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DLN ALL-AREA: Girls Volleyball First Team, Second Team & Honorable Mention

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FIRST TEAM
Emma Nelson, Jr., West Chester Rustin
Ranked the No. 5 outside hitter in the state by MaxPreps, Nelson was a legitimate force for the Knights. “She was one player that we were concerned might be someone we couldn’t stop,” said Bishop Shanahan head coach Greg Ashman. Nelson led the county with 375 kills, which averaged out to nearly five per set. She added 185 digs, 38 aces, and was a first team all-league, all-district and all-state performer.

Julia Gallagher, Jr., Bishop Shanahan
There were a handful of excellent defensive specialists (libero) in the area this season, and Gallagher may have been the best. She led the area with an astounding 625 digs, and added 59 assists and 23 aces. “Jules is one of the best liberos I have come across,” her coach Greg Ashman said. “She was fearless in tracking down and frustrating the opponent’s offense.” Gallagher was a first team All-Ches-Mont National selection and a PVCA All-State pick.

Tess Elder, Sr., Bishop Shanahan
The 5-foot-9 outside hitter played an ever-increasing role in helping the Eagles win the league and district crowns, and advance to the state final. Elder finished with 280 kills, and chipped in with 203 digs, 19 aces and 61 blocks. “Tess became a very big weapon as the season progressed,” Ashman said. “She also shut down our opponents’ best hitters.” Elder was a first team all-league and all-state selection.

Fiona Pyfer, Jr., West Chester Henderson
An undersized outside hitter, Pyfer could take over a match at the net and with a superior jump serve. “Fiona was, without a doubt, the main reason for our success,” said her coach Greta Neff. “She carried our team not only physically but also emotionally.” Pyfer amassed 337 kills, 63 aces and 151 digs. She had 26 kills in one playoff victory and was a first team all-leaguer.

Gabi Castro, Sr., Conestoga
A 5-foot-4 dynamo, Castro became ’Stoga’s first four-year starter, and the first in program history to reach quadruple digits in any statistical category. In 2017, Castro had 321 digs, which upped her career mark to 1,021. “Gabi is one of the best players, and people, I have had in the program,” said the Pioneers’ head coach Diane Felker. A two-year captain, Castro also set a school record with 141 career aces, and is a first-team All-Central League selection.

Molly Dunfee, Sr., Villa Maria
A highly productive libero, Dunfee has garnered all kinds of postseason awards, including Class 3A All-State recognition. A first team all-league and all-district player, Dunfee led the Hurricanes with 450 digs and 60 aces. “Not surprisingly Molly was our hardest working team member at practice each and every day and that translated to the excellence and consistency she displayed all season on defense,” said her coach Joe Boland. “Molly was a sponge for learning and her willingness to seek and accept feedback enabled her to continually grow as a player.”

SECOND TEAM
Aly Reardon, Jr. Downingtown West
Abby Francis, Sr., Conestoga
Julia Thomas, Jr., Bishop Shanahan
Natalie Ogden, Sr., Bishop Shanahan
Kia Johnson, Sr., West Chester Rustin
Abby Wilde, Sr., Octorara
Kelsey Hoff, Sr., Villa Maria

HONORABLE MENTION
Lindsey Wertz, Downingtown East; Lilly Charlton, Avon Grove; Zoe Ngugen, Kennett; Alessia Mattera, West Chester Rustin; Michaela Develin, Bishop Shanahan; Brooke Burns, Bishop Shanahan; Liz Acchione, Villa Maria; Callie McGinnis, West Chester Rustin; Madison Swenson, Kennett; Natalie Dwyer, Downingtown East; Jess Angeline, Downingtown East; Becky Larkin, Conestoga; Kat Chodaczek, Conestoga; Kenzie Pincura, Downingtown West; Amanda Ball, West Chester Henderson; Rose Mullen, Great Valley; Logan Wolfe, Oxford; Reilly Green, Unionville; Alana Cunningham, Great Valley; Elise Robinson, Octorara; Claire Croft, Octorara; Kirsten Banter, Avon Grove.

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