Prep Volleyball

Teams of the Decade: Blue Devils continue to rise to top of WB6

(H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)
Michael Kipley
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jun. 20, 2020 12:01 am

The Quincy High School girls volleyball program continues to be one of the most successful in the Western Big Six Conference, having won five league titles with three second-place finishes in the last decade.

College coaches continue to tap the program for talent, and coaching changes have not disrupted the continual progress toward winning conference championships even with the WB6 adding two schools -- Geneseo and Sterling -- that have top-flight volleyball programs.

The all-decade team is proof that talent and success go hand-in-hand.

Here is the QHS volleyball all-decade team for 2010-19, as selected by Senior Sports Writer Matt Schuckman:

Maliah Blakemore, Setter, Class of 2016

Another in a string of talented setters to come through the QHS program, Blakemore finished fourth in career assists, fifth in career aces and fifth in career service points. A two-time first-team All-Western Big Six Conference selection, Blakemore had 700 assists, 239 service points, 192 digs and 98 kills as a senior, after piling up 644 assists, 225 digs and 122 kills as a junior.

Monica Bumbry, Middle blocker, Class of 2014

A four-year starter who developed into a dominant force at the net, Bumbry set the single-season program record with 105 blocks as a senior. She also led the area that season with 337 kills, the fourth-highest single-season mark in QHS history. Bumbry attacked at better than a .361 clip her final two seasons, earning first-team All-Western Big Six Conference honors both times.

Sierre Erke, Opposite hitter, Class of 2018

The mix of length and athleticism made Erke an imposing figure at the net. She was part of the special mention 100 on the Champaign News-Gazette all-state team as a senior when she piled up 262 kills, 142 digs and 249 serves received. Erke, who played at John Wood Community College, ranks fifth all-time at QHS in kills (855) and blocks (208).

Lexi Frese, Right side hitter, Class of 2011

An honorable mention all-state selection by the Champaign News-Gazette and first-team All-Western Big Six Conference selection as a senior, Frese compiled a team-best 259 kills, 232 digs and 57 blocks, while serving 41 aces and hitting at a .299 clip. "She was looked upon as a player that always found a way to put the ball on the floor with a tip, roll shot or hard cut shot, not to mention her forceful swing," QHS coach Barb Crist said.

Marjean Garkie, Libero, Class of 2014

Known to frustrate hitters with her ability to cover so much court defensively, Garkie was a first-team All-Western Big Six Conference and first-team all-area selection as a senior when she led the area with 414 digs. That total ranks third in a single season in QHS history. She added 136 service points and 23 aces and was named the team MVP.

India Green, Setter, Class of 2013

A two-time first-team all-state selection by the Champaign News-Gazette, Green goes down as one of the best offensive engineers in program history. The 2012 Herald-Whig Player of the Year led the Blue Devils to a 69-4 record her final two seasons and graduated as the program's career leader in assists with 2,641. As a senior, she led the area with 847 assists and a .422 hitting percentage as she piled up 129 kills, 226 digs, 53 blocks and 160 service points.

Brittany Houghton, Outside hitter, Class of 2011

Houghton worked diligently on her defense to become a full-rotation player and ended up fourth in QHS history in career digs. Yet, it was her hitting that truly set her apart. A four-time All-Western Big Six Conference selection and an honorable mention all-stater as a senior, Houghton was named the 2010 Herald-Whig Player of the Year when she led the area with 448 kills. She finished her career ranked third in QHS history in career kills.

Allison Sparrow, Middle blocker, Class of 2017

The ability to control the net defensively also opened up ways for Sparrow to attack offensively. As a senior, she was a first-team All-Western Big Six Conference selection who finished her senior season with 292 kills, a .485 hitting percentage, 98 blocks and 24 aces before getting the opportunity to play at Columbia College and Indiana Wesleyan.