Mahala Land named MVAC Player of the Year

By Nathan Ham - [email protected]

Mahala Land (left) was named MVAC Player of the Year.

Nathan Ham | Jefferson Post

WEST JEFFERSON — Ashe County senior sweeper Mahala Land took home the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference Player of the Year award.

“It was a very deserved award. Mahala is one of the smartest and coolest players under pressure that I’ve ever had the opportunity to coach,” said Ashe County head coach Wes Rousseau. “She never gets rattled on the back line and always seems to be in the right position to make a play. She anchored one of the best defenses that I’ve ever coached and I’m glad that we finally had a player recognized for conference player of the year.”

Land was also one of five Ashe players to be named to the MVAC All-Conference team, joining fellow seniors Valerie Keys, Bekah Bowers and Alyssa Peterson as well as junior Melissa Ramos.

Seniors Natalie Harless and Bennett Watson, two other key players for the Ashe County defensive unit, were named honorable mention players.

“It’s hard to pick one player out of our defense, given that with four seniors on the back line, defense was never really an aspect of the game that concerned us too much. We knew we would always be steady on the back line,” said Rousseau.

Rousseau was also tabbed as MVAC Coach of the Year for leading the Lady Huskies to a third straight MVAC Championship.

MVAC All-Conference team

Ayla Albert (West Wilkes)

Karson Anderson (Wilkes Central)

Brooke Bentley (Wilkes Central)

Bekah Bowers (Ashe)

Cassie Burdiss (West Wilkes)

Courtney Byrd (Starmount)

Abbie Flores (Elkin)

Diana Flores (Starmount)

Melia Higgins (East Wilkes)

Emily Hill (North Wilkes)

Amber Hurst (Starmount)

Valerie Keys (Ashe)

Mahala Land (Ashe)

Amanda Limon (West Wilkes)

Claire Maske (Starmount)

Sierra Massucco (Wilkes Central)

Alyssa Peterson (Ashe)

Ciara Pierce (East Wilkes)

Melissa Ramos (Ashe)

Brooke Schubart (East Wilkes)

Holly Swofford (Wilkes Central)

Mattie Timmerman (Elkin)

MVAC honorable mention

Shelia Aquilar (East Wilkes)

Candance Bell (North Wilkes)

Sierra Deloach (Alleghany)

Abby Dawson (West Wilkes)

Rianna Evans (Alleghany)

Maggie Freed (Starmount)

Natalie Harless (Ashe)

Elizabeth Huffman (West Wilkes)

Molly Kolstad (Wilkes Central)

Allie Lovett (Elkin)

Sarah Mizelle (Wilkes Central)

Isabel Najera (Starmount)

Anna Parks (East Wilkes)

Shauna Saunders (North Wilkes)

Lindsey Shinkle (Elkin)

Bennett Watson (Ashe)

Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87

Mahala Land (left) was named MVAC Player of the Year. Land (left) was named MVAC Player of the Year. Nathan Ham | Jefferson Post

By Nathan Ham

[email protected]

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