Commentary: Records set often in volleyball

Chuck Hayes Democrat Sports
Maddie Herrera makes a set during a match at Mansfield on October 11, 2018. Herrera set the single-match assist record of 45 in that match and accounted for 1.817 assists in her career.

When a program starts, or restarts as in the case of the Booneville volleyball program, records can be expected to be surpassed on a regular basis. This has proven to be so true that at least one record has been broken every year the program has existed until 2019.

At first, the records were very modest. For example, the first LadyCat volleyball team in 2007, for the entire season, had 19 kills, led by Sarah Parker with four.

These days it is not uncommon for a player to have four or more kills in a single game, or even on four consecutive points, as Macy Geddes did to close out a 2016 match against Union Christian.

And as for those 19 kills in a season? Four players — Taylor Bauer, Jordan Weaver, Haley Carter and Aleeah Blansett — have had 19 or more kills in a single match, with Blansett holding the record with a 22-kill performance at Mansfield on October 11, 2018. Blansett also holds the season (357) and career (666) records. The season record has been broken nine times in the 13-year history of the program.

The three kill records are among six held by Blansett, who now plays at Seminole State in Oklahoma. She also holds the career mark for blocks (310), as well as the season records for attack percent (88.78) and kill percent (.436).

You can’t have good hitting if there are not people to get the ball up and Booneville has been blessed with some outstanding liberos. From Madison Stropes, through Kristin Scantling, Nicole Wallace and Tierra Rambo, to the two best the program has ever seen, Hannah McClung and Paisley Templeman.

McClung holds the career record for digs at 2,035 while Templeman, who only played two years, amassed 1,414 including the season record of 717 in 2016. But the single-match record is held by a girl who had a one-night stand at libero.

Jaycie Rodatz, filling in for an ill McClung at West Fork on September 25, 2014, racked up 67 digs. Rodatz also holds the record for serving accuracy in a season, missing only one serve in 192 attempts that year.

Kills can’t come without good sets either, and Rodatz had held the career assist record until Maddie Herrera came along. First, Herrera reset the single-season record in her sophomore season with 280, then when she became the sole primary setter in her junior season of 2017, wiped that mark out with 773. She fell just short of that her senior year with 764, giving her 1,817 for her career.

In all, “Maddie Magic” had 7,677 touches in her career and even managed to get 83 kills. Herrera also holds the single-match record, getting 45 on the night that Blansett set the kill mark. That was also the only time that four LadyCats had 10 or more kills in one match with Taylor Miller, Emma Ramey and Brooklyn Zarlingo also hitting double digits.

In addition to the season dig record, Templeman has the season and career return percent records as well as the highest career serving percentage at 98.15%, missing only 12 times in 651 serves. This included a run of 196 good serves in a row in 2016. Power is sometimes needed too, though, and one of the oldest records in the book is for aces.

Sarah Hotubbee served 12 aces against Lincoln on August 12, 2009, which stands as the oldest single-game record. It has been tied by Paula Wilkins in 2011 and by Yoandra Vazquez in 2012, with Wilkins holding the season (80) and career (189) records.

Though Blansett holds the career record for blocks, she does not hold the match or season records. Shayna Pierce in 2010 rejected 17 Mena kills, and the previous year Melanie Phonlasouk had set the season record at 138.

There are such thing as triple-doubles in volleyball as well, and it has happened six times in the history of the program. Hiley Sage Catlett and Hayley Lunsford have done it twice each, with Hotubbee and Blansett getting the others.

Turning to junior high, we find a record that cannot be broken right off the bat. In her eighth-grade season of 2011, Ashdon Ross did not miss a serve in 160 attempts, and the streak went on into the fifth game of her freshman campaign. When it was over, she had 204 good serves in a row. When combined with her no-strikeout softball seasons, Ross holds two records that can never be toppled.

Ross also held the record for aces in a match (13) until 2018, when Hayley Lunsford put on a spectacular display against Lincoln. On August 30, Lunsford accounted for 16 aces and by the end of the season, had broken the season record as well with 78. Lunsford also holds the record for most kills in a match (16) and in a season (156).

Templeman has both of the dig records, getting 50 in a match against Hot Springs Lakeside in 2015 and 494 for the season. Herrera has the single season assist mark while Joleigh Tate claimed the blocks record in 2018.

While no records were set last season, the LadyCats have a long history of doing so and perhaps 2020 will see some more records fall.

Odds and Ends

Going back to basketball for a moment, I have been apprised of the accomplishments of Robert (Bubba) Evans during the 1964-65 season. It turns out that during that, his senior season, Evans had a 38-point game against Subiaco which ties the single-game scoring record.

In addition, Evans scored 544 points in 27 games; while it falls short of Brett Green’s single-season mark of 565 it does establish a new record for scoring average at 20.15 points per game. This edges out Will Swint’s mark of 20.13. Evans also shot 81 percent from the free throw line for the season, and I have given him his due by including those marks in my record book. It also turns out that Evans is the uncle of former LadyCat standout Jenny Mikles.

And the longest winning streak Booneville has ever seen belongs to a basketball team as well. Actually, four of them. Between 1992 and 1995, the seventh-grade girls program won 46 games in a row. That includes back-to-back unbeaten seasons in 1993 (22-0) and 1994 (20-0).

I hope you have enjoyed this trip through my record books. Every one of them is a work in progress and when the library opens back up, it appears I have a lot of research still to do.