Danville proves net worth
Lady Hawks fill out three players, coach of the year on Enquirer's All-Area volleyball team
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
Danville's Lady Hawks had a tremendous 2005 season, advancing to the state championship before falling to Montgomery Academy.
The Lady Hawks were not only winners on the volleyball floor, they were winners in this year's Hartselle Enquirer All-Area volleyball team voting as well. Lauren Simmons was named the Player of the Year, and co-coaches Holly Little and Spencer Cole were named Coach of the Year.
Danville's Bethany Evans and Haley Hensley, Hartselle's Shan Jones and Mary Virginia Reeves and Brewer's Andrea Crawford fill out the first team.
Simmons, a junior who was also named to the All-Elite Eight team, finished the season with 1,255 kills and 121 aces. She racked up individual awards throughout the season, winning MVP honors at both the Regional and Area tournaments.
She also wrote her name in the state record books when she recorded 47 kills in a match against Winston County in the state quarterfinals and set the mark for most kills in a match. Simmons was also a solid contributor on defense for the Lady Hawks, finishing with 129 blocks and 169 digs.
"She was not only the biggest part of our offense this year, but she also played great defense," Little said. "A lot of middle hitters aren't that great defensively, but Lauren plays well all the way around."
Simmons' teammate Evans was instrumental in Danville's success as well. From the setter position, Evans collected 1,486 assists during the season and was also named to the All-Elite Eight team for her efforts at the state tournament.
She was also named to the All-Regional and All-Area tournament teams. Evans, a junior, finished the season with 128 aces, 240 digs and 136 kills.
The combination of Evans and Simmons was extremely successful all season for Danville. Using Evans as her primary setter, Simmons finished the year with a .500 kill percentage.
"After Bethany set Lauren, half the time (Lauren) would score a point," Cole said. "That's incredible, really. It was amazing how she and Bethany worked together – it was almost poetic."
Hensley, the Lady Hawks' libero, was the only senior on this year's Danville team and led the team with 365 digs. She was named to the All-Regional and All-Area tournament teams.
Little said that Hensley's leadership was a key ingredient to the Lady Hawks' success in 2005.
Jones had a solid senior season for the Lady Tigers, leading the team with 142 blocks and contributing with 430 kills as Hartselle finished with a 54-21 record and just missed the state finals by finishing third at the Regional D tournament.
She also added 66 aces and 141 blocks for the Lady Tigers.
Reeves had a successful junior year, leading Hartselle with a .480 killing percentage and finishing with 409 kills. She bounced back from an injury in the area tournament to play well at the team's regional tournament in Fort Payne.
Crawford was solid all season for the Patriots, and was the only player from a school other than Danville or Hartselle who was named to every coach's ballot.
The All-Area second team was Kayla Orr, Brittni Russell and Lauren Drake of Hartselle; Alaina Fitzgerald of Danville; Hannah Junkins of Bethel Baptist and Jessica Kennedy of Priceville.
Honorable mentions were Jenna Weatherford and Dana Lacey of Hartselle; Kassie Cowart and Magen Linderman of Danville; Christen Slate and Nichole Hayes of Brewer; and Mandy Matthews of Bethel Baptist.
Editor's note: The Hartselle Enquirer's All-Area team was selected based on the opinions of area coaches and the sports editorial staff of the Hartselle Enquirer.