Opposing coaches know that Omaha Concordia's Megan Wickey can pound the volleyball with the best of them.
College coaches must realize the same thing, because the junior outside hitter recently committed to Ohio State.
Wickey, who had 390 kills this season, is the honorary captain of the All-Omaha Area team. The 6-foot-2 junior outside hitter helped the Class C-1 Mustangs go 21-11 and come within one victory of the state tournament.
She also led the team in blocks (48), digs (289) and was second in aces (31).
But it was her leadership skills that Concordia coach Kiley Hansen said were instrumental in the team's success.
“Megan really stepped up this year in that regard,” the coach said. “We didn't have any seniors on the team and she did a phenomenal job of working with our younger players.”
Other first-team selections are Claire Knust and Julia Faltin of Omaha Skutt, Kelsey Green and Ashley Knight of Elkhorn South, Kaitlynn Thomas of Ashland-Greenwood and Halie McArdle of Gretna.
On the second team are Emily Gregan and Alli Rogers of Elkhorn South, Maddison Nygren of Mead, Natalie Mickelson of Gretna, Rachel Wald of Douglas County West, Alex Banker of Omaha Skutt and Adasia Bromberger of Elkhorn.
Selections are based on observations by World-Herald staff writers and nominations from coaches.
Wickey, who averaged 5.8 kills per set, moves up from last year's second team.
“She's only a few kills from the school's career record,” Hansen said. “I'm looking forward to big things from Megan and our whole team next season.”
Knust had a team-leading 284 kills for the 32-9 SkyHawks, who reached the Class B state tournament for the eighth time. She also led the team in hitting efficiency (.345) and ace blocks (115).
Faltin, a 5-6 senior libero, was another key performer for Skutt. She had 771 digs (an average of 6.7 per set) and had 84 digs in three state tournament matches.
Green, a 6-1 sophomore, had 234 kills and 35 aces for the Storm. She helped eighth-seeded Elkhorn South win its first two matches at state before losing in the Class B final against Norris.
Knight, a 5-9 junior setter, finished the season with 1,022 assists. She also had 231 digs and 43 aces as the quarterback of the Storm attack.
Thomas led Class C-1 with 524 kills, an average of 6.2 per set. The University of Nebraska at Kearney recruit also had 429 digs and led the Bluejays in aces (44).
McArdle, a second-team selection last season, led Gretna in kills with 390. She also led the 23-11 Dragons in hitting percentage (.331) and digs (438).
* * *
Position, Player, School, Height, Year
H, Megan Wickey, Omaha Concordia, 6-2, Jr.
H, Claire Knust, Omaha Skutt, 6-0, Jr.
H, Kelsey Green, Elkhorn South, 6-1, So.
H, Kaitlynn Thomas, Ashland-Greenwood, 6-1, Sr.
H, Halie McArdle, Gretna, 5-9, So.
S, Ashley Knight, Elkhorn South, 5-9, Jr.
L, Julia Faltin, Omaha Skutt, 5-6, Sr.
Honorary captain: Wickey
Position, Player, School, Height, Year
H, Maddison Nygren, Mead, 5-6, Sr.
H, Natalie Mickelson, Gretna, 5-9, Sr.
H, Emily Gregan, Elkhorn South, 6-0, Sr.
H, Rachel Wald, Douglas County West, 5-8, Sr.
H, Alli Rogers, Elkhorn South, 5-8, Sr.
S, Alex Banker, Omaha Skutt, 5-9, Sr.
L, Adasia Bromberger, Elkhorn, 5-4, Sr.
COACHES HONORABLE MENTION
Arlington: Olivia Schneider, Mariah Kaup. Ashland-Greenwood: Kelsey Marr, Hailey Pollard. Blair: Marissa O'Grady, Callie Alberico, Taylor Stewart. Boys Town: Annie Polland. Conestoga: Martha Snyder, Megan Jamison, Brittany Jensen. Douglas County West: Hanah Jorgensen, Emma Coenen, Mary Kaven, Maddie McCarville, Madie Egbarts. Elkhorn: Nicole Skovsende, Anna Gottsch, Sarah Brand. Elkhorn South: Sarah Swanson. Fort Calhoun: Brianna Namuth, Sara Naughton. Gretna: Amanda Young, Sara Rahmanzai. Louisville: Maggie Hiatt, Samantha Lane. Mead: Devynn Patocka, Haley Konecky, Lauren Taylor, Miranda Charles. Omaha Brownell-Talbot: Sydney Woods, Katie Zheng, Rachel Hall. Omaha Christian: Morgan Holmes, Shye Wirges. Omaha Concordia: Averey Yaksich, Brooke Sorenson, Jordan Gibbs. Omaha Duchesne: Elise Fulcher, Emily Foje, Amber Vaughan, Hannah Lingo. Omaha Gross: Lauren Parr, Lynsey Matulka, Tahlyr Banks, Holly McGregor. Omaha Roncalli: Maddie Dotzler, Abby Goetz, Emma Heldt, Bailey Preston. Omaha Skutt: Taylor Holz, Kierra Harder. Platteview: Sam Swanson, Carly Stepanek, Cassidy Renander, Nicki Stolzer. Plattsmouth: Paige Johnson, Shayla Scanlan. Ralston: Megan Stilmock, Maddie Goltl, Maddie Ellis. Weeping Water: Marylyn Mozena, Taylor Hermann. Yutan: Madison Egr, Bailey Josoff, Brooke Kelly, Nealie Josoff.