By Joe Naiman
Two Ramona High School seniors were among 12 volleyball players selected for all-league recognition by Valley League girls volleyball coaches.
Setter Mikayla Derochie was named to the league’s first team while outside hitter Jennah Hickle received second-team accolades.
Del Norte, which won the Valley League championship, had three first-team and two second-team selections.
Ramona’s 6-4 Valley League record was part of an overall 21-12 mark which included a CIF Division II playoff win and a playoff loss.
“Mikayla Derochie making first team for us was a definite good call. She was nominated right away from the Valley League coaches,” said coach Connie Halfaker. “For her to be nominated that quickly was a real vote of confidence in her ability and her future ability.”
Derochie would have been Ramona’s first volleyball player to sign a letter of intent with an NCAA Division I school during the early signing period in November had she signed with Davidson University, which is in North Carolina. Davidson has been recruiting Derochie, who desires to visit the campus first before she commits.
“That definitely speaks to her potential to play at the next level,” Halfaker said.
“Mikayla is an incredibly dedicated player, dedicated to the sport, dedicated to her team; she’s dedicated to the high school,” Halfaker said. “It was just a wonderful opportunity to have her on our high school team. She led by example with the amount of effort and energy she put in every minute she was on the court.”
Derochie was a three-year starter for the Bulldogs. Last year, Ramona was in the Palomar League, and coaches named Derochie to the second team. She plays club volleyball with the Poway-based Epic organization.
Hickle is a two-year starter who spent three years on Ramona’s varsity.
“She was recognized for her ability to play the integral part of her game for us: her defense, serve-receive, and offense,” Halfaker said. “She was that all-around player.”