The Press Newspaper
Eastwood senior volleyball standout Aricka LaVoy got the following text message from fourth-year Eagles coach Jeff Beck a few days after the Northern Buckeye Conference coaches’ meeting earlier this month: Congratulations league player of the year and District 7 player of the year. Unanimous choice in both. Don’t tell anyone. You have to keep it a secret until they are released in the paper. Tell no one. Congratulations.
LaVoy kept the NBC Player of the Year award in the Eastwood “family,” so to speak. Former teammate Katie Primeau won the Suburban Lakes League’s top individual honor in 2010, and Courtney Rolf won the inaugural NBC award last season. Primeau is now at Baldwin-Wallace and Rolf plays at the University of Findlay.
“I was really happy about (winning) it,” LaVoy said of the POY award. “A lot of times it goes to a hitter. I’m really happy to be noticed as a passer and just to keep the tradition running (at Eastwood).”
LaVoy, a two-time first-team all-conference and all-district selection, is also the Alan Miller Jewelers All-Press Co-Player of the Year along with Cardinal Stritch Catholic senior Sara Turner-Smith. LaVoy follows Primeau and Rolf with that award, too.
LaVoy’s coach, Jeff Beck, repeats at All-Press Coach of the Year. All-Press selections are picked up directly from the coaches’ voting on all-league selections with some adjustments based on all-district voting and athletes will receive plaques and certificates from the Oregon business sponsor.
LaVoy set school records this season with 503 digs and 88 aces. The Eagles were ranked 12th in the Division II state poll, won their fourth straight league title and finished with a 23-4 record.
Beck moved the 5-foot-5 LaVoy from defensive specialist to libero heading into her junior season in 2011, but she said the move didn’t faze her.
“I played (libero) in club, but never in-season until last year,” LaVoy said. “I played in club, so I had experience before that. I liked it because you get to be out there more than being a DS. There is a lot of dependency on you. You have to get to a lot of balls and have them be (set up) pretty good for the whole team to do well. You feel good that you are an important part of the team.”
Beck said LaVoy, a team captain, is one of the best liberos he’s coached in 16 years. Lavoy this season shares the All-Press Co-Player of the Year award with Cardinal Stritch senior Sara Turner-Smith.
“Aricka moves so fast around the court and gets every single ball up,” Beck said. “She reads the offense real well, and she can literally cover a 30 by 30 box in two steps. She just makes moves where you sit back and go, ‘did she just do that?’ She’s a great kid and has always worked hard.
She will definitely be missed next year.”
LaVoy, 17, said she has improved her speed by running for the Eastwood track team and working out on her own in the offseason. She has been playing volleyball for six years.
“It’s so fast-paced,” she said. “There are so many cool things about volleyball. What you can do with a ball, people don’t expect - how you hit it or serve it, and the digs. It’s always been an awesome sport. I don’t like slow sports, like golf. I’m a fast-paced person and I like fast-paced sports.”
LaVoy, who has a 3.7 GPA, plans to play volleyball at Owens Community College next year and major in nursing. She said she signed a letter of intent with Owens on Oct 5.
“I had my eye on Owens for a while,’ she said. “I’ve been talking to some other schools, but it all depended on cost, and Owens was the most cost efficient. And, they made it to Nationals this year.”
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