Spartan libero Sents named NICL West’s Player of Year

The statewide digs leader resides in the NICL West – again.

Grundy Center’s Riley Sents upped her state-leading total despite her Spartans’ first-round exit from the state tournament, all but assuring the junior libero will lead all of Iowa in the category for the second year in a row.

But for the first time ever, the NICL West Division’s Player of the Year is a libero.

Sents was voted by the coaches to receive the conference’s top honor after leading the NICL West, Class 2A and the entire state in digs for the second consecutive season. Her total ran to 782 digs with the 13 she accumulated in Grundy Center’s season-ending loss to Western Christian in the state tournament, that after racking up 752 digs in the 2012 campaign.

It marks the third all-NICL West honor for Sents, who was a second-team selection in 2011 and a first-team pick last year.

She was one of two first-team all-conferece selections for the Spartans, who claimed their fifth straight NICL West crown this fall. Sophomore outside hitter Katie Lindeman earned her first league honor after leading No. 9 Grundy Center with 243 kills. Spartans coach Darwin Sents was named the conference’s Coach of the Year.

South Hardin senior setter Kayla Prosser picked up her fourth all-NICL West honor in as many years, following two years of second-team selection with back-to-back first-team honors. Prosser finished first in the conference in service aces (92), second in assists (753) and third in blocks (78).

West Marshall senior setter Alarie Craven is the only other holdover from last year’s all-conference first team. Craven led the league with 772 assists and finished fourth in service efficiency (.981).

South Tama, the runner-up to Grundy Center in the final conference standings, had a pair of first-team picks in seniors Samantha Holtz and Trisha Walz. Holtz, a second-team honoree last year, led the Trojans in blocks (57) and was second in kills (196) and digs (236). Walz was tops on the team in kills (208) and digs (290).

AGWSR’s lone first-team recipient was senior libero Olivia Ingledue, who finished second in the league with 462 digs. She was an honorable mention pick two seasons ago.

BCLUW sophomore middle hitter Olivia Callaway rounded out the first team. She led the Comets in kills (165), blocks (60) and aces (28).