Six area volleyball players earn Times-Journal honors

Published 9:25 pm Friday, December 25, 2015

Selma High School's Kanesha McGraw was one of six area volleyball players selected to the Times-Journal's All-County team this week. — Emily Enfinger

Selma High School’s Kanesha McGraw was one of six area volleyball players selected to the Times-Journal’s All-County team this week. — Emily Enfinger

Six area volleyball players from four different schools earned the distinction of being named to the Times-Journal’s All-County volleyball team this week.

Selma’s Kanesha McGraw, Morgan Academy’s Sarah Combs, Dallas County’s Tori Hatfield and Taylor Moore and Meadowview Christian’s Tayler Roberts and Christina Dabit all were named to the All-County team for the individual contributions to their team’s success.

Dallas County and Meadowview each had two players represent their team on the All-County team after finishing with two of the best records in the county.

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Dallas County senior Hatfield and junior Moore played an integral role in giving the Hornets their first area championship in program history.

Moore finished the season with 15 kills, 142 aces, 547 assists and 501 digs while Hatfield added 20 kills, 69 aces, 160 assists and 122 digs.

Dallas County head coach Linda Moore said Taylor and Hatfield have been playing sports together since elementary school, so it made it easier for them to work together on the volleyball court to push the Hornets toward a successful season.

“These girls, they give it their all,” Coach Moore said. “Every time they’re on the court, they give it their all. They want to win, and they want everybody around them to win too. They try to uplift everyone.”

Taylor said some of the highlights of her season was serving 10 aces in one match and playing in front of her home crowd in the area tournament. She said Hatfield is the player the whole team can depend on to pick her teammates up when they get down.

Coach Moore said Hatfield is the lone senior who will be leaving next season, but Hatfield didn’t leave the program without giving her teammates advice for next season.

“She just wants them to continue to work hard,” Coach Moore said. “To continue to build the program and just be thankful for the opportunities that they have.”

Like Dallas County, Meadowview was unable to secure a state championship but still experienced plenty of success this season. Roberts and Dabit were two big parts of that. As the two strongest hitters on the team, Roberts and Dabit always kept the Trojans in matches even against the toughest opponents.

Head coach Tim Burton said he’ll miss Roberts and Dabit, both of whom are seniors, next season. Roberts was especially lethal with outside hitting, and Burton said that will be a big hole in the roster to fill.

“We’re going to miss Tayler’s ability at the net,” Burton said. “She’s very tall and can get up very high. She’s awesome on the net.”

Dabit’s ability to serve, hit and lead arguably the best team in the county to the Alabama Christian Athletic Association’s state tournament earned her the county’s Player of the Year honors.

Combs was a bright spot on the Senators’ roster this season. Morgan head coach Caroline Averitt said she had to convince Combs to join the team at the beginning of the season, but she was glad she did.

Combs’ success on the court earned her a spot in the Alabama Independent School Association’s all-star game.

“She was a very, very important part of our team.” Averitt said after the season.

McGraw, a freshman, is the lone underclassman to crack the All-County team this season. On a roster littered with underclassmen, McGraw became a leader on a Selma team that found ways to win despite its youth.

While some of the players who made the All-County team will be graduating, a few return to play next season.

During Hatfield’s final season with the Hornets, she gave the upcoming senior class advice that they can carry with them in her absence.

“She has taught them when your senior year gets here, it goes by fast so you have to take advantage of the opportunities that you have,” Coach Moore said. “Don’t let those opportunities pass you by.”

About Justin Fedich

Staff writer for The Selma Times-Journal.

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