2016 All-Herald Volleyball Team: Local players enjoyed great seasons on the court

Published on Saturday, 17 December 2016 22:03
Written by MICHAEL WOOLFSON

STAFF WRITER

This season was a great one for the area girls volleyball teams. All but one made it to their respective state tournaments. Both Plainville and Southington made it all the way to the quarterfinals before being ousted in five-set thrillers.

With so much team success to go around and only six spots available on our honorary All-Herald squad, this was a difficult team to pick, so the six girls on this list were truly extraordinary this season. 

The Southington girls volleyball team once again had a great season as it made it to the Class LL quarterfinals, where it lost to Amity in five sets. 

One of the leaders for the Blue Knights was senior outside hitter Morgan Raymond.

Raymond is small for an outside hitter, but that didn’t prevent her from being effective. The senior captain did everything for Southington this season and led the team in serve receptions, kills and had a team-leading 299 digs.

Raymond made the Class LL All-State team, is a member of the National Honor Society and is ranked in the top 10 in her class. She plans on attending college, but is unsure where she will be going or if she will be playing sports. 

Joining Raymond on the team from Southington is junior libero Nolyn Allen.

Allen was a huge part of the Blue Knights’ success this season, as the she got to almost everything in the back row. In Southington’s quarterfinal victory over Tolland in the CCC tournament Allen had 21 digs and her head coach, Rich Heitz, said it was her best performance of the season in the team’s biggest game up to that point. 

The Plainville volleyball team made it to the Class M quarterfinals, where it lost to Seymour in five sets.

The Blue Devils had an outstanding season and senior outside hitter Aminah Tsonga was a huge reason why.

Tsonga made the All-State second team this season and was also named to the all-conference team. The senior had more than 300 kills this season and more than 60 aces.

Tsonga is being recruited by several different schools to play volleyball in college, including Dean College, which is also recruiting her for softball. 

The Berlin volleyball team finished the season with its record below .500, but it still qualified for the Class M state tournament as the No. 22 seed.

The Redcoats lost in the first round, but they still had good season, and a big reason why was Nina D’Amato, who makes the All-Herald Girls Volleyball Team for the second straight season.

The senior made the all-conference team, is on the Honor Roll and also earned All-Academic honors.

D’Amato led Berlin in digs, kills and aces in her final season.

She plans on going to college and hopes to play sports, but is unsure where she will be going next season. 

The Newington volleyball team is the one local team that didn’t qualify for state tournament play, as it finished with a 5-15 record, but it was no fault of Blayne Wanner-Hyde.

The libero earned all-conference honors this season and the MVP award for her team. The junior led the team in serves received and passing percentage and was a team captain.

Wanner-Hyde is planning to go to college and wants to play volleyball, but as of now she is not sure where she will be going. 

The New Britain volleyball team had a very solid season, finishing 10-10 and qualifying for the Class LL tournament as the No. 20 seed.

The Hurricanes were bounced in the first round by Hamden in four sets, but with so many new players the season, it was certainly a success.

Outside hitter Jessica Torres was one of the new players that had a big impact this season.

The senior did a little bit of everything for the Hurricanes, as she was asked to hit while also doing the majority of the digging.

Torres will be attending college next season and would love to play volleyball, but she is unsure where that will happen.



Posted in New Britain Herald, Berlin, General Sports, Goodwin Tech, Innovation, New Britain, Newington, Plainville, Southington on Saturday, 17 December 2016 22:03. Updated: Saturday, 17 December 2016 22:05.