Sunday, October 2

    Avila, Prokopius earn All-Ohio honors

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    Independence standouts Abby Avila and Calli Prokopius head into their final weekend of high school volleyball with another accolade to add to their resumes.

    Avila was named first-team All-Ohio and Prokopius earned second-team honors.

    “I am honored to be selected first-team All-Ohio,” Avila said. “It is an award that I share with all my teammates and coaches. It has been such a privilege to play for this program with all my current teammates and all my previous teammates who have pushed me and pushed this program to be one of the best in the state.”

    As a junior, Avila earned third-team All-Ohio honors.

    This season, she has recorded 127 kills, 67 service aces, 19 blocks, 184 digs, and an eye-popping 882 assists through 27 matches.

    Avila has at least one more match—and hopefully two—at the state Final Four in Dayton before turning the page on this chapter of her volleyball career.

    The Blue Devils have finished as the state runner-up in each of the previous seasons. Avila hopes her legacy includes a state title.

    “As I go into my final weekend, I just hope that I have led by example and shown my younger teammates that hard work pays off,” she said. “I hope working hard in the gym every day is something that every younger girl does after me in Independence. More than anything, I want us to have a great week of practice and get the job done this weekend.”

    Prokopius earned all-state honors for the first time in her career.

    “It means a lot to me that coaches around the state recognized me as one of the best in the state,” Prokopius said. “I’ve been working hard since Day 1 with my team and I couldn’t do it without them by my side.”

    As a senior, Prokopius has recorded 119 kills, 65 aces, 18 blocks, and 169 digs.

    While she is laser-focused on bringing home the school’s first state championship, she also hopes her younger teammates have learned as much from her as she did from those who came before her.

    “Our team plays as a whole and every single person on and off the court is a part of it,” she said. “Being a senior, I try to be a role model and a leader for my younger teammates. They look up to me and all I can do for them is teach them how to be their best. As the season is reaching the end, our team is working harder than ever to achieve our final goal, and I am beyond proud of each and every one of us.”


    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.



    Independence honors seniors with sweep of Trinity

    Independence’s volleyball team honored its seniors prior to a 3-0 sweep of visiting Trinity on Thursday.