Collins named District 2 Player of the Year

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Maura Collins

Independence senior Maura Collins has had a big week.

The Dayton-bound right side hitter helped the Blue Devils win the Region 9 championship on Saturday and on Monday she was named first team All-Ohio and District 2, Division III Most Valuable Player.

As a senior, Collins has recorded 327 kills, 258 digs, 72 service aces and 16 blocks in leading the Blue Devils to a 26-1 record and the program’s first state semifinals appearance in school history.

“I’m honored to be named District MVP and first team All-Ohio,” Collins said. “Being MVP is always very flattering because I always play hard for my team and for that effort to be recognized feels nice.
All-state feels incredible because as a freshman I never even imagined it happening to me, but I ended up being All-Ohio three out of four years with two first team recognitions and I’m very proud of myself for that.”

Independence head coach Megan Osysko was named District 2 Coach of the Year while sophomore Maddy Bilinovic was named second team all-district and junior Lexi Prokopius was an honorable mention honoree.

Cardinal senior Megan Zeigler earned first team Division III all-district honors after recording 270 digs 142 kills, and 33 aces for the 15-8 Huskies.

“It’s an amazing accomplishment for me as a senior,” Zeigler said. “I’ve worked so hard for the past 10 years playing (Junior Olympic) and for Cardinal, and it’s cool to see how far I’ve come as a player and how much I was able to contribute to this program over the years. While I’m the one receiving this honor, I know that I wouldn’t be here without my coaches and teammates.”

Cardinal junior Kaylee Klepper was named to the all-district second team and senior Hanna Traggiai was an honorable mention selection.

North seniors Samantha Pirosko and Maria Blatnik both earned all-district honors in Division I.

Pirosko was named to the second team while Blatnik earned honorable mention honors.

“I’m happy that I have something to show for my hard work,” said Pirosko, who recorded 221 kills, 62 services aces, 425 digs and 34 blocks this season. “This doesn’t only reflect me, but my team and I couldn’t have done it without them.”

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The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, 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 IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com 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.