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Wildcat senior Zoe Barr has been named to the 2011 All-Big Rivers Conference Volleyball First Team, one of three Wildcats honored by the conference for their play this season. Bob Burrows photo.

Three Cats All-BRC volleyball

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Three members of the River Falls High School volleyball team have been honored by the Big Rivers Conference coaches with selection to 2011 All-BRC teams.

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Senior Zoe Barr was named to the seven-player First Team while seniors Maddie Shafer and Masy Engel earned Honorable Mention.

Second-year Wildcat coach Sara McDonald was thrilled with the selections.

"It is nice to see that the coaches in our conference are starting to recognize individual players from our team," she said.

Barr earned All-BRC honors for the second straight season. She earned Honorable Mention to the 2010 team. She led the Wildcats with a hitting percentage of over .300 this season while also leading the team in blocks and service aces.

"Zoe is one of the top seven players in the conference and she deserves to have her skills acknowledged," McDonald said. "The great thing about Zoe is that she has not yet hit her peak and will continue to improve throughout her college career."

Shafer led the Cats in assists from her setter position while Engel was tops on the team in digs.

"Maddie has really become a solid technical setter. She has worked hard on her fundamentals and sets a consistent ball. She also contributed with good defense and a nice serve," McDonald said. "Masy is extremely athletic and has what I call 'big play potential.' She jumps high and hits hard."

The three seniors also collected a number of team awards at the Cats' annual postseason banquet. Barr was named Best Hitter, Best Blocker and Best Server while Shafer was named Best Setter and Engel Best Defensive Player. The Best Passer award went to senior Kadey VanBlaircom.

The team's Rookie of the Year award went to sophomore Izzy Shafer while junior Joellen Turner was named Most Improved and senior Britt Swanson received the Dedication Award.

The Cats also saluted a player on each level of the program with a Wildcat Award, which goes to the player that shows work ethic, sportsmanship, leadership and skill. The Varsity award went to Barr and the JV award went to Alexandra Ronnestrand while the JV2 award was given to Megan Faustini. The Freshman Blue winner was Dani Olson and the Freshman Gold winner was Linzie Gineau.

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Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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