Hoggard volleyball controls conference; West Brunswick’s Pugh takes Player of the Year

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WILMINGTON — There were many worthy candidates across the league for Mideastern Conference Player of the Year this season as West Brunswick High School standout Hannah Pugh earned top honors following a vote by the division’s seven coaches.

While the Hoggard Vikings have dominated the area as four-time conference champions, with a 50-match unbeaten streak against league opponents, Pugh’s performance for the Trojans was outstanding. She finished the year with 394 kills and a .362 hitting percentage.

To put that in perspective, hitting percentage is figured out by the number of kills minus errors divided by total attacks. Among the four major NCAA division I volleyball conferences, a solid kill percentage is right around 36-percent.

Madie Schider. Photo courtesy- Rodney Williams
Madie Schider. Photo courtesy- Rodney Williams

Like many local players, Pugh is a member of the Cape Fear Volleyball Club, which is run by Hoggard’s longtime Coach Ron Strickland, along with Ashley Coach Larry Salefsky. The organization serves as a premiere place for area athletes to make the necessary strides to improve all facets of their game. Pugh hopes to find a spot at the college level in the near future.

The award is Pugh’s second such accolade after she was named Mideastern Conference Player of the Year as a junior.

Defense doesn’t get much love when it comes to a most valuable player, but if it did Hoggard libero Maddie Schider (577 digs) would be in the mix for a player of the year selection as the Hillsdale College commit joined Pugh on the Mideastern Conference First-Team, alongside teammate Kirby Smith (358 kills).

The Vikings’ duo guided Hoggard to a 12-0 mark in league play and 21-6 overall record, which included a trip to the third round of the 4A state playoffs.

Outside Hitter Alyssa Gowdy propelled New Hanover to a second-place finish in the division as a first-team selection, with 257 kills. Katherine Boudreau (Ashley) and Victoria Elder (Topsail) rounded out the First-Team All-Conference picks as the top attackers for their respective teams.

 PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Hannah Pugh, West Brunswick

COACH OF THE YEAR: Ron Strickland, Hoggard

TEAM SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD: South Brunswick

FIRST TEAM

  • Katherine Boudreau, Ashley
  • Madie Schider, Hoggard
  • Hannah Pugh, West Brunswick
  • Alyssa Gowdy, New Hanover
  • Kirby Smith, Hoggard
  • Victoria Elder, Topsail

SECOND TEAM

  • Sydney Eavey, New Hanover
  • Courtney Loughran, New Hanover
  • Abby McEnaney, South Brunswick
  • Julia Rhine, New Hanover
  • Hannah Freas, Laney
  • Liza McLatchey, New Hanover