By Joseph Garcia
All 10 players from the 2012 Liberty Hill Lady Panthers’ 10-0 District 8-3A Champion volleyball team were honored by the district for their outstanding play this season, led by MVP Samantha Rimann.
Rimann, a senior, is still undecided about where she will be attending college, but she aims to play volleyball at the next level after having such an outstanding season playing the right hitter position.
“Wherever she decides to go and play is extremely lucky to have her,” said Liberty Hill Coach Gretchen Peterson, who was also named Coach of the Year in District 8-3A. “She worked really hard to be a leader on our team, and the MVP award is a 100 percent appropriate recognition for the way that she played this season and her contributions to her team. I could not be happier for her.”
Junior setter Kallie Perrin won the Setter of the Year award after leading the team in assists. Emily Philpott, Madi Sharp and Peyton Redmond were all named to the first team.
Being named to the second team for Liberty Hill were Jaycie Pludnneke and Payton Walker. And in Honorable Mention category were Mason Sharp, Lexi Lucas and Jill Green.
Coach Peterson said the fact that every single girl was honored is a testament to the commitment the team practiced and played with throughout the season.
“I think it says that their hard work and dedication is noticed, and celebrated,” she said. “It also sets the bar high and raises the expectations for those girls coming back. We have so much to live up to next season and we are excited and ready for the challenge.”
The Lady Panthers’ season ended on Tuesday, Nov. 6, when they lost in the regional quarterfinals in a toughly contested match to Springtown 3-1 after winning the first set. But to get there all the players stepped up at different times through the duration of the season, making the 2012 Lady Panthers a team to remember.
Liberty Hill will miss Rimann, Philpott and Lucas, but all the other girls will return next year to make another run at a state championship.
“Every player had her stand out moment of the season,” Peterson said. “That’s what made this team so much fun to coach and be around. They all found ways to step up and pick up the slack when their teammates were off or struggling. All played big and overcame a lot. We have so much to be thankful for and excited about.”