I've said this about most of these, but this might've been the most difficult to narrow down with so many players at the similar high level during their high school careers.
We've been introducing possible All-Decade teams all fall, and you can check out any of them so far by clicking the links at the bottom of this post. Those lists, along with your input, will be combined for the final All-Decade teams, which we will publish in January. All that's left is football, and I'll begin introducing a position group each day starting next week, since that one especially is a huge undertaking.
Here's what I've got so far for volleyball:
Setter Allison Ianni, Okemos (2003, Pacific and Michigan State): Ianni had a monster senior season — 10.8 assists, 2.7 kills and a block per game — to finish third in the Miss Volleyball voting and be named LSJ Player of the Year.
Setter Samantha Fordyce, DeWitt (2008, Ferris State): The 2007 LSJ Player of the Year and two-time LSJ Dream Team pick averaged 9.6 assists per game as a senior to make the Class B all-state third team and is now one of the GLIAC’s top setters.
Middle Heather Brooks, East Lansing (2006, North Carolina): Although an injury ended her senior season early, Brooks made the Class A all-state third team and was a Miss Volleyball candidate. The two-time LSJ Dream Team pick went on to All-America honors at North Carolina.
Middle Meghan Moore, Alma (2002, Central Michigan and Grand Valley State): Excellent three-sport athlete was best at volleyball, being named LSJ Player of the Year as a junior and finishing eighth in the Miss Volleyball voting as a senior. Set Alma’s kills record as a junior and averaged 4.4 per game as a senior. Later played a huge role in GVSU’s Division II national title.
Outside hitter: Stephanie Maciasz, Lakewood (2002, Grand Valley State): The 2001 LSJ Player of the Year broke Lakewood’s single-season kills record as both a junior and senior. In her final season she averaged an incredible 5.6 per game and made the Class B all-state first team.
Outside hitter Karen Thompson, Holt (2008, Ferris State): Named LSJ Player of the Year as a junior and made the Dream Team again as a senior. One of the area’s top servers as well as a regular for kill-dig double-doubles.
Also in the conversation:
Setter Kelly Maxwell, Okemos (2010, Central Michigan): After transferring to Okemos as a junior, made two LSJ Dream Teams and earned Class A all-state recognition after both seasons.
Setter Chelsea Brehm, Lakewood (2006): The LSJ Player of the Year as a senior made the Class B all-state first team after averaging 7.7 assists per game.
Setter Lexie Spetoskey, Lakewood (2011): Spetoskey has already made two LSJ Dream Teams and this fall played libero, set and hit from the outside to help the Vikings fill in for injured players.
Setter Anna Schaberg, Okemos (2000, Grand Valley State): Four-year starter was LSJ Player of the Year in 2000. She averaged 10.6 assists per game that season.
Setter Christy Drayton, DeWitt (2003): All-state basketball player was third-team Class B all-state as a senior when she set a DeWitt record for assists averaging 10.3 per game. Two-time LSJ Dream Team pick coached the Panthers to the Class B quarterfinals this fall.
Middle Ashley Morris, Lakewood (2009, Spring Arbor): The 2008 LSJ Player of the Year was a four-year varsity player for mid-Michigan’s strongest program. She made the Class B all-state second team as a senior.
Middle Hadiyah Olowolafe, Haslett (2007, Cal Poly): Two-time LSJ Dream Team pick averaged more than a block a game in earning Class B all-state honorable mentions both her junior and senior years.
Middle Kelsey Wesaw, Lansing Christian (2005, Northern Kentucky): Averaged 4.68 kills as a senior when she finished ninth in the Miss Volleyball voting.
Middle Brittany Sovran, DeWitt (2005, Akron): Two-time LSJ Dream Team selection averaged at least 3.5 kills and more than a block in both of her final seasons, after both also earning Class B all-state honorable mention.
Middle Lisa Piggott, Pewamo-Westphalia (2007): Had 737 kills as a senior, good for ninth-best in state history and 5.3 per game. Made the Class C all-state second team.
Middle Erika Neumann, Holt (2005, Central Michigan): LSJ Dream Team pick as a senior was also one of the decade's top doubles tennis players, and helped start a surge in Rams volleyball averaging more than four kills and four digs per game as a senior.
Outside hitter Emmy Miller, Okemos (2000, Michigan State): Made the LSJ Dream Team as a senior with a .347 hitting efficiency and 2.7 kills per game as part of a strong group of hitters. She was also a strong defensive player and went on to play that role with the Spartans.
Outside hitter Stevie Spetoskey, Lakewood (2006, basketball at Olivet College and Mercyhurst College): Two-time LSJ Dream Team selection made the Class B all-state team as a senior before being named LSJ all-around Athlete of the Year the next spring.
Outside hitter Kelli VanderSteen, DeWitt (2010): One of the biggest area winners this decade, VanderSteen’s all-around game helped the Panthers to three district titles and led them to the Class B quarterfinals this fall, when she was LSJ Player of the Year.
Outside hitter Cheyenne VanDerSteen, Grand Ledge (2009, MSU): Averaged a strong 5.1 kills per game and an incredible 8.2 digs as a senior to make the LSJ Dream Team after previously making Class A all-area.
Outside hitter Jessie Buche, Lakewood (2004, George Washington): The LSJ Player of the Year as a senior averaged 4.9 kills to make the Class B all-state first team. She is now coaching Saranac.
Outside hitter Aly Brecht, Alma (2008, Ferris State): Made the Class B all-state first team as a senior averaging 4.4 kills per game and after leading the Panthers to their first state quarterfinals.
Outside hitter Brisha Stroven, St. Louis (2005): The 2005 LSJ Player of the Year was third in the Miss Volleyball voting that season. She led the area with 5.2 kills per game as a senior and set the school’s single-season kills record as a junior.
Outside hitter Ashley Ollenburger, Charlotte (2004, Ferris State): Made the Class B all-state second team as a senior averaging four kills and nearly five digs per game.
Outside hitter Meredith Damore, Okemos (2003, Penn): Earned a Class A all-state honorable mention as a senior as Ianni’s main hitting option on a quarterfinal team. She earned the same honors as a junior.
Outside hitter Emily Kleibusch, Mason (2003): Averaged 4.12 kills per game as a senior and led the Bulldogs in kills all four of her seasons and in aces for three. She was all-Capital Circuit three times.
Libero Stef Shiramizu, Okemos (2009, Wright State): Averaged 4.3 digs per game as a Class A all-state honorable mention libero as a senior.
And the coaches: Lakewood’s Kellie Rowland took a break midway through the decade, but has built the Vikings into the area’s dominant program and its most regular playoff advancer. Also in the conversation: Okemos’ Jamie Ianni also left for a few seasons, but made the Chieftains the area’s most consistent Class A power and regularly puts players onto Division I college rosters. DeWitt has had four coaches over the decade, but had lots of postseason success, and Alma’s Steve Humm also continues to have one of the most consistently-strong programs in the area. Potterville’s Don Peterson took the Vikings and before that Lansing Christian to rare postseason heights. Mason's Elisa Zwick and Fowlerville's Michelle Hardenbrook have made their programs into annual league contenders this decade.
Other All-Decade blogs so far: