Sacred Heart Cathedral may have had the best girls’ volleyball season in The City this year, but no player quite meant as much to her team as St. Ignatius outside hitter Claire Healy.
The senior, headed to Division I Bucknell University next season, was not only the Wildcats’ best hitter, but was also their most consistent defensive player.
She also carried St. Ignatius with standout performances throughout the Central Coast Section Division III tournament and was the lone Wildcat in the elite company of the All-West Catholic Athletic League first team.
That’s why she’s The San Francisco Examiner and SanFranPreps.com City Player of the Year.
“We had our award ceremony last week and she got our ‘Fighting Spirit Award,’” St. Ignatius coach Michelle Rybka said. “That award is indicative of her as a player. She’s a hard worker, but on top of that she inspires the rest of her team to play with her passion. It’s no surprise she is in the same category as the other elite WCAL hitters.”
The rival Irish are well-represented on our All-City team, though, with junior outside hitter Courtney Wong and junior libero Amanda Lee on the first team, freshman middle blocker Madison Murtagh and junior outside hitter Sarah Jones on the second team, and senior middle blocker Daniella Crismani earning honorable mention.
The rest of the first team is littered with deadly hitters, including Bay Counties League West MVP Katherine Evers from University, first-team All-West Bay Athletic League selection Courtney Sabahi from Mercy and maybe The City’s best pure hitter in St. Ignatius middle blocker Michellie McDonald-O’Brien.
Convent setter Emily O’Reilly rounds out a dynamic first team, as the senior is not only a standout setter, but was also dangerous as a hitter and in the service game for the Cubs.
The private schools dominate the first and second teams, but Balboa junior outside hitter Cynthia Ngan (also a first-team All-AAA pick), who played such a key role in the Buccaneers’ historical season, is the Academic Athletic Association’s lone second-team selection.
The All-City team is senior heavy, but the presence of 15 underclassmen should bode well for San Francisco teams in the next few years.
The most notable young face is Murtagh, a towering net presence that is not only a force on the Irish attack, but also a dominant force on the block. Ngan and the Bucs will also figure to be formidable again, with the return of first-team All-AAA sophomore setter Maribel Matos (honorable mention).
All-City girls’ volleyball
Player of the Year: Claire Healy, senior, outside hitter, St. Ignatius
Katherine Evers, senior, University
Amanda Lee, junior, Sacred Heart Cathedral
Michellie McDonald-O’Brien, senior, St. Ignatius
Emily O’Reilly, senior, Convent
Courtney Sabahi, senior, Mercy
Courtney Wong, junior, Sacred Heart Cathedral
Antonia Alegria, junior, Mercy
Sarah Jones, junior, Sacred Heart Cathedral
Maria Kemiji-McDonald, senior, St. Ignatius
Madison Murtagh, freshman, Sacred Heart Cathedral
Emily Lee, senior, University
Cynthia Ngan, junior, Balboa
Karina Berry, senior, Waldorf
Cathy Cai, senior, Lincoln
Daniella Crismani, senior, Sacred Heart Cathedral
Kassi Encinas, sophomore, International
Sofia Fors, junior, International
Monica Garrett, senior, Mercy
Florencia Hasson, senior, Jewish Community
Vivian Lei, senior, Lowell
Maribel Matos, sophomore, Balboa
Ada May, junior, Mercy
Chelan McGinty, senior, Lowell
Bayley McMillan, senior, Bay
Shayna Prochovnick, senior, Balboa
Iris Qasevakatini, junior, Drew
Pauline Ryan, senior, University
Briana Silvestre, sophomore, Leadership
Jade Sparks, sophomore Lick
Lauren Tom, senior, Mercy
Lagitau Vae, senior, Burton
Leah Wesolek, senior, St. Ignatius
Sara Wojciechowski, junior, University
Kara Wong, senior, Lincoln
Zoe Wong, sophomore, St. Ignatius
Teams selected by the editors of The San Francisco Examiner and SanFranPreps.com.