Northwest’s Jefferies Named MoCo Volleyball Player of the Year
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.