Kampbell Hehr, though not able to play the full season because of illness, led the Chiefs in several categories and was recently selected by Rock Valley coaches to first team all-conference. (Bob Mischka photo)

By Dan Truttschel

Sports correspondent

Five members of the Big Foot girls volleyball team recently were named to All-Rock Valley Conference teams.

Junior setter Kampbell Hehr led the Chiefs, as she was voted to the first team by RVC coaches.

Also recognized were junior utility player Sophia Foster, second team, and junior Abby Peterson and sophomore Reagan Courier, honorable mention.

Hehr, who shared the team’s Most Valuable Player honors with Foster, missed significant time because of illness, but still was among the team leaders in a number of categories.

In 75 sets played, she finished with 121 kills, 41 aces, 31 blocks, 237 digs and 501 assists.

“She had another great season for us,” Big Foot coach Caitlin Dowden said. “We started our conference play trying to run a 6-2, as Kampbell’s a huge offensive player for us as well. However, at the end of the season, we realized that we needed her to be the sole person running our offense.

“She is an extremely talented setter with hands that don’t compare. She runs a consistent, quick-tempo offense and can see the court extremely well.”

To be first on the team in assists, fourth in digs and second in aces with 14 fewer sets says a lot about Hehr’s talents, Dowden said.

And to be voted to the first team also says plenty about what the other coaches think of her.

“(It) shows the respect she has from the other coaches,” Dowden said.”There are a lot of talented players in our conference, and in her short number of games this season, she proved she was among the best of them.

“She was one player opposing coaches had to prep for, which says a lot about her skills and talent.”

Dowden is excited to see what Hehr can do next year – hopefully with a full season under her belt.

“I’m not sure just how high her ceiling is,” Dowden said. “Each year, actually, each time out on the court, she continues to impress me with her talent and skills. She continues to improve and has an unbelievable amount of talent.”

Foster finished the year with 76 kills, 16 aces and 483 digs, as she found herself as a full-rotation player for the Chiefs.

“(She) had a huge season for us,” Dowden said. “She went from being our five-and-a-half rotation libero to being our six-rotation outside hitter.

“Despite her move the outside, she still led our team in digs in every single match. She has a great ability to read hitters and beat the ball to the spot. She led our defense in all aspects and was truly a leader on the court.”

Peterson tallied 263 kills, 42 aces, 21 blocks and 300 digs for the Chiefs, while Courier finished with 144 kills, 52 aces and 128 digs.

Big Foot was 26-17 overall and 4-5 in the RVC – but it was the Chiefs’ ability to overcome a number of obstacles that impressed their coach.

And as the returning girls look toward 2018, she’s excited to see if they can take the next step.

“This team continued to impress me day-in and day-out,” she said. “They responded to every challenge they were given. We had more lineups this year than I have ever had as a coach due to injuries, illness and players missing.

“We really started to play our best volleyball toward the end of the season. … These girls realized what it takes to compete in our new, extremely tough conference and sectional, and I think next year will be even better. We will miss our seniors greatly, but I look forward to watching girls continue to step up.”

 
 

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