louisburg, sophomore
Allina Kerns, Ottawa, junior
Riley Moore, De Soto, senior
Alexia Nelson, Baldwin, senior
Anna Ohlmeier, Paola, senior
Keagan Shockley, Eudora, sophomore
Kaleigh Scott, Paola, senior
Skyler Williams, Paola, senior