MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
Player of the Year
Toni Imbimbo, Sr., Libero, Fivay
Why we picked her: Imbimbo, a first-team all-North Suncoast pick last fall, was the best player on one of Pasco County’s top teams. Her 472 digs ranked among the most in the county, and her leadership and defense helped a growing Fivay program advance to its first region final. “It was unexpected, I guess you could say, especially to go that far with a young team,” Imbimbo said. The first-team all-Sunshine Athletic Conference selection also tallied 229 kills and 65 aces.
Most impressive accomplishment: Imbimbo and the Falcons played four epic matches with rival Ridgewood. In the winner-take-all showdown in the Class 5A region semifinal, Fivay lost the first two games but didn’t panic. “We’d come back from that before,” Imbimbo said. “I knew that we weren’t going to (lose).” Imbimbo responded with 10 kills and a team-high 40 digs to extend her team’s season.
Future plans: Imbimbo said she hopes to play volleyball in college and has received some recruiting interest from North Florida. Athletics aside, she plans to study medicine or dentistry.
Did you know? Imbimbo was a reluctant volleyball player. She started the sport late, only beginning to focus on it after eighth grade. “I didn’t even think it was a sport,” Imbimbo said. “I thought it was something you played in your back yard for fun.” Only after she was coaxed into the sport by friends and her older sister (and former Hudson player), Jessica, did she begin taking the game seriously. Now her devotion to the sport takes up most of her free time.
OH Grace Olsen, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch: One of the county’s leaders with 305 kills for a strong Bulls team
OH Courtney Skinner, Sr., Nature Coast: Tallied 309 digs and had 258 kills — more than half of her team’s total
OH Mia Lockhart, Jr., Anclote: Led a solid Sharks team in kills (224) while adding 168 digs
MH Alyssa Mathis, So., Bishop McLaughlin: Already garnering Division I interest with 5.2 kills per set and 66 blocks
MH Jessika Hester, Sr., Mitchell: SAC player of the year led Mitchell in kills (255), aces (74) and digs (275)
MH Mary Kujak, Sr., Ridgewood: One of Pasco County’s most complete players, with more than 100 kills, blocks and digs
S Lauren Gonzalez, Sr., Ridgewood: Her 382 assists helped the Rams earn their first district championship in 22 years
Lib Lyndsey Lane, Sr., Mitchell: Racked up 230 kills and 49 blocks on a loaded Mustangs team
S Teddi Wright, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch
S Alexis Garcia, Sr., Anclote
MH Samantha Bishop, Jr., Central
MH Lauren Evans, Jr., Academy at the Lakes
OH Briannah Nemetz, Jr., Fivay
OH Brianna Berchiolly, Sr., Ridgewood
Lib Courtney Costa, Jr., Fivay
Lib Casey McColl, So., Bishop McLaughlin
Academy at the Lakes: Rachel Allen; Anclote: Aaliyah Anderson, Marissa Niedermeyer; Bishop McLaughlin: Sara Morrison , Laura Vien; Central: Julia Waugh; Fivay: Jordyn Mattos, Ashleigh Nemetz; Gulf: Melanie Hatch; Hernando: Layci Martin, Ashley Sims; Hudson: Marisa Maksymkow; Land O’Lakes: Cara Walden; Mitchell: Daniele Green, Keysha Pagan, Shayna Filippelli; Pasco: Kelly Parker; Ridgewood: Victoria Schaefer, Aubree Sigismondi; River Ridge: Sarah Olin; Springstead: Bryanna Leonard, Marisa Welch; Sunlake: Lauren Sprague; Wesley Chapel: Sakari Worrels; Wiregrass Ranch: Izah Deang; Zephyrhills: Taylor LaFavre
Coach of the year
Linda McQuade, Fivay: The veteran Pasco County coach led another program to the elite eight. McQuade calmed her team when it faced a 2-0 deficit in the region semifinals and led the Falcons to a 24-7 record.