Top Honor: MG's Bailey named All-State; four other Lady Hornets on All-District team

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Dec. 13, 2007 - MILLER GROVE - The Miller Grove Lady Hornets received a lot of accolades after their district co-championship and three-round run in the playoffs. But, no one received a bigger honor than Natalie Bailey.

Bailey, a senior middle blocker for MG, was named All State by the Texas Girls Coaches Association. She was the only Hopkins County player to receive the honor.

Bailey was also voted the Most Valuable Player of District 18-A after averaging 14 kills, five blocks, four digs and nine service points per game, said MG head coach Melissa Keathley.

"Natalie is an excellent player," Keathley said. "She was a great leader and very encouraging to her younger teammates. Her hitting and back row abilities helped keep us in many games."

The Lady Hornets finished the year with a 20-13 record, and five of the six starters received honors on the All-District team.

"When you set goals and truly believe that those goals can become a reality, it makes the work seem more purposeful," Keathley said. "Our goal this year was to win district and go at least two rounds deep in the playoffs. We won district and went three rounds deep in the playoffs, so the girls exceeded my goals."

For their success, three Lady Hornets earned superlative honors on the All-District team and two more were First Team.

Along with Bailey, freshman Haley Potts was named Newcomer of the Year and senior Adrian Estrada was named Setter of the Year. Juniors Becca George and Angelic Rios were both voted First Team.

"Haley helped lead as a setter and played with a lot of heart and determination," Keathley said. "I'm excited to have her back for three more years. There aren't many freshman who have the tough mentality like she does. Becca also helped with our offense. She was a strong middle hitter and blocker. "

Estrada led the team in assists, "is a smart setter and works hard. She too was a leader and taught her younger teammates a lot," Keathley added. Rios, meanwhile, was the team's top defender and one of the best servers.

"The girls worked extremely hard this year. We had some young girls and they stepped up and everyone pulled together with optimistic attitudes," Keathley said. "I am very excited about next year, but sad to see my seniors go. They will certainly be missed."

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