Area volleyball players, coaches honored

The Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association highlighted some of the area’s best volleyball players and coaches recently.

Crestview senior outside hitter Brenna Auer was named All-Ohio second team in Div. III and East Liverpool senior middle hitter Emma Ludwig was an All-Ohio Div. II honorable mention.

Veteran Wellsville High School coach Dan McKinstry was presented with the 2019 Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association Lifetime Achievement Award and Beaver Local High School coach Sarah Lowe was named a Jim Muth Sportsmanship Award recipient.

Auer, a four-year letterwinner, was 89-12 as a starter for the Rebels and was also named the District 1 Coaches Association Div. III player of the year.

In 2019, she had 180 kills and average 2.3 kills per set. Her hitting percentage was .319 with only 30 errors in 470 attacks. Her serving percentage was 98.6 with only four errors in 278 attempts. She also had 25 aces.

On defense, she had 296 digs (3.7 per set). She only made 12 errors on 278 serve reception attempts.

Auer led her team in all categories except for aces and kills per game.

“Brenna is a very skilled volleyball player who rarely makes errors,” coach Alisha Auer said. “It has been a blessing to have her ball control and consistency on our court for the past four years. She had an ACL reconstruction during basketball her freshman year and has been playing through pain the past three years. I am very proud of her as her coach and as her mom. She is tough. She leads by her play and her play is solid. I will miss having her in the gym.”

Ludwig totalled 31 aces, 760 attacks, 353 kills, 67 solo blocks, 45 block attempts and 46 digs for the Potters.

“Emma served as one of our team captains this year and helped lead us to many victories,” coach Kelly Kiger said. “She is an incredibly hard worker who did everything we asked of her without a single complaint. She has great court vision, and is one of the smartest front row players in the league. Emma’s mental game never wavers, and she’s consistently talented in all aspects of the game.”

Ludwig will be continuing her academic and athletic career at Fairmont University next year.

McKinstry is in his 42nd year of coaching with 19 spent at East Palestine and 23 at Wellsville. His record is 753-262. He’s won district coach of the year 11 times and has won 11 district titles. He’s coached a regional runner-up three times. In addition, he’s won 12 league titles.

A career-long member of the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association, he is the current District 1 Coaches Association president.

Lowe, a math and science director, has been the Beaver Local varsity coach since 2009 after spending several years at the middle school level. Over the past 11 years Sarah has led the Beavers to seven OVAC tournament appearances, three league championships and a 22-0 regular season in 2016. Lowe currently sits at a career record of 166-83.


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