By RICK PETERSON
Former Washburn Rural state champ, Iowa State All-American and veteran professional player Kaylee Manns earned the No. 1 spot on the TopSports.news Shawnee County Best of the Best Top 25 for volleyball.
Manns has excelled at every level, including a standout three-sport standout for Rural before going on to become a first-team Asics/Volleyball Magazine All-American for Iowa State in 2009 and a two-time first-team All-Big 12 pick.
Manns finished her Iowa State career as the Cyclones' all-time assist leader (5,625), No. 5 in digs and block assists and No. 9 in total blocks. She was the first player in Big 12 history to record 5,500 assists, 1,000 digs, 300 kills and 300 blocks in a career.
Manns has played professionally for more than a decade since her college career ended.
Former two-time Shawnee Heights state champ and Washburn All-American Dani McHenry holds down the No. 2 spot on the Top 25 while two other former T-Bird stars, Jazz Sweet and Megan Cooney, were picked No. 3 and No. 4 and Washburn Rural product Kelsey Chipman rounds out the top five.
Sweet and Cooney helped lead Heights to a Class 5A state title before Sweet went on to win an NCAA Division I national championship at Nebraska and Cooney helped Illinois reach the Final Four. Chipman was a state champ at Rural and is among Kansas State's career leaders in multiple departments.
Former Hayden three-time state champ and 4A Division II Player of the Year Amanda Desch, now a standout at Central Oklahoma, was the Readers Choice champion, garnering more than 700 votes.
Here's a look at the Top 25 and Readers Choice Awards:
TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS
1. Kaylee Manns (Washburn Rural) -- A three-sport standout at Washburn Rural, Manns went on to become a first-team Asics/Volleyball Magazine All-American for Iowa State in 2009 and was a two-time AVCA second-team All-American. A two-time first-team All-Big 12 pick, Manns was named Iowa State's Female Student-Athlete of the Year and finished her career as the Cyclones' all-time assist leader (5,625), No. 5 in digs and block assists and No. 9 in total blocks. She was the first player in Big 12 history to record 5,500 assists, 1,000 digs, 300 kills and 300 blocks in a career. Manns has played professionally for more than a decade since her college career ended.
2. Dani McHenry (Shawnee Heights) -- Led Shawnee Heights to back-to-back Class 5A state championships and played at Kansas before earning All-America honors at Washburn. McHenry helped lead WU to its first NCAA tournament appearance in 2002 and she became the first AVCA All-American in school history, earning recognition in 2003 and '04. A three-time All-MIAA selection, McHenry recorded 1,491 kills which was sixth all-time at Washburn. Her 558 kills her junior year is the third highest season total in Washburn history. McHenry also was a member of WU's national championship basketball team.
3. Jazz Sweet (Shawnee Heights) -- After winning a 5A state title at Shawnee Heights in 2016, Sweet helped perennial Division I power Nebraska win a NCAA Division I national championship (2017) and post a runner-up finish ('18). Sweet was named to the All-Big 10 Freshman Team and was named Nebraska's outstanding femal newcomer for all sports in 2017-'18. Finished her NU career with 970 career kills and 282 blocks and had a career-high 18 kills twice in '19 in wins over Illinois and Iowa. Sweet earned Under Armour first-team prep All-America honors in '16 after recording 478 kills, 284 digs, 84 blocks and 41 aces for the 38-6 T-Birds. Sweet is currently playing professionally.
4. Megan Cooney (Shawnee Heights) -- Cooney helped lead Heights to a 5A state title before becoming a standout at Illinois, including a berth in the 2018 NCAA Division I Final Four. Cooney is scheduled to close out her college career this fall after earning second-team All-Big 10 honors last season. Cooney ranked second for Illinois with 205 kills in a conference-only season. Posted 21 kills, 11 digs and four blocks for her third-career double-double against No. 5 Minnesota. Cooney had 347 kills in '19 and 343 kills in '18. Cooney was named to the All-Big 10 Freshman Team after earning second-team Under Armour prep All-America honors.
