MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
Player of the Year
Sidney Brown, Jr., OH, Berkeley Prep
Why we picked her: Brown ably filled the shoes of Jordan Burgess and Mackenzie Dagostino, two of the most decorated players in Hillsborough and Berkeley Prep history. She was the undisputed leader of the Bucs’ run to the Class 4A title game, where they lost to MaxPreps’ No. 1-ranked Orlando Bishop Moore and snapped a three-year streak of state titles. Taking over for Burgess as the Bucs’ top hitter, Brown finished as one of the area’s leaders in kills at 5.2 per game. She was also second on the team in blocks (27) and digs per game (3.6).
Biggest accomplishment: This was supposed to be something of a rebuilding year for the Bucs, who were looking for an identity after the graduation of Burgess and Dagostino — last year’s Times’ co-Players of the Year. In their first match of the year, a preseason match against eventual Class 7A champion Venice, the Bucs went to five games and lost 15-13 in the deciding set. It was then Brown realized this season’s team would be well-equipped to maintain Berkeley Prep’s reputation as a powerhouse. “I left thinking things are going to be okay for Berkeley volleyball,” she said. “I felt good about where we were going.”
Future plans: Brown told the Times she has narrowed her college choices to Michigan, North Carolina and Stanford, where Burgess was one of three freshmen to make the All-Pac 12 team. “Having one of my best friends there really helps,” she said. Brown also plans to play for nationally ranked club team Orlando Volleyball Academy, which features several players from the Orlando Bishop Moore team that defeated the Bucs in the 4A final.
Did you know? In middle school, Brown was once as coveted a softball prospect as she is in volleyball today. As a 12-year-old, Brown could throw as hard as 62 mph. But the recruiting push in the sport, which starts much earlier than in volleyball, and chronic arm problems pushed her toward the hardwood. … Brown had the look of a powerful athlete from the very start: her mother said she weighed 10 pounds, 7 ounces at birth.
S Maddie Alberdi, Jr., Berkeley Prep: The area’s top setter finished the year with 10.5 assists per game. Also chipped in with 202 digs and 29 aces, which ranked second on the team.
OH Caci Andreychuk, Sr., Wharton: Top hitter for a team that won 25 of 28 matches and was one of the county’s best teams through the regular season. She averaged 5.3 kills and 2.6 digs per game.
OH Katie Krueger, Sr., Tampa Prep: The Virginia Tech recruit led the team with 4.8 kills per game, 45 blocks, 48 aces and was second with two digs per game.
OH Jasmyn Perry, Sr., Freedom: Led team with 4.9 kills per game and was second with 158 digs. She’s headed to the College of Central Florida in Ocala next year.
OH Karissa Rhoades, So., Bloomingdale: Paced the Bulls with 4.2 kills per game, 55 aces, 3.4 digs and was second in blocks with 29.
Lib Corey Salzer, Sr., Berkeley Prep: Anchor of the Bucs’ defense and team leader in digs with 370. She will play next fall at Washington University in St. Louis.
MB Madison Seuzeneau, Sr., Steinbrenner: Four-year starter helped lead Warriors to their best playoff performance, a region final berth against eventual Class 7A state champ Venice. She averaged a team-high 3.2 kills per game. Seuzeneau will play at Spring Hill College in Alabama.
OH Lexi Thompson, Jr., Durant: Hillsborough’s leader at 5.9 kills per game and overall force for a team that just missed playoffs in the county’s toughest district. She notched a team-high 29 aces and also averaged 3.3 digs per game.
S Jennifer Aprile, Sr., Holy Names
OH Ashley Cozart, Sr., Plant
MB Addison Harden, Jr., Berkeley Prep
Lib Kylie Parks, Sr., Plant
OH Lauren Peterson, Jr., Robinson
MB Jessica Silva, Sr. Berkeley Prep
S Ashton Stocker, Sr., Wharton
OH Kiahna Wicks, Sr., Riverview
Academy of the Holy Names: Courtney Vogler; Armwood: Jada Spano; Bayshore Christian: Marie Kelly; Brandon: Alyssa Prescott; Cambridge Christian: Grace Nelson; Chamberlain: Amber Turbeville; Freedom: Kelly Schaller, Ashley Wilson; Hillsborough: Kamrin Cooper; King: Mallory Mitchell, Mercedyz Mitchell; Newsome: McKenna Smith; Plant: Angel Gaskin, Kaitlyn Sibson; Plant City: Alex Arnold; Riverview: Kate Ellis, Cassidy Hutchinson; Robinson: Kylee Gorngpratum, Alexandra Peterson; Seffner Christian: Ally Parimore; Sickles: Blaire Beamer, Ava Lombardi, Lauryn Nelson, Carlye Owens; Steinbrenner: Natalia Campos, Rachel Mathison; Strawberry Crest: Terra Brooks, Jamee Townsend; Tampa Catholic: Sydney Blank, Abby Zimroth; Tampa Prep: Corey Perkins; Wharton: Avery Day, Chanelle Hargreaves
Coach of the Year
Christen Garcia, Robinson. In her first year as a head coach, Garcia inherited a program coming off its first district title in four decades years and guided the Knights to their deepest postseason run in 33 years. Garcia, a former standout at Durant and Georgia State, has turned a program that has long been an afterthought in the county — and even on its own campus — into a fledgling playoff contender. The Knights advanced to the Class 5A region final, where they lost to eventual state finalist Merritt Island.