St. Teresa’s volleyball standout wins Evelyn Gates Award, named best in metro

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's become a school where volleyball means nearly as much as academics.

On Tuesday morning, St. Teresa's Academy celebrated again as one of its volleyball players is awarded Kansas City's top honor.

A thunder of applause broke out during Tuesday's ceremony anytime Ellie Bichelmeyer's name was mentioned. Bichelmeyer, the star outside hitter on the Stars' volleyball squad, took home the 2018 edition of the Evelyn Gates Award as the metro's top volleyball player.

Bichelmeyer holds single-season school records in hitting percentage, blocks and kills, and she helped the Stars (29-10) to the Missouri Class 4 state final four for the fourth year in a row.

"It's awesome. It's an awesome feeling, especially being here in this gym with my teammates and my classmates and my coaches," Bichelmeyer told FOX4.

Bichelmeyer stands at 6-foot-2, and her height and agility have proven to be solid weapons.

She edged out competitors Caroline Crawford from Liberty High School; Claire Wagner, who played at Lee’s Summit High School; and Kayley Cassaday, a product of Blue Valley North High School. All four of those finalists play on the same club volleyball team in the Kansas City area.

"I think it's her consistency every single day. She's extremely positive and humble. She always makes everything about the team and not about herself," said Lauren Brentlinger, St. Teresa's volleyball coach.

"I never thought as a freshman that I'd get this award," Bichelmeyer said. "It's awesome for me to see how far I've come."

Bichelmeyer is off to Rice University for college volleyball next season.

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