MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
Player of the year
Berkley Whaley, So., OH, Lakewood
Why we picked her: Last season, Whaley was the only freshman named to the first or second all-county team. As a sophomore, she raised her game to another level. The leader in the county for kills at more than six a game, Whaley could take over a match like no other player. The ultra-athletic 6-footer put an undermanned Lakewood squad on her back and carried the Spartans to the region semifinals. Blistering serves, unblockable kills, pinpoint passes, Whaley is the complete package. But it wasn’t just her game that stood out. While most sophomores are just getting their feet wet on the court, Whaley proved wise beyond her years. Lakewood coach Sean O’Flannery said Whaley’s biggest gift may have been her ability to mentor the other less experienced players on the team. “She always supports her teammates and tries to pump them up to play better,” he said. “If another player gets a kill, she gets more excited for them than when she gets a kill.”
Fun facts: During Lakewood’s playoff run, Whaley wore one pair of lucky black socks that she refused to wash until the Spartans lost. …As natural an athlete as Whaley is, she has never seriously considered any other sports. Lakewood girls basketball coach Necole Tunsil encouraged Whaley to play basketball — until she saw her in action. “I went into the gym to shoot around before practice and she turned to me and said, ‘Don’t even worry about coming to tryouts,’ ” Whaley said with a laugh.
What’s next? Whaley hopes to play volleyball for one of the big-time Division I programs. With Florida, Florida State, Penn State, USC, UCLA, Nebraska and Texas all showing major interest, Whaley is well on her way to accomplishing this goal.
Davionna DiSalvatore, Sr., OH, Countryside: Cougars’ offensive horsepower will play libero at Ohio State next season.
Kahley Patrick, Jr., S, Clearwater: A masterful distributor of the ball, Patrick was the main cog in the Tornadoes’ return to prominence.
Brianna McComeskey, So., MH, East Lake: A rare combination of size, strength and smarts, McComeskey was the Eagles’ intimidator in the middle.
Cassie Roy, Sr., OH, Palm Harbor University: Mercer signee plays with a passion and intensity few can match.
Andria Tagarelli, Sr., Lib, East Lake: Four-year starter for the Eagles led the county in digs by a wide margin.
Kayla Walton, Sr., MH/OH, Northside Christian: Walton possessed the county’s most powerful swing and will continue her career at USF.
Cassie Wilkinson, Sr., S, Palm Harbor University: Fiery, determined competitor led Hurricanes to county championship and a spot in the region semifinals.
Vanessa Annoni, Sr., S, Clearwater Central Catholic
Leah McNary, Jr., MH, Palm Harbor University
Marisa Moralobo, Jr., OH, Indian Rocks Christian
Jennica Mullins, Jr., MH, Northside Christian
Alexis Rousselle, Sr., Lib, Countryside
Mary Michael Toups, Sr., OH, Clearwater Central Catholic
Sara Wright, Jr., S, Countryside
Canterbury: Mansie Hough
Clearwater: Carey Froelicher, Leah Mitchell, Nikki O’Rourke
Countryside: Christina Berry, Nicole Dunn
East Lake: Lauran Eschenroeder, Brittnay Estes, Jackie Wegner
Indian Rocks Christian: Kalyn Baird, Madison Loebel
Lakewood: Lindsay Dodge
Northside Christian: Tiffany Boyer, Kayla Turner
Osceola: Morgan O’Malia
Palm Harbor University: Chelsea King
Seminole: Marissa Lisenbee, Jordan Murphy
St. Petersburg Catholic: Danielle Nickerson
Tarpon Springs: Karli Collins
Coach of the year:
Sean O’Flannery, Lakewood
In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Lakewood, O’Flannery guided the youthful Spartans to the PCAC championship game and a berth in the region semifinals for the second year in a row.