MORRICE — Ally Colthorp has been the defensive ace for league champion Morrice.
Now the senior libero — this week’s Argus-Press Athlete of the Week — hopes to lead the Orioles to a district title.
Colthorp has supplied a team-high 120 digs and ranks second in aces with 52 this fall. It has helped Morrice secure the 2020 Genesee Area Conference Blue Division championship in 6-0 fashion.
“I would say winning our league has been the biggest season highlight for me,” Colthorp said.
“We haven’t won a league title in 13 years. So that was one of my biggest highlights because obviously, we’ve struggled for years. We finally got it my senior year. It feels really good.”
Colthorp did not start her high school volleyball career as a defensive specialist but as an outside hitter, said Morrice head coach Brandy Gutting. Colthorp took on her new role this fall and has been a hallmark of consistency, Gutting said.
“Ally is an outstanding athlete and person,” Gutting said. “She moved to Morrice the winter of her freshman year. She has been playing varsity volleyball ever since.
“Ally is an all-around versatile athlete,” Gutting continued. “She started out her sophomore year as an outside hitter, playing all the way around and was one of my top hitters as a sophomore and junior. As a senior, I moved her to the libero position. Her defense is like no other. She is strong, aggressive and one of the best defensive specialists in the league. She is a driven student/athlete with a bight future. Ally is always positive and upbeat.”
A 3.4 grade point average student, Colthorp plans to go to trade school to learn how to be an electrician.
And she has made all the right connections in the Morrice volleyball scheme this season, noted Gutting.
“There’s not a game that you won’t see Ally hit the floor,” Gutting said. “She’s a true leader on and off the floor. She plays every game with grit and determination and always with a smile.”
Team work has been the secret to success for the Orioles, Colthorp said.
“I would say we definitely work better as a team,” the senior said. “Our front row works better at the net, too. We have good blocks this year vs. the past few years. But we definitely worked together all last year so we clicked real well this year.”
Colthorp, when asked what was her best match individually this season, said it came in a loss. Morrice pushed Mid-Michigan Activities Conference leader Byron to five sets but ended up falling 25-21, 28-26, 16-25, 20-25, 8-15.
Colthorp finished with 23 digs that night in Byron.
“I would say my best match was when we played Byron,” Colthorp said. “It was my best match defensively and I hit some really good serves that match.”
Morrice, 10-2 overall, will do battle in the Division 4 district tournament at Lansing Christian. The Orioles open district 119 play by traveling to Webberville High School Monday to face the Spartans at 6 p.m. A win there would put Morrice into the district finals Thursday at 6 p.m. at Lansing Christian against the Lansing Christian — Livingston Christian winner.
Lansing Christian is ranked No. 3 in the Division 4 state rankings while Livingston Christian stands 18-3 this season.
So Morrice, unranked all season, will have to pull an upset for the title.
“We come into the districts this week and we plan on winning districts this year,” Colthorp said.