Jenna Martin
Derrick Webb

Derrick Webb

Derrick is SOSA's chief content coordinator and has worked for the Chillicothe Gazette, the Portsmouth Daily Times and Eleven Warriors. He's a 13-time award-winning journalist, a self-proclaimed baseball purist, a suffering Bengals fan and has never met a stranger.

Ranking the Area’s Top 30 Volleyball Players: 20-11

We take a look at the area's top 30 volleyball players, continuing with numbers 20-11.

Derrick Webb, Staff Writer

Unioto’s Carissa Wheeler tallied 142 kills, 69 blocks and 138 digs last season.
CREDIT: Derrick Webb/SOSA

If you remember last season — and how could you forget — the area’s volleyball scene provided plenty of drama and an abundance of success.

Between the SVC, SOC, FAC, SHAC and MSL-Buckeye, the five conferences within SOSA’s coverage reach, four different programs earned district titles while Adena and South Webster each played in the Elite 8.

But en route to those postseason finishes, there were plenty of individual performances to rave about, multiple records broken and tons of matches that won’t soon be forgotten.

As for this season, we expect much more of the same. But before it happens, we decided to compile a list of the coverage area’s top 30 players. It was an absolute bear to do so, but we think we’ve got a list of 30 athletes who are the absolute best at their craft.

Remember, this list only includes players from within SOSA’s coverage area and it isn’t an end all, be all. We encourage discussion and getting our athletes the recognition they deserve is always our mission.

20. Carissa Wheeler, Unioto

2020 statistics: 142 kills, 22 aces, 69 blocks, 138 digs, 28 assists

When Wheeler got the chance to put a swing on the volleyball, she usually made the most of it. The Shermans’ outside hitter posted a 28.7 kill percentage and provided a spark each and every time she entered the lineup. Don’t be surprised if Unioto consistently looks for her at the net this fall. She’s the one player on the Shermans’ roster that can dismantle an opponent.

19. Graci Claxon, South Webster

2020 statistics: 1 kill, 31 aces, 0 blocks, 327 digs, 53 assists

While the Jeeps had one of the most dynamic offenses in the area last season, Claxon made sure we recognized the team’s defensive achievements as well. She was the leader of a group that held opponents at bay while tallying 327 digs and just 13 dig errors. She also posted 549 serve receives, making just 37 miscues. She’ll be back and better than ever this fall.

South Webster’s Graci Claxon led the team with 327 digs last season as the Jeeps finished their season in the Elite 8.
CREDIT: Derrick Webb/SOSA

18. Ava Eldridge, Unioto

2020 statistics: 23 kills, 27 aces, 13 blocks, 310 digs, 742 assists

During her four-year career, it’s fair to say that Eldridge has been severely underrated. Her numbers tell the entire story as she certainly belongs in the best of the best conversation. The setter literally makes Unioto’s offense run smoothly, evidenced by her 742 assists as a junior. She enters her senior year close to several milestones, sitting at 1,625 assists and 693 digs.

17. Bella Claxon, South Webster

2020 statistics: 201 kills, 41 aces, 14 blocks, 198 digs, 390 assists

There is no shortage of the Claxon last name at South Webster. And that spells trouble for any challengers. As a freshman last season, Bella was phenomenal. She put up 201 kills, 198 digs and 390 assists for a team that finished 23-2 and ended in the Elite 8. If you’re looking for a conference, district and regional title favorite, you’ll want to have a conversation with the Jeeps.

16. Morgan Blakeman, Circleville

2020 statistics: 284 kills, 47 aces, 37 blocks, 278 digs, 10 assists

Without a doubt, Blakeman will be the focal point of the Tigers’ attack this fall. That’s after a season in which she tallied 284 kills and a 29.6 kill percentage. She helped Circleville go 22-3 and win an outright MSL-Buckeye championship. While the Tigers lost a significant crop of talent, they’ll still be a force to be reckoned with. Blakeman, a junior, is a huge reason why.

RELATED: Ranking the Area’s Top 30 Volleyball Players: 30-21

15. Lexie Lockwood, Southeastern

2020 statistics: 21 kills, 38 aces, 9 blocks, 457 digs, 15 assists

When Lockwood is roaming in the back row, there’s not a lot she doesn’t get a touch on. She’s one of the area’s most athletic liberos and has played consistently solid throughout her career. Toughness, tenacity and an unrivaled will to win describe her perfectly. She enters her senior year at 1,334 career digs and will certainly be looking to pile on.

14. Hannah Lougheed, Southeastern

2020 statistics: 303 kills, 46 aces, 28 blocks, 286 digs, 214 assists

The Scioto Valley Conference is always jam-packed with top-tier talent. Lougheed fits the bill. Her versatility was on full display last season as she racked up 303 kills, 286 digs and 214 assists. Opposing teams had her circled on their game plans and still couldn’t find the answer. Whatever the Panthers need her to do, she always answers the call. That won’t change this fall.

Southeastern’s Hannah Lougheed showed her versatility last season with 303 kills, 286 digs and 214 assists.
CREDIT: Derrick Webb/SOSA

13. Olivia Smith, Paint Valley

2020 statistics: 311 kills, 25 aces, 34 blocks, 350 digs, 22 assists

Smith has wowed area fans since she stepped onto the volleyball court. And she’s helped rejuvenate the Bearcats’ program in the process. She’ll be chasing 1,000 career kills and digs coming into her senior year as she sits at 726 and 978, respectively, before it starts. You can expect both of those marks to be reached and for PV to look to her in times of trouble.

12. Makenna Lovely, Adena

2020 statistics: 201 kills, 21 aces, 12 blocks, 295 digs, 10 assists

There’s a culture of success at Adena and Lovely has helped continue that trend. The right-handed hitter totaled 201 kills and 295 digs last season for a team that finished 22-2 overall with SVC, sectional and district championships in hand. She had an impact on each match and will continue to do so this fall as Adena looks to make a serious postseason run.

11. Jenna Martin, Adena

2020 statistics: 239 kills, 15 aces, 85 blocks, 51 digs, 8 assists

Martin torments opponents. It’s really just that simple. She leaves her fingerprints on each match and provides the Warriors with a bonafide, all-state middle hitter. Her 239 kills and 85 blocks as a junior were both team-highs as she led an offense that dropped just 14 sets all year. It’s Dayton or bust for Adena this season. Martin is quite literally at the center of that storm.


Share this post