Volleyball: Hale, Ohlinger receive Interstate 8 First Team honors

Sophomore Ali Ohlinger (above) was a unanimous All-Conference First Team selection in the Interstate 8 this season. Senior Payton Hale (below) also earned First-Team honors. (Photos by Marcy DeLille)

Friestad earns Honorable Mention for second straight season

ROCHELLE — Two student-athletes on the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity volleyball team received First-Team All-Conference recognition from the Interstate 8 this season. Sophomore Ali Ohlinger earned unanimous First-Team honors, while senior Payton Hale also made the First Team.

A three-year varsity athlete as well as the Most Valuable Player Award winner for the Lady Hubs, Hale recorded a team-leading 182 digs and 43 blocks while adding 133 kills and 32 aces. Hale was named an All-Conference Honorable Mention during her junior season last fall.

“My goal since my freshman year has been to make the All-Conference team and I’m very proud and thankful to my team for helping me accomplish that goal,” Hale said. “I definitely improved on being an all-around player. My front-row abilities outweigh my back-row abilities, but I worked really hard to focus on my digging and my serve receives this season. I enjoyed all of the support the community gave us and I’m going to miss playing with all of my friends.”

Hale web

Despite missing her freshman season with an injury, Ohlinger shined during her first varsity season with the Lady Hubs, leading Rochelle with 591 assists and 71 aces while compiling 176 digs and 95 kills. Ohlinger will be one of two starters eligible to return to the Lady Hubs, who finished with an 18-15-3 overall record while reaching the IHSA 3A Regional Finals this season.

“I’m very proud to have been selected as unanimous First-Team All-Conference,” Ohlinger said. “I couldn’t have been selected without my teammates and all of the hard work we put in this season. I thought my footwork to the ball improved the most this season and I tried to get to every ball with my hands. I challenged myself to do that in every match and I’ll always remember this season. I’ll continue focusing on blocking and defense over the offseason.”

Senior Addie Friestad was named an All-Conference Honorable Mention for the second consecutive season. Friestad totaled 194 kills, 42 digs, 27 aces and 10 blocks this season.