Mid-Prairie earns ample postseason honors, including MVP & COY

By Giovanni Coronel
Posted 11/8/23


These past few years have been a great time to be a fan of Mid-Prairie volleyball.

Going back to 2019, a season that saw six wins, the Golden Hawks have increased their win total in …

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Mid-Prairie earns ample postseason honors, including MVP & COY



These past few years have been a great time to be a fan of Mid-Prairie volleyball.

Going back to 2019, a season that saw six wins, the Golden Hawks have increased their win total in each subsequent season. This year they surpassed 30 wins and the talent they displayed obtaining those victories did not go unnoticed. 

Receiving well-deserved recognition, Mid-Prairie received an abundance of postseason accolades, including, Most Valuable Player, Coach of the Year, and five players earning all-conference honors.   

As a team Mid-Prairie amassed 1296 kills, 1271 assists, 231 blocks, and 288 service aces. 

Notable accomplishments aplenty accompanied this most recent Mid-Prairie volleyball season. The Golden Hawks reached the Regional Finals, posted a 31-11 record, and captured their first conference championship since 2002 in a four-way tie. 

Keeping all those feats in mind it came as no surprise that Mid-Prairie volleyball head coach Sherry Evans was named coach of the year. 

Knowing the success Mid-Prairie garnered this year was a group collaboration, coach Evans made sure to show appreciation to assistant coaches Rebecca Becker and Zebulan Evans. 

“I’d say my name is on the head coach list, but honestly, it’s a group effort of all of us coaches and I feel that honor should go to all of us, not just me,” coach Evans said about being named RVC South Coach of the Year. “It takes six players on the court, and it takes some bench players to make it a successful team. It’s the same with the coaching staff. It takes all of us to be successful because we all see things differently.”

This makes it two years in a row coach Evans had received COY recognition, having been named co-coach of the year in 2022. 

Dakota Mitchell, Mid-Prairie’s dynamic libero, kicked it up a notch this year, setting career highs in digs and assists. Her magnificent play was rewarded by not only being selected first-team all-conference, but also being named RVC South MVP.

Excelling on defense, Mitchell ended her sensational season leading all of Class 3A with 639 digs. Also contributing to the offensive side of the ball she connected on 55 service aces, the eight most in 3A. She was also proficient in assists, accounting for 105, the third most on her team. 

The best place to start when talking about Jovi Evans, an outside hitter/setter, is to be amazed that she is playing at such a high level as a sophomore. 

Surpassing her previous totals as a freshman, Evans led the Golden Hawks in kills (376), assists (674), and aces (64). Her kills and aces rank eighth most and third most in 3A respectively. She also had the second most digs (480) on the team.

In response to Evans putting together an exemplary season, she was selected first-team all-conference, marking the second time she has received first-team recognition in her high school career. 

Moving into a more active and focal role on offensive this year for Mid-Prairie was sophomore Harper Pacha. 

Earning second-team all-conference honors, Pacha had the second most kills on the team (331), the second most blocks (38), and the third most aces (49).  

Also selected second-team all-conference was junior Callie Huber. 

Huber proved to be a solid defensive wall for the Golden Hawks, and this is reflected by how many blocks she tallied. With 20 of them being solo, Huber led the team with 74 total blocks. On offense she scored 252 kills, the third most on the team.

 Receiving honorable mention all-conference in her senior year was Paige Safly. Safly ended the final season of her high school volleyball career with 172 kills, 36 blocks, and 38 digs. Her kill and block totals are career highs. 

“She’s improved a lot from her freshman year to senior year. She was a good asset for us all season long,” coach Evans said about Safly. “She came in with some good swings for us here and there. She’s kind of our silent leader on this team.”  

Safly is one of three seniors, with the others being Ava Pence and Reese Good, that Mid-Prairie will say goodbye to in the offseason. 

“We’re going to miss all three of them just because it’s hard coaching these kids for four years and then they’re gone,” coach Evans said about the three Mid-Prairie seniors. “Then you have to regroup for the next season. There’s a little void that you have to fill and find your new way.”

Indeed, Mid-Prairie will regroup next season, but with the roster remaining largely intact it stands to reason they will not only be able to replicate the success they achieved this season, but also surpass it.  

These past few years have been a great time to be a fan of Mid-Prairie volleyball and with the future holding outstanding promise it appears this notion isn’t going to change any time soon.