Future stars Bartholomew, McCord pace All-County Volleyball Team

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Northgate's Elle McCord (left) and East Coweta's Jessi Bartholomew earned top honors on the 2011 Newnan Times-Herald All-County Volleyball Team.

By DOUG GORMAN dgorman@newnan.com A future Division I college volleyball player at Northgate High helped lead the way for Coweta County varsity teams in 2011. And sharing top honors for this year's Newnan Times-Herald All-County Volleyball Team was another star that soon will be on a list of college scouts. The good news for fans of local high school volleyball is that Northgate junior Elle McCord and East Coweta freshmen Jessi Bartholomew haven't finished leading respective programs to varsity wins just yet.
In her first year of varsity play, the 6-foot-1 Bartholomew was been named the Offensive Player of the Year, while Northgate 5-7 junior Elle McCord earned Defensive Player of the Year honors to lead this year's Newnan Times-Herald All-County selections. Trinity Christian, this year's GISA all-classification state champions, led the county with four selections, all of whom were named All-State players for head coach Joe Camp. In addition to Bartholomew, three more East Coweta teammates were honored following a trip to the Class AAAAA Elite 8. McCord was also joined by a pair of teammates on this year's All-County First Team after helping lead Northgate to another Class AAAA state tournament berth in arguably the toughest area lineup in the classification. The Lady Vikings also maintained their grasp among local bragging rights while successfully defending their county championship for another year. Entering a season where six of last year's seven top honorees did not return to the floor locally, five of this year's top seven honorees are underclassmen. And two more are on the All-County second team. Leading the newcomers was Bartholomew, who came along at just the right time for the Lady Indians, filling a huge vacancy left by former All-County standout Brooke Spencer at outside hitter. The first-year varsity player filled in amazingly, finishing with 300 kills as the team's MVP. Amazingly, Bartholomew had never played the outside hitter spot until earning her place on the varsity. It didn't take long for her to impress teammates and coaches. In her first varsity game, she led East Coweta in aces, digs and kills. "She is so coachable," said East Coweta coach Katey Lewis. "After that first game I knew I had something really special. She has such a great passion for volleyball." Bartholomew helped the Lady Indians to the the Elite 8 with a 27-16 record as East Coweta upset Woodstock and then beat Parkview in the first two rounds of the state tournament. With former Northgate teammate Mallory Maldino entering her first year at West Georgia, McCord helped the Lady Vikings continue their success. An All-County selection last year, McCord earned the top defensive honor by helping lead the Lady Vikings to the first round of the Class AAAA state tournament. She finished with 225 digs and earned All-State honors. Although she just completed her junior year, she has already verbally committed to the University of Georgia. "She plays hard all the time," Northgate head coach Matt Trucks. "She's a great athlete who pushes her teammates to work hard too." Two other players from Northgate also earned first-team recognition. Junior setter Brittany Scarbrough had 114 digs, 70 aces and 486 assists. Senior outside hitter Kelly Cunningham closed out her career in a Lady Viking uniform with 33 aces and 195 digs. East Coweta senior setter Savannah Summers joins Bartholomew on the first team. Summers was the team's offensive player of the year with 420 assists in her second consecutive All-County selection. Trinity Christian captured the GISA state crown this past season, and placed two players on this year's first team. Junior middle hitter Elissa Waldrop, earned her spot on the first team with 71 blocks and 56 aces. She also had 268 kills as an All-State selection. Trinity Christian junior setter Micayla Patterson also earned a spot on the first team. Patterson had 225 kills and 68 aces. Newnan senior Michelle Morelli earned a spot on the second team. The middle hitter was one of the Lady Cougars' top two offensive players. Two players from East Coweta were selected to the second team, Lori Martin and Sydney Mauer. Martin, a senior middle hitter, earned the Coach's Award at East Coweta and finished with 130 kills and 55 blocks, while taking over for former All-County teammate Morgan Bowen. Sophomore setter Sydney Mauer finished the year with 226 digs and 200 assists. Two more players from Trinity Christian capped their state title run with selection to the second team. They included junior outside hitter Ashton Bigler, who had 72 kills and a team leading 100 aces as a GISA All-State selection. Senior Sam Mizzell had 131 kills and 98 aces while finishing her career with the Lady Lions, repeating last year's All-County honor. Earning recognition among honorable mentions were East Coweta teammates Sara Whitaker and Lexy Zelczak, Northgate senior middle hitter Hannah Gilman, Trinity Christian All-State Rachel Lyons and Newnan senior McKynsey Douglas, who admirably filled a key role for the Lady Cougars as their defensive specialist. * * * THE 2011 NEWNAN TIMES-HERALD ALL-COUNTY VOLLEYBALL TEAM Offensive Player of the Year: Jessi Bartholomew, East Coweta, Fr. Defensive Player of the Year: Elle McCord, Northgate, Jr. FIRST TEAM DS/OH - Kelly Cunningham, Northgate, Sr. S - Micayla Patterson, Trinity Christian, Jr. S - Brittany Scarbrough, Northgate, Jr. S/OH - Savanna Summers, East Coweta, Sr. MH - Elissa Waldrop, Trinity Christian, Jr. SECOND TEAM OH- Ashton Bigler, Trinity Christian, Jr. MH - Lori Martin, East Coweta, Sr. S/DS - Sydney Mauer, East Coweta, So. RH - Sam Mizzell, Trinity Christian, Sr. MH - Michelle Morelli, Newnan, Sr. HONORABLE MENTION East Coweta -- S Sara Whitaker, Sr.; MH Lexy Zelczak, Jr.; Northgate -- MH Hannah Gilman, Sr., Trinity Christian -- DS Rachel Lyons, Jr.; Newnan -- DS McKynsey Douglas, Sr.


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