5. Kelsey Chipman (Washburn Rural) -- Chipman was a state champion for Washburn Rural before standing out at Kansas State, ranking among the Wildcats' all-time career leaders in multiple categories. Chipman received All-Big 12 recognition as a senior after tallying 301 kills. She ranked third in the Big 12 in both hitting percentage and blocks. Chipman closed her career as one of the top blockers in school history, ranking second in block assists. Her total of 463 block assists also rank ninth in Big 12 history and her career hitting percentage of .329 ranks fifth in school history.
6. Jayme Gergen (Washburn Rural) -- Gergen starred at Washburn Rural as a three-sport athlete before going on to become a three-year starter, an All-ACC pick and an All-American at Georgia Tech, where she graduated in 2005. Gergen helped lead the Yellow Jackets to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, three Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season titles and one ACC Tournament Championship. As a senior she ranked first in the ACC and 11th in the nation in hitting percentage (.393). She finished her career ranked second on the Georgia Tech career hitting percentage list (.353). Following her college career Gergen played professionally.
7. Stefine Pease (Shawnee Heights) -- Pease was a standout for Shawnee Heights before posting an outstanding college career at Lipscomb University. Pease was named the Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year in 2007, the conference player of the year in '10 and the most valuable player in the conference tournament in '07 and '09. During her career the three-time first-team all-conference pick helped Lipscomb record a combined conference record of 54-7 and a 93-34 overall mark. She was inducted into the Atlantic Sun Hall of Fame earlier this year.
8. Sandy Werner (Washburn Rural) -- Werner starred at Washburn Rural and Kansas State, helping the Wildcats win their first Big 12 Championship and advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2003, going 30-5 overall and 18-2 in the conference. Werner was the only first-year player to play in the Sweet 16 match against Penn State that season. Werner finished with her career with over 1,100 career kills and helped the Wildcats reach the NCAA Tournament in '03, '04 and '05.
9. Peyton Williams (Cair Paravel Latin) -- After starring in volleyball and basketball for Cair Paravel Latin, Williams continued her career at Kansas State, earning All-Big 12 honors in both volleyball and basketball in her final year at KSU. Williams recorded 239 kills and 99 total blocks in 2019 for the Wildcats and led K-State in hitting percentage for the third straight season at .314. Had a career-high 17 kills against Central Arkansas. Williams is currently playing professional basketball overseas.
10. Breanna Lewis (Seaman) -- The former Viking standout played Division I volleyball at Taxas A&M before transferring to Washburn, where she earned All-America honors. Lewis was a 2011 NCAA Division II AVCA All-American as a right-side hitter for WU and she was a three-time All-MIAA honoree.
11. Alyssa Schultejans (Silver Lake) -- Schultejans finished her Silver Lake career as the state record-holder (all classes) in career kills with 1,985 and was the two-time Class 3A player of the year and a three-time All-3A first-team pick, leading the Eagles to back-to-back titles in 2013 and '14. Schultejans, who had 732 kills as a senior, went on to play at Kansas State, earning All-Big 12 Freshman honors in 2015.
12. Faith Rottinghaus (Shawnee Heights) -- Rottinghaus helped lead Shawnee Heights win a 5A state championship and has gone on to an outstanding career at Washburn University, including multiple appearances in the NCAA tournament. Rottinghaus, who will close out her college career this fall, is a three-time All-MIAA selection, including first-team honors in 2018 and '19. Rottinghaus was named the Ichbods' team most valuable player as a freshman in '17.
13. Kelsey Lewis (Washburn Rural) -- Lewis helped lead Washburn Rural to four straight 6A state championships before going on to play at Washburn University,where she earned All-MIAA recognition. Lewis was a three-time 6A all- state tournament team selection for the Junior Blues.
14. Alexa Bordewick (Washburn Rural) -- Bordewick played for her father, Kevin, at Washburn Rural, helping lead the Junior Blues to four straight 6A state titles and earning All-City, All-Centennial League and All-State honors Bordewick went on to play basketball at Pittsburg State.
15. Arica Shepard (Rossville) -- After starring at Rossville, the late Shepard, who passed away unexpectedly in 2017, went on to earn All-America honors three times for Emporia State. Shepard was a four-time All-MIAA performer for the Hornets from '06-'09 and a three-time first-team selection. She was a three-time AVCA All-American and set ESU single season and career records in kills, kills per set, double figure kills matches and 20+ kill matches. She led the Hornets to the MIAA Championship and the NCAA Regional Championship match in 2009.
16, Alyssa Carney (Washburn Rural) -- After helping Washburn Rural win three 6A state championships, Carney played at Wichita State before finishing her college career at Washburn University, earning All-America honors and multi-time All-MIAA recognition.
17. Sarah Vicory (Washburn Rural) -- Vicory helped lead Washburn Rural to three 6A state championships before earning multiple All-America and All-MIAA honors at Washburn University.
18. Amanda Desch (Hayden) -- After winning three straight state championships at Hayden and being named the 4A Division II player of the year twice, Desch is currently a standout for Central Oklahoma. Desch, who had 1,025 kills in high school, was a second-team All-MIAA pick in 2018 after leading the team in hitting percentage (.254), assists (635), total blocks (54) and service aces (25). Led NCAA Division II with nine triple-double matches (double-digits in kills, assists and digs.
19. Addie Barry (Hayden) -- A multi-sport standout at Hayden, Barry was the Centennial League player of the year in 2013 and went on to play at Kansas, helping the Jayhawks win the '16 Big 12 championship and advance to the NCAA tournament.
20. Camryn Turner (Seaman) -- A two-time city and Centennial League player of the year and multi-time All-5A selection, Turner closed out her high school career last fall, lead the Vikings to the state tournament, and is currently playing at Kansas.
21. Erika Lane (Washburn Rural) -- A multi-sport standout for Rural, Lane won three 6A state volleyball championships and played Division I basketball at Tulsa before playing both volleyball and basketball at Washburn, earning All-MIAA honors in basketball.
22. Carly Bachelor (Washburn Rural) -- A three-sport All-Stater for Washburn Rural, Bachelor was a multi-time All-City, All-Centennial League and All-6A selection in volleyball. Bachelor is currently playing NCAA Division I basketball at Creighton.
23. Brooklyn DeLeye (Washburn Rural) -- Starting her junior season at Washburn Rural, DeLeye is already a two-time All-City, All-Centennial League and All-6A honoree, helping lead the Junior Blues to second and third-place state finishes.
24. Erica Cowhick (Shawnee Heights) -- Cowhick was named the 5A player of the year at Shawnee Heights and earned All-MIAA recognition at Washburn University before becoming a successful high school coach at Seaman and Spring Hill.
25. Corrinne Stringer (Hayden) -- Stringer was an All-Stater at Hayden and went on to play collegiately at Kansas, Pittsburg State and Washburn University.
READERS CHOICE AWARDS
1. Amanda Desch -- No. 18 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).
2. Alyssa Schultejans -- No. 11 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).
3. Kelsey Lewis -- No. 13 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).
4. Kaylee Manns -- No. 1 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).
5. Carly Bachelor -- No. 22 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).
6. Jazz Sweet -- No. 3 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).
7. Brooklyn DeLeye -- No. 23 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).
8. Sarah Victory -- No. 17 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).
9. Peyton Williams -- No. 9 in Best of the Best Top 25 (see capsule above).
10. Lauren Maisberger -- Maisberger received All-City and All-Centennial League recognition at Shawnee Heights, helping the T-Birds post a 39-5 record as a senior while recording 368 digs and 57 assists. Went on to play collegiately at Pittsburg State.
Next up: Women's wrestling Top 20 Best of the Best and Readers Choice Awards.