County athletes honored with Optimist volleyball nods
One might think those selected to play in an all-star game seven months after that sports season ended might be a little rusty.
But not if you play club volleyball, for instance.
Nevada Union volleyball player Nora Mounce now plays with former NU teammate Robin McFadden for Club Momentum, a Rocklin-based volleyball team. It was while the pair were set to put in another night’s practice that Mounce told Robin McFadden the two of them had been selected to play in the prestigious Optimist all-star volleyball game. For McFadden, who did not start for the Lady Miners until her senior year, it was a dream come true.
“It is a really big honor,” said McFadden, a 5-foot-11 senior who patrolled the nets as the Lady Miners battled their way to a share of the Metro League championship in 2001. “But I am mostly excited because I get to play with people I usually played against, and that is fun.”
McFadden and Mounce will play for the South team in the all-star game that features the Sacramento area’s best players, tonight, 7:30 p.m., at Sacramento State. Bear River middle hitter Sheena Atwood will also play in tonight’s game. NU’s Miles Holland, named Metro League MVP for boys volleyball, will play in the boys’ Optimist game, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
McFadden, who will play volleyball at Chico State this fall, and Mounce, a setter who plans to pursue her higher education at UC-Berkeley, were both first-team selections on the team that shared league honors with perennial power St. Francis. Their time spent with Club Momentum, including car pooling, keeps their skills razor sharp.
“I was excited to be selected,” Mounce said. “We’ve had a couple of practices and the girls on the other team are real good. This is a chance to play with a lot of talented volleyball players.”
Despite a spotless Metro League record and a 30-4 overall mark, Holland was the lone Miner picked for the boys Optimist team. Tuesday, five of his teammates made first or second-team all-Metro League, leading one to wonder how some of Holland’s teammates didn’t make the Optimist team.
“A lot of the coaches at the all-league meeting were disappointed that more of our team was not picked for the Optimist game,” NU volleyball coach Bruce Grininger said. “Jesuit coach Deanne Nocetti thought we had six of the finest players she has seen in a long time.”
Holland, a 6-5 hitter, found out three weeks ago that he had been tabbed an Optimist selection.
“I was surprised, because we were the No. 1 team in the area, that Tucker (Thiesing) or Peter (Sewell) didn’t get selected,” Holland said. “But it felt good to be honored like this. It is nice to know they are recognizing my play and my team’s play with this.”
Atwood, a middle hitter, was voted the Sierra Foothill League’s co-Most Valuable Player and led the Lady Bruins – who finished tied for second in the SFL with Granite Bay – to their first postseason appearance since 1998.
“Sheena’s just a really intense player,” Bear River head coach Keith Hart said. “She brought the entire team up both on the court and the bench.”
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Hank Sowell’s introduction to the game of golf came early as a set of clubs was among the gifts he received on his very first birthday.