No. 6 Story of the Year - IVC athletes take home MVP honors

No. 6 Story of the Year - IVC athletes take home MVP honors

In leading up to the official start of the 2018-19 athletics campaign at Irvine Valley, which starts on Aug. 25 with the IVC men's soccer team at Yavapai in Arizona, the Laser athletic department is counting down the top 10 IVC sports stories from the 2017-18 school year. 

The No. 6 story on the list is about the number of athletes that took home Orange Empire Conference Most Valuable Player awards during the 2017-18 school year. Women's basketball player Kasey Smit, women's tennis player Halla Alajeely and women's volleyball players Olivia Aguilar and Megan Ramseyer were not only the top players in the OEC, but also earned other honors and set records along the way. 

Kasey Smit, who was a sophomore forward, was recently named a Women's Basketball Coaches Association Two-Year College All-American honorable mention selection.

She was one of 19 honorable mention selections and one of just four from California.

The 6-0 post player helped the Lasers to a share of the Orange Empire Conference title and the second state tournament appearance in program history.

She was named the OEC Most Valuable Player and also picked to the South Region All-State Team.

IVC finished the season with a record of 26-5 overall. The team went 13-1 in conference play.

The Lasers were ranked No. 10 in the final CCCSIA state poll of the regular season.

IVC won at Riverside, 82-79, in overtime on Feb. 15 to earn a part of the OEC title.

And Smit cemented her conference MVP honors with one of her best games of the season, finishing with an incredible 39 points and 23 rebounds in the win. She was 16 of 28 from the field and 4 of 7 from three-point range.

With the 23 rebounds, Smit moved into first place in IVC program history with 366 rebounds in a season. She ended the season with 408 rebounds and had 601 rebounds for her career at IVC.

She recorded the three-best rebounding games in Laser history this season, grabbing 24 rebounds against Southwestern and 23 rebounds against both Riverside and Saddleback.

Smit also became the leading scorer for a season with 593 points this past year. And she ranks third all-time in program history in points with 829.

Smit had games of 39 points and 34 points this season. Her 39 points against Riverside tied for second-best in IVC history.

She finished the year averaging 19.1 points, 13.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.2 steals and 2.1 blocks per game. She had 22 double-doubles on the year and was also shooting 48.0 percent from the floor.

And in conference action, Smit was even better, averaging 24.4 points, 14.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.1 blocks a game, while shooting 54.2 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from three-point range.

Freshman Halla Allajeely and helped the Irvine Valley women's tennis team take second in the Orange Empire Conference, make the playoffs and end up being ranked No. 5 in the state in the final Oracle/ITA poll.

She was named co-Most Valuable Player of the Orange Empire Conference and Alajeely along with sophomore Fiorella Dreux were picked as the Most Valuable doubles team of the conference.

Alajeely shared the singles honor with Orange Coast's Miri Inoue.

She reached the semifinals of the CCCAA State Championship in singles at the Ojai 118th Annual Tournament.

Alajeely, who was one of the No. 1 seeds, received a bye in the first round and then cruised in her next four matches, dropping just three games in eight sets. She defeated fifth-seeded Petra Such of Cerritos, 6-2, 6-0, in the quarterfinals.

But Alajeely lost a close match in the semifinals. She fell to Sandra Dafinescu of De Anza, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.

On the season, Alajeely had a record of 15-2 in singles. One of the losses (to Inoue) came because of a retirement due to injury. She had already won the first set in that match.

Alajeely was also named a 2018 California JUCO All-American by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association in both singles and doubles.

Irvine Valley women's tennis players Halla Alajeely and Fiorella Dreux were recently named 2018 California JUCO All-Americans by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

Dreux earned JUCO All-American accolades in doubles.

Teaming up in doubles, Alajeely and Dreux reached the quarterfinals at the state event.

The duo won three matches in all.

Alajeely and Dreux, who were seeded second, defeated Solano's Camile Contawe and Jyne Velono, 6-1, 6-0, in the round of 32, and then topped Glendale's Sabrina Subero and Miah Webbk, 6-2, 4-6, 10-5, in the round of 16.

Alajeely and Dreux lost a tough match in the quarterfinals, falling to the third-seeded team of Evan Spindler and Lilana Spindler, 6-1, 5-7, 11-9.

Alajeely and Dreux ended up with a record of 14-4 on the year in doubles.

And the duo helped Irvine Valley finish with a record of 13-4 overall and a 8-2 mark in conference. The team made the semifinals of the CCCAA Team Dual Playoffs and lost to eventual state champion Cerritos.

Dreux signed with NCAA Division II Shorter University in Georgia.

Sophomore outside hitter Olivia Aguilar and sophomore setter Megan Ramseyer helped lead Irvine Valley's women's volleyball team to a 27-0 record and the championship at the state tournament last fall.

She was named co-Most Valuable Player of the conference and was also selected as an All-American, All-State and All-Region.

Aguilar had her best ever match in the biggest contest of the season.

The 6-1 Aguilar delivered a state championship final match record 30 kills as she rallied the Lasers from a set down to capture the 2017 CCCAA State Women's Volleyball title in defeating Delta, 23-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-16, at Solano College in Fairfield.

The previous high in a state final match for kills was 27 by Long Beach City's Juliana Guimares in 2000 (a losing effort but the last tourney MVP from a non-champion). The high for kills in a state tourney match remains with Kiwi Winkler of Orange Coast, who had 33 in a 2006 game vs. Delta.

Aguilar, who was named the tourney MVP, hit .348 overall and totaled a tourney-high 69 attacks with six errors. She added 10 digs, two aces, and three blocks.

Aguilar led the Orange Empire Conference and ranked fourth in the state at 4.78 kills per set on the year.

She was also third in the conference and ranked 16th in the state in hitting percentage at .347. She had double digit kills in all 16 conference matches. And in the postseason, she recorded matches of 13, 11, 18, 26 and 30 kills.

Aguilar signed with NCAA Division II Cal State San Marcos.

Ramseyer, a sophomore setter, is headed to play at NCAA Division I Butler University in Indiana.

She was named co-Most Valuable Player of the conference and was also selected as an All-American, All-State and All-Region.

Ramseyer ranked first in the state in assists at 11.33 per set.

She had a season-best 53 assists in IVC's four-set win at Orange Coast to finish off the regular season.

Ramseyer dished out 49 assists with 12 digs and two aces in Irvine Valley's 23-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-16 state championship win over San Joaquin Delta at Solano College last December.

She was named to the all-tournament team.

Ramseyer also averaged 2.09 digs per set and led the team in services aces with 41 and contributed 27 blocks on the year.

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