Chaparral’s Julianna Dalton was switched this season from an outside hitter to the middle, the position that Valor Christian’s Anna Davis plays. Dalton and Davis were standout volleyball players …
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Chaparral’s Julianna Dalton was switched this season from an outside hitter to the middle, the position that Valor Christian’s Anna Davis plays.
Dalton and Davis were standout volleyball players last season and helped their teams advance to the Class 5A state volleyball championship match.
Colorado Community Media has selected Dalton and Davis at the 2018 South Metro Co-Volleyball Players of the Year.
Dalton, a 6-foot-4 junior, led the Continental League with a .373 hitting percentage and was also the league leader with 126 blocks which was third in the state. She finished with 222 kills, a 49.0 kills percentage, 69 digs and 24 assists.
“I normally do not play middle,” said Dalton. “It’s not what I play in club. I played it my freshman year just because I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. Coach asked me if I wanted to play middle this season and I said sure simply because there was no one else.
“At the beginning I thought, `Oh my gosh, this is awful. I cannot do this. I can’t even get up on every block. I cannot close or whatever.’ But I really improved as a middle.”
She still prefers being an outside hitter.
“I still like outside,” she noted. “Middle definitely helps me with blocking. We have had club practices and after moving from middle to outside, blocking is 10 times easier because you are only in charge of two people instead of three. As the middle you have to block everyone and you are in charge of closing. It is just a more fas-paced game for a middle. You have to be up on every ball. “
Davis, a 6-1 junior who has committed to Tulane University, was up all season for Valor and a key reason the Eagles captured the state championships.
She led the 5A Jeffco League with a .473 hitting percentage. She had 243 kills and a 55.5 kills percentage. She was the Jeffco leader with 114 blocks.
“I played well this year,” said Davis. “The main thing was I just focused on working hard being determined to be the hardest-working player on the court. It paid off because I was able to do things and push harder than I was able to do before in previous years.”
She feels blocking takes more skill than hitting.
“Blocking is definitely harder having to read the players on the other side of the net and reacting quickly to what they are doing and be able to get up strong and take about court and space away from them,” she continued. “Hitting is a lot of the same, smart placement and working hard to put the ball where you want it to go and a lot of that is the connection you have with your setters.”
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