All-News4Jax volleyball: Freshman Zeta Washington grew up quick

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Zeta Washington was thrilled just to make the volleyball team at Ponte Vedra.


She’s had to adjust those expectations accordingly.

“Certainly, many more state championships [in the future],” said the Sharks freshman middle blocker. “I feel like we are going to go far in the next couple of years with the team we have.”

Yes, the News4Jax volleyball player of the year is a freshman and setting up to be a force for the foreseeable future for the Sharks. After a stellar first varsity campaign that included the Class 5A state championship, Washington has big goals.

And they are certainly justifiable.

The 6-1 player was dominant for Ponte Vedra.

Not only did she lead the team in just every category of offensive merit (313 kills, 36 aces, 59.4 kill percentage, .482 hitting percentage), Washington was tops in blocks, too (41).

And she’s such a good athlete that coach Robin Mignerey only expects her to continue to evolve.

“Just her physical ability. She’s fast,” Mignerey said. “She’s obviously strong, but to have that size … she beats everybody in sprints, and it was kind of like, ‘what is this freshman doing, kicking all of our butts, [in sprints].’”

Washington played lacrosse for two seasons, hence the agility and quickness, and dabbled in tennis for good reason. Her father, MaliVai, was a stellar professional tennis player and reached the Wimbledon final in 1996.

“It’s actually really cool,” she said of her father. “I feel like I have pretty high standards for him, given his reputation. But I want to live up to what he’s done.”

This season was a pretty good first step for Zeta and the Sharks.

Ponte Vedra closed with ferocity.

The Sharks went 26-5 and won their final nine matches, including the state championship against Ocala Vanguard, all by sweep.

“At first it was really exciting just making varsity in the first place as a freshman because I knew it was pretty uncommon,” Washington said. “We were kind of at a high the whole entire season.”


Position, Player, School, Classification

MB Allison Cavanaugh, Bishop Kenny, Fr.

Second on the team with 254 kills and team-leading 72 blocks for 19-11 Crusaders, who reached the regional finals.

L Liv Leinenweber, Episcopal, Sr.

Team-best 489 digs and serve-receive (376 receptions). Second on team with 27 aces.

MB Julia Mangum, Christ’s Church, Sr.

In the conversation as area’s top player. Powerful attacker had team-best 371 kills and 131 blocks. Second on Eagles with 64 aces and third with 145 digs.

OH Jaden McBride, Creekside, Jr.

Had team-best 256 kills. Second on team in digs (237) and serve-receive (337) and had 30 aces.

OH Logan Mignerey, Ponte Vedra, Sr.

Second on team in kills (211), aces (35), digs (270) and in serve receive (221). Also 13 blocks for state champs, who were No. 1 in the News4Jax Super 6 most of the season.

S Azra Mulalic, Fletcher, Jr.

Area’s top setter finished with 791 assists, a total that ranked 18th in the state. Also a force on defense with 352 digs and led the team in aces (69).

L Jangelyz Ramirez, Fleming Island, Jr.

Team-best 376 digs for Golden Eagles, the only other team besides Ponte Vedra to top the Super 6 this season.

MB Zeta Washington, Ponte Vedra, Fr.

Area’s top player led team in every offensive category. Had 313 kills and a near 60% kill percentage in leading the Sharks to the state championship. Added 41 blocks and 36 aces.


OH Taylor Boyd, Mandarin, So.

OH Emilie Chinault, Bishop Kenny, Jr.

L Sophia Ervanian, Ponte Vedra, Sr.

S Cameron Fenner, Bishop Kenny, Sr.

OH/L/S Jessica Lary, Creekside, Jr.

S Hannah McCarthy, Episcopal, Sