Hankoff receives final honor as a Viking
The volleyball flag at South Tahoe is at half mast for awhile. The last of the Hankoffs have made their way through the volleyball program at Viking Way.
South Tahoe may shed tears, both in saying goodbye, and also in collecting the honors and memories that Rachel Hankoff has left behind.
Hankoff, the team’s undisputed leader, finished the season earning first-team, 4A Northern Region Sierra League honors for the second year in a row. She led the team in kills with 3.9 per game, digs with 3.5 per game and hitting percentage at .239.
“She’s a great player and everybody recognized it in the league,” said STHS coach Gary Hankoff. “Having those numbers with everybody keying in on her constantly … is outstanding. We made no secrets that the ball was going to Rachel. She was our star and she beat people.”
Hankoff also had a team-high 41 service aces along with senior setter Angela Urreaga, who received honorable mention.
Hankoff, however, isn’t the only player who will be leaving the school in tears.
Outside hitter Cindy Davis and Kristen Burrell also earned second-team, Sierra League kudos. Davis, a senior, was runner-up on the Viking team in kills, averaging 2.8 per game.
“I really wanted to see Cindy get first team as well with the numbers she’s put up this year,” coach Hankoff said. “Cindy worked really hard on her defense. I challenged her and she stepped up. She’s such a good athlete. She really wanted to work on her hitting, but she realized that defense is what scores points in volleyball.”
Davis averaged 2.1 digs per game.
Burrell, a senior, wasn’t as prolific hitter as she was blocking, where she led the team with 56. The next closest Viking in blocks was Hankoff with 18.
“She was kind of like a rock. She was real steady and consistent,” coach Hankoff said of Burrell.
Against strong teams like Douglas and Carson, Burrell often made the difference by getting a partial block or deflection. She also was the only Viking to make the all-state academic team.
Urreaga’s performance at setter earned the team a .195 hitting percentage, which Hankoff said is a good measure of setting proficiency. Strong setting is the next closest measure of a team’s offense.
“She improved every week. Some players flattened out during the year, but she continued to improve, and I thought it was cool that the other coaches recognized that,” coach Hankoff said.
In other news, Co-Player of the Year honors went to Rachael DeRiemer of Carson and Brittany Addeo of Douglas.
Kira Brown of Douglas and Ron Malcolm of Wooster earned Sierra League Co-Coach of the Year honors.
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