The PTP volleyball players of the week

The PTP pick

OH Audrey Koenig, Sr., Bishop McLaughlin

Tough matchup. Challenging bracket. Difficult opponent. 

No matter.

Bishop McLaughlin has the equalizer: Audrey Koenig.

The FSU commit, ranked as the state’s top volleyball recruit in the 2021 class, always delivers. She can do it spiking volleyballs, blocking them or digging them before they hit the court. 

In last week’s Class 3A region final, Koenig did it all. She recorded 20 kills and had four digs and three aces to lead the Hurricanes past defending state champion Sarasota Cardinal Mooney in five sets. 

The win was a bit of payback against an opponent that had swept Bishop McLaughlin in the previous two meetings, including last year’s region semifinals. 

The fans’ pick

OH Mallory Smith, Jr., Plant City

Throughout the season, Mallory Smith put up solid numbers whenever the Raiders were on the attack.

She reached double digits in kills in seven matches and helped Plant City win a district title for the first time since 1980. 

But nothing compares to her performance in the Class 6A region semifinals. 

Smith had 24 kills — 11 more than her previous best this season. She was just as strong defensive end, finishing with 15 digs — five more in any other match this season. 

It was not enough to continue the Raiders’ charmed run. They fell in the semifinals to Hillsborough 3-2. 

But fans took notice. Smith received more than 60 percent of the votes (1,255) to beat Robinson’s Mila Yarich, who had more than 22 percent (454 votes).