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AJ’s Faulkenberry set for N/S match

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Lady Vols' star honored

By Robert Howey

 

KERSHAW – Andrew Jackson High School senior volleyball star Haley Faulkenberry will cap her high school volleyball career as one of the state’s elite among ace senior players.

Faulkenberry, a two-time Class AA all-state pick and Region IV-AA Player of the Year, will play in the annual Coaches Association of Women’s Sports North-South All-Star volleyball match at Erskine College in Due West on Saturday, Nov. 23.

“This is a great privilege to be a part of this event,” said Faulkenberry, who left Thursday morning to be a part of the North-South All-Star volleyball weekend. “I’m honored because not a lot of people from our area have been in this game.

“I think it will be a great experience and I’m looking forward to playing with a whole new group of people from around the state.”

Faulkenberry, an outside hitter, sparked the 20-4 Lady Vols to their third Region IV-AA championship in the last four years, the 2013 Class AA Upper State crown and a state runner-up finish.

AJ was ranked No. 2 in the final Class AA state volleyball poll released earlier this week.

The Lady Vols’ appearance in the 2013 Class AA state volleyball match marked the AJ girls’ first trip to the state finals since the 1991 season.

Faulkenberry, in her stellar senior campaign, posted 327 kills, 71 serving aces, 317 good serve-receives, 334 digs and averaged 4.6 points a match.

“Haley is an absolute team leader who set the example for others to follow,” AJ volleyball coach John Verdugo said. “She has produced an outstanding volleyball career and is deserving of this recognition.”

Faulkenberry, as a junior, helped the AJ girls to a 19-9 record, region title and a Class AA Upper State runner-up finish. She earned the team’s Most Attack Kills Award along with all-region honors for the second straight season.

Faulkenberry also garnered  Region IV-AA Player of the Year honors and reaped the MVP Award in the Carolina Challenge tournament held at North Central on Sept. 22, 2012. She was also a CN2 Athlete of the Week Award winner.

In the winter of 2012, she played volleyball for the 16U Rock Hill Volleyball Club and the team was ranked sixth out of 48 South Carolina teams.

As a sophomore on the AJ volleyball team, she reaped all-region honors and was presented the Lady Vols Best Defensive Player Award.

Faulkenberry is also a standout on the Lady Volunteers softball team at shortstop.

She earned all-region and all-state laurels last spring as a junior ace when she was presented the Best Offensive Award.

As a sophomore, Faulkenberry was an all-region pick and received the Lady Vols softball Coaches Award.

“Haley’s had a tremendous career at AJ and we’re proud to see her receive this recognition,” AJ athletic director Jimbo Barton said. “We know she will represent AJ real well.”

Faulkenberry said she plans to give it her best shot.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity and I’ll give it my best,” she said. “I’m proud and happy to represent AJ.”

The schedule tonight calls for the Class A-AA North stars to play the Class AAA-AAAA North stars at 6:30. At 7:45 p.m., the Class A-AA South stars will face the Class AAA-AAAA South stars.

On Saturday, Nov. 23 at 9 a.m., the Class A-AA North stars meet the Class A-AA South stars followed by post-game awards.

Action at 11 a.m. Saturday has the Class AAA-AAAA North stars meeting the Class AAA-AAAA South stars, with post-game awards afterward.