Sophomore JoJo Smith was consistent throughout the 2018 season, and played a large role in the Jefferson Lady Dragons making a state playoff appearance and run.
For her efforts, the outside hitter was voted BLITZ Volleyball Player of the Year for 2018.
2018 By the Numbers
- 58 ACES
- 191 KILLS
- 28 BLOCKS
- 208 DIGS
Smith’s 58 aces, 191 kills, 28 blocks, and 208 digs were evidence of her all-around talent. As a sophomore, she was a team leader and instrumental in the team getting to the Sweet 16 and winning 20 games.
Smith won what became a voting split. Four of the finalists collected at least 3 first-place votes, and Smith’s 7 was the top number. Alexandra Shalikashvili’s 58 total points was just one shy of tying for Player of the Year.
- JoJo Smith – 59 voting pts (7 1st-place votes)
- Alexandra Shalikashvili – 58 pts (5)
- Victoria Crotzer – 55 pts (5)
- Roxie Fricton – 40.5 pts (3)
- Kate Blackburn – 17.5 pts
- Annabeth Vandiver – 17.5 pts
Voting included our 22-person panel made up of sports reporters, writers, video producers, former coaches, players, GHSA officials, and sports experts. The voting is Heisman-style, with the following points system:
1st place votes: 5 pts; 2nd: 3 pts; 3rd: 2 pts; 4th: 1 pts; 5th-6th: 0.5 pts
History of Volleyball POY
- 2018 – JoJo Smith – Jefferson SO
- 2017 – Katerina Shalikashvili – Habersham SR
- 2016 – Lainey Gosnell – Habersham SR
- 2015 – Lainey Gosnell – Habersham JR
- 2014 – Chaselin Allen – Habersham SR
- 2013 – Caeli Chambers – Habersham SR
- 2012 – Haley Gerrin – Habersham SR
- 2011 – Haley Gerrin – Habersham JR
- 2010 – Alexia Wilson – Lumpkin Co JR
- 2009 – Megan Rowland – Habersham SR
Smith breaks a seven-year streak of Habersham taking this award. Hab Central has still won eight out of the ten years. Smith also becomes the first sophomore to ever win it and the fourth outside hitter.
Looking Ahead – the Next Favorite(s)
This finalist pool is nearly all underclassmen, so we should see these girls in this position next year. Annabeth Vandiver (White Co) is the only senior that was a finalist. Smith, Shalikashvili (and teammate Sydney Brookshire), as well as Roxie Fricton, Victoria Crotzer, Kate Blackburn and some of Smith’s own teammates will make this a hard award to win again.