After helping Irvine Valley roll to its second Orange Empire Conference title in a row, freshman outside hitter Lea Kruse and sophomore libero Renata Bath were named co-Most Valuable Players when the OEC women's volleyball awards were announced last week.
Irvine Valley also saw Tom Pestolesi picked as the coach of the year for the conference. The Lasers were one win away from a perfect regular season, ending with a record of 18-1 overall and 13-1 in conference play.
Bath and Kruse led a balanced and deep IVC squad. Bath made things for the Lasers with her ball control. She ranked fifth in the conference in digs per set at 3.58 and had 10 digs or more in 14 of IVC's 19 matches during the regular season, including 11 of 14 matches in conference. Bath recorded a season-high 19 digs in Irvine Valley's four-set win over Riverside on Oct. 5
Kruse averaged 3.41 kills and 2.64 digs per set and had a hitting percentage of .323 during the regular season. She ranked third in the conference in kills per set and fourth in hitting percentage. Kruse recorded a season-best 20 kills in Irvine Valley's three-set win at Orange Coast on Nov. 9.
Freshman outside hitter Alyssa Vortouni and freshman setter Truth Hafey were each selected to the first team and freshman middle blocker Kristin Austin and sophomore middle blocker Kylie Miller were chosen to the second team for the Lasers. Vortouni averaged 2.94 kills and hit .357 and Hafey topped the conference in assists per set at 11.10.
Cypress, which finished second in the conference standings and handed Irvine Valley its lone loss of the regular season, had four selections. Sophomore outside hitter Kayla Owens and sophomore middle blocker Jane Woodward were each named to the first team and freshman libero Ashley Corona and sophomore opposite Marina Pilkington earned second team honors. Owens led Cypress with 338 kills and was second on her team with 216 digs during the regular season.
Orange Coast, which finished a close third in the standings, also had four selections. The Pirates were paced by freshman middle blocker Lily Johnson and sophomore libero Rylee Adair, who were each named to the first team.
Other first-team selections included Fullerton freshman outside hitter Amanda Henderson, Riverside sophomore libero Natalie Escher, Saddleback sophomore setter Kiana Camargo, Golden West freshman outside hitter Madison Holmes, Santiago Canyon freshman outside hitter Lauren Borak and Santa Ana sophomore middle blocker Hannah DeGrasse.
The full All-Orange Empire Conference Women's Volleyball Teams are listed below.
ALL-ORANGE EMPIRE CONFERENCE - 2018
CO-MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS - Renata Bath, Irvine Valley; Lea Kruse, Irvine Valley
COACH OF THE YEAR - Tom Pestolesi, Irvine Valley
Alyssa Vortouni, Irvine Valley
Truth Hafey, Irvine Valley
Kayla Owens, Cypress
Jane Woodward, Cypress
Lily Johnson, Orange Coast
Rylee Adair, Orange Coast
Amanda Henderson, Fullerton
Natalie Escher, Riverside
Kiana Camargo, Saddleback
Madison Holmes, Golden West
Lauren Borak, Santiago Canyon
Hannah DeGrasse, Santa Ana
Kristin Austin, Irvine Valley
Kylie Miller, Irvine Valley
Ashley Corona, Cypress
Marina Pilkington, Cypress
Camryn Kaina, Orange Coast
Bailey Coffin, Orange Coast
Kailyn Case, Fullerton
Carlie Ortega, Fullerton
Vashti Elias-Romero, Riverside
Julia Brown, Saddleback
Nikol Powers, Golden West
Faaaliga Mikaele, Santiago Canyon
Alexis Santos, Santa Ana