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Northwest’s Jefferies Named MoCo Volleyball Player of the Year

December 2, 2015

This week the Northwest Lady Jags capped off their State Championship win with a number of players being named to the All-County Team and Janiece Jefferies named MoCo Player of the Year by a vote of high school volleyball coaches.

   The sophomore setter, Janiece Jefferies, who had 28 assists in the championship game, also had four Service Aces and one kill as the Lady Jags beat Dulaney last week in College Park.

   It was Jefferies, who set the match winning point in the tight semi-final win over defending champs Severna Park. After a serve by senior Chaya Riggs was returned by Severna Park, Jefferies would set up senior Gabby Bennett to end it 26-24.

   “I was just hoping not to mess it up,” said Jefferies after the semi-final game. “I just didn’t want to mess that up.  When I saw that she hit it down, I was just totally relieved.”

   Other Lady Jags joining Jefferies in receiving accolades from the county coaches were senior outside hitter Gabby Bennett, and freshman outside hitter Jenaisya Moore, who received First Team All-County nods.

   Bennett led the team in kills in the championship with 11. On the defensive side, Bennett tied Jefferies with seven digs in the final match. In the finals, it was freshman Moore who came up big. She had nine kills and four service aces in the final match.

   Other local players making the All-County team include Suzanne Brady of Damascus a senior middle hitter, who led her team to a 19-4 record and the 3A State Finals, but came up one win short losing to Northern High School.

   The Poolesville Falcons finished the season at 11-5, due in large part to performances from Caroline Leng, a junior outside hitter and Michelle Tai, a sophomore libero, who both received First Team All-County honors.

   Rounding out the All-County team are Anya Chepurnova, a junior outside hitter from Gaithersburg; Sasha Laurenzo a senior libero from Magruder, and Megan Wilson, and junior setter from Sherwood.

   Northwest senior outside hitter Emma Liller was received Second Team All-County honors, while freshman libero Rachael Bennett and junior middle hitter Leilani Mayer were Honorable Mention All-County.

   While the voting was conducted by Montgomery County public high school coaches, it is not officially an MCPS sanctioned award.

   Below is a full listing of the All-County Teams:


Player of the Year:  Janiece Jefferies — Northwest, position:  setter


1st Team All-County

Gabby Bennett — Northwest, senior outside hitter

Suzanne Brady — Damascus, senior middle hitter

Anya Chepurnova — Gaithersburg, junior outside hitter

Sasha Laurenzo — Magruder, senior libero

Caroline Leng — Poolesville,   junior outside hitter

Jenaisya Moore — Northwest, freshman outside hitter

Michelle Tai — Poolesville, sophomore libero

Megan Wilson — Sherwood, junior  setter


2nd Team All-County

Lucy Bedewi — Churchill,   senior setter/opposite

Sarah Bowers — Gaithersburg, sophomore libero

Delaney Collins — Gaithersburg, senior libero

Jessica Lee — Walter Johnson, sophomore setter

Emma Liller — Northwest, senior outside hitter

Lauren Montgomery — Watkins Mill, senior middle hitter

Saadia Saheda — Northwood,   senior middle hitter

XiaoTing Sun — Churchill, senior outside hitter


Honorable Mention All-County

Jade Berry — Wheaton, senior setter/outside hitter

Rachael Bennett — Northwest, freshmen libero

Heather Bolze — Wootton, senior setter

Tessa Botkin — Blake, senior outside hitter

Evie Chen — Churchill, senior setter

Victoria Crawford — Richard Montgomery, sophomore setter

Olivia Fagan — Damascus, sophomore outside hitter

Abigail Hernandez — Richard Montgomery, senior outside hitter

Kaiya Heyliger-Powell — Sherwood, junior outside hitter

Jacqueline Landry — Gaithersburg, senior outside hitter

Leilani Mayer — Northwest, junior middle hitter

Eleni Panagopoulos — Wootton, sophomore outside hitter

Skyler Thiessen, — Gaithersburg, sophomore setter

Alena Villanueva — Magruder, junior setter

Margaret Wang — Blair, sophomore outside hitter

Ariel Zhang — Blair, sophomore libero




Top: Northwest's Janiece Jefferies (9) sets a shot during the Lady Jags' semi-final game against Severna Park.

Next: Montgomery County Volleyball Player of the Year award winner Janiece Jefferies.

Next: Damascus' Suzann Brady (12) was named 1st Team All-County.


Photos by Germantown Pulse.

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