Two DCG volleyball stars, coach earn All-District honors

Andrew Brown
Dallas County News
DCG senior Grace Mikota with a volley against Roland-Story on Thursday, Oct. 8 in the Jayette Invitational in Perry.

There's no denying it, the 2020 campaign for Dallas Center-Grimes volleyball was both challenging and historic. 

The Mustangs (and the rest of the volleyball world) had to deal with the obstacles of COVID-19 yet pushed through to the program's fourth state tournament appearance. It also marked their second state tournament appearance in the past four years. 

For their efforts, two players in seniors Grace Mikota and Haylee Hidlebaugh graced the Class 4A All-Southeast District list. That also included the one driving the ship in head coach Cheryl Voelker, who earned All-District Coach of the Year. 

For both Mikota and Hidlebaugh, the inclusion onto the All-District list continues their impressive list of honors. It marks their first time on an All-District list. Both honors were well deserved as Mikota produced the third-highest mark in kills (309) among district players. She produced 208 digs while sporting an 89 percent serving efficiency. 

DCG senior Haylee Hidlebaugh with a strike against Roland-Story on Thursday, Oct. 8 in the Jayette Invitational in Perry.

"Grace does so many things well and you can tell how much she studies the game and how hard she works at it," said head coach Cheryl Voelker during the season. "She's so quick with her actions and she's great at reading how things develop and the right steps to take." 

For Hidlebaugh, her presence was also felt each and every match. The senior sported 92 kills of her own while leading the Mustangs with 32 blocks. That marked one of the highest block totals through 22 games of Hidlebaugh's career. Hidlebaugh also captured 30 successful serves and a serving efficiency of 80 percent on the year. 

"We can always count on Haylee to be a strong presence on defense," Voelker said. "She's a great communicator with her teammates and she's just a talented player overall." 

Voelker continued to etch her name into the history books as she captured yet another All-District Coach of the Year honor. The 2020 edition marked her second such honor in the past four years. Voelker led the Mustang volleyball team to their seventh consecutive winning season. Since 2008, Voelker has led the Mustangs to eight seasons of 20 wins or more. 

Voelker has tied Pella's Catie Brand with the most All-District Coach of the Year honors (two) over the past five seasons for the Southeast District. 

DCG head volleyball coach Cheryl Voelker talks to her team during a timeout in the postseason battle against Bondurant-Farrar on Thursday, Oct. 22 in Grimes.