Adriana Ackerman Mill Creek.jpg

Adriana Ackerman

Adriana Ackerman

School: Mill Creek

Class: Senior

Position: Setter

Noteworthy:

All-county and all-region selection the past two seasons

Had 932 assists, 69 aces, 172 digs and 127 kills as a junior, bringing her career totals to 2,014 assists, 127 aces, 317 digs and 219 kills

College choice: Undecided

Best player in Gwinnett not on my team: Norcross’ Bella Murray

Favorite place to play: Mill Creek High School Gym

Club team: GA Beach

Twitter handle: @AdrianaAck

Favorite class: Physics

Favorite teacher: Greg Marr

Favorite restaurant: Chili’s

Coach Bo Adams’ take: “Adriana is an all-around great person. Off the court, she is a very good student and friend to everyone. On the court, she is a versatile player, bringing a lot of different aspects to the court. Adriana is encouraging to her teammates and is a very coachable player. I’m looking forward to her senior season.”

Mikayla.jpg

Mikayla Hayden

Mikayla Hayden

School: Buford

Class: Junior

Position: Middle blocker

Noteworthy:

Had 299 kills, a .404 hitting percentage, 54 blocks and 53 aces last season

Earned all-county and region player of the year honors as a sophomore

College choice: Undecided

Best player in Gwinnett not on my team: Lanier’s Myahn Byrd

Favorite place to play: USAV Nationals

Club team: A5 Volleyball 16-1

Twitter handle: @MikaylaHayden_

Favorite class: AP World History

Favorite teacher: Sean Gilbert

Favorite restaurant: Italy’s Pizza

Coach Hadli Daniels’ take: “Mikayla has been our leading hitter in number of kills and hitting efficiency as a freshman and sophomore. She has been an all-County, all-region, region player of the year and all-state player as well. She is as sweet as can be, but is a beast on the court. Most importantly she is humble, one of the hardest workers on the court, and is an outstanding student on top of all of that. I’m excited to see her dominate on the court this year.”

_D421634.JPG

Bella Murray

Bella Murray

School: Norcross

Class: Senior

Position: Setter

Noteworthy:

Had 945 assists, 146 kills, 267 serve points, 202 digs and 41 blocks last season — now has 2,039 career assists

Earned all-state, all-region and all-county honors in 2019

College choices: Winthrop, Coastal Carolina, others

Best player in Gwinnett not on my team: Mill Creek’s Adriana Ackerman

Favorite place to play: Norcross High School gym

Club team: A5 Gwinnett 17-Tim

Twitter handle: @_bellamurray_

Favorite class: Photography

Favorite teacher: Carisa Lindsay

Favorite restaurant: Kiko’s Tacos and More

Coach Jeff Cerneka’s take: “Bella will do whatever it takes to push our team over the top, a great set, a dump, a timely kill. But what makes her special are the intangible traits she possesses, like offering an encouraging word to a struggling teammate, being calm in a chaos moment, constantly pushing the team to be ultra competitive, and she goes out of her way to develop relationships with everyone on her team on and off the floor. She embraces the leadership role and simply loves helping her teammates. Our whole program is better because Bella is leading the way.”

Arissa_Shepherd.jpg

Arissa Shepherd

Arissa Shepherd

School: Dacula

Class: Junior

Position: Outside hitter

Noteworthy:

Has 573 kills, 35 blocks, 683 digs and 91 aces in two seasons — is only the second Dacula player to top 500 career kills and 600 career digs

All-county and all-region selection as a sophomore

College choice: Undecided

Best player in Gwinnett not on my team: Lanier’s Myahn Byrd

Favorite place to play: Parkview High School

Club team: A5 Gwinnett

Twitter handle: @arissashepherd

Favorite class: AP World History

Favorite teacher: Andrea Craig

Favorite restaurant: Lin’s Bistro

Coach Jason Berube’s take: “Arissa is a great kid, a great athlete and someone I really admire. She loves competition. She can tell you how many games she’s won in practice. Arissa has the drive and determination to do everything with excellence coupled with incredible intelligence. She takes all AP and Honors classes and she’s also involved with, and is usually the leader of, about half a dozen clubs in the school. Her intelligence, her volleyball IQ, helps us so much on the court. When she plays, it’s literally like we have another coach on the floor. She’s a leader, she’s determined, she has a laser focus, but beyond that, and to me what is the most important quality of Arissa, is the relationships she’s built with her coaches and teammates. She has her teammates and coach’s trust and respect.”

Ashley.jpg

Ashley Sturzoiu

Ashley Sturzoiu

School: Buford

Class: Sophomore

Position: Outside hitter

Noteworthy:

Had 299 kills, 210 digs and 30 aces last season

Earned all-state and all-county honors

College choice: Undecided

Best player in Gwinnett not on my team: North Gwinnett’s Abby Taylor

Favorite place to play: Buford High School

Club team: A5 15-1

Twitter handle: @AshleySturzoiu

Favorite class: Spanish

Favorite teacher: Thomas Varini

Favorite restaurant: Chipotle

Coach Hadli Daniels’ take: “Ashley was a great surprise when she walked into the gym last year. She is a most powerful hitter and has an extremely high volleyball IQ, especially for as young as she is. She was all-county, all-region and all-state as a freshman as well. She is a natural born leader and has been working non-stop to improve her game. She is never satisfied and that is going to make her even greater.”

Ashanti.jpg

Ashanti Williams

Ashanti Williams

School: Collins Hill

Class: Senior

Position: Outside hitter

Noteworthy:

First-team all-region last season

First-team all-county selection as a junior

College choices: Dream college is University of Hawaii at Hilo, other choices are Truett-McConnell or Missouri Valley State

Best player in Gwinnett not on my team: I can’t choose! There are way too many good players in Gwinnett.

Favorite place to play: Big South

Club team: A5 Gwinnett

Twitter handle: @Ashantidw

Favorite class: Drawing and painting

Favorite teacher: Jennifer Ludewig

Favorite restaurant: Steak n Shake

Coach Kimberlee Mankin’s take: “Ashanti is fun to coach because she has such a competitive edge, she sees mistakes as a challenge. Ashanti is a very talented young lady that shows up and sets the tone for the team through her work ethic, enthusiasm and support for her teammates. I am looking forward to seeing what she will accomplish as a senior this year.”

Stay Informed

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please log in, or sign up for a new, free account to read or post comments.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.