WOOSTER — Kacie Evans powered Wadsworth’s volleyball team to the Norwalk Regional semifinals. Kirsten Badowski and Rachael Crucis led Brunswick to a berth in the Strongsville District final.
All three juniors have been recognized by the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association for their outstanding seasons.
District Player of the Year Evans was named to the All-Ohio first team in Division I, while Badowski was a third-team honoree and Crucis received honorable mention in the same division.
University of Georgia recruit Evans — a second-team selection in 2016 — is one of only two players from the northern half of the state to be chosen for the eight-player first team. Brecksville senior setter Shannon Williams and Evans are the only non-private school athletes on the list.
The remainder of the All-Ohio first team consists of Cincinnati Ursuline senior Ali Thompson and sophomore Logan Case, Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame senior Natalie Steibel, Dublin Coffman senior Dana Axner and junior Riley Wagoner, Columbus St. Francis de Sales senior Diana Brown.
Evans, who leads the state with 474 kills entering the state D-I semifinals, finished first in the Suburban League National Conference with a .351 hitting percentage, 477 digs and 45 aces.
The 6-foot outside hitter also established Grizzlies records for kills in a match and in a season this fall. Evans is the reigning Gazette MVP and already ranks among the most honored players in Medina County history.
“Obviously, I’m happy that Kacie has another year left at Wadsworth,” Grizzlies coach Jill Klingbeil said, smiling. “She’s been a major part of everything the team accomplished this season — really, for the last three seasons — and I can’t wait to see what she will do as a senior.”
North Carolina-Wilmington recruit Badowski fired a school-record 374 kills, breaking the mark held by her older sister (and current Indiana University outside hitter) Ally. She has 607 kills in her three-year career.
The 6-2 outside hitter also recorded 144 digs, 35 blocks and 41 aces for the Blue Devils, who have advanced to four consecutive district championship matches.
Crucis made a team-high 478 digs, including a school-record tying 44 against the Grizzlies in the Strongsville District final. The 5-4 libero surpassed 1,000 career digs one match earlier in a five-game upset of the host Mustangs.
A three-year letterwinner, Crucis will enter her senior campaign with 1,062 digs and 136 aces. She plans on announcing her college decision by the end of this month.
“It’s nice to see Kirsten and Rachael get recognized at the state level, especially as juniors,” Brunswick coach Mande Luttner said. “They were both very important to our team this year, both as captains and as players.”