Two longtime friends and teammates capped off their high school volleyball careers by being named to the Wyoming Coaches Association All-State team. Senior hitter Addy Thorington was named All-State …
Two longtime friends and teammates capped off their high school volleyball careers by being named to the Wyoming Coaches Association All-State team. Senior hitter Addy Thorington was named All-State for the third consecutive year while senior setter Stevee Walsh earned her first honors to close out her career.
FIRST TIME RECIPIENT
Walsh earned her first All-State honors after finishing with 619 assists on the year, while also adding 195 digs and 18 aces.
“The feeling is unreal. I am so proud of her and what she [Walsh] did to get there,” Thorington said. “We have been playing volleyball together since we were 8 years old, so we have been through a lot together.”
Walsh has been in the rotation for the Panthers for three years, but stepped into a more significant role this season serving as a primary setter.
“I would say that the communication between the setters and hitters is one of the most important parts of the game,” Walsh said. “All the hitters are constantly running different plays to keep our opponents out of system. If the setters and hitters aren’t on the same page, it can lead to chaos on our side of the court.”
Throughout this season, the Panthers primarily focused on running a 6-2 offense — which meant that Walsh needed to communicate with fellow setter Catelynn Floy to ensure they knew what play to run.
“The communication between me and Catelynn was super important this year,” Walsh said. “As setters, we control a lot of how the game on our side is going to go. It’s important for us to be on the same page, while also being encouraging towards one another.”
Walsh was instrumental in the success for the Panthers this season, helping the team continue to grow from a team that had not made it to state two years ago to the state championship game this season.
“Looking back on my sophomore year when we did not even make it to state, it is hard to believe how far this team has come,” Walsh said. “Of course we would have loved that first place finish at state, but we were able to accomplish things Lady Panther volleyball hasn’t been able to do in many years. I would say that’s something to be very proud of.”
THIRD TIME IN A ROW
Thorington was named to her third consecutive All-State team in volleyball while also being named the 3A West Player of the Year for the second consecutive time.
“I was extremely honored to be able to earn these titles,” Thorington said. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and my coaches.”
Thorington led the Panthers and the state in kills for the 2023 season.
That total reached 603 by years’ end, and that power mixed with finesse helped her finish with 81 aces to lead the team along with 344 digs and 69 blocks.
Thorington has been no stranger to the court, having played varsity all four years in high school and racking up well over 1,300 kills.
“The things I have improved most throughout my career are my mindset and handling different situations. Being put on the varsity court playing against 18-year-olds when I was 15 really opened my eyes and gave me a different look at the game,” Thorington said. “I have had to build on this for the next three years leading into this season. The thing I really tried to improve this season was my hitting efficiency.”
Thorington said that the bond between the team this season was key to the team’s success, and helped the team push through to a title berth for the first time in a decade.
“It was the most important aspect of our team,” Thorington said. “Our team had chemistry like no other. Obviously skill is important, but you can’t do anything with that skill if you don’t have faith in each other.”
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Thorington said she plans to carry this momentum moving into the winter season in basketball, and Walsh will look to take lessons from volleyball into other aspects of her life.
“If volleyball has taught me one thing, it’s that hard work and determination can pay off,” Walsh said. “I will carry this determination with me throughout the rest of my senior year and long after.”
Walsh said that she is not planning on pursuing a career in college volleyball, but knows Thorington has ambitions to play on and will support her along the way whichever college she chooses.
Catch more postseason coverage in Thursday’s Powell Tribune regarding the additional Panthers who received All-Conference honors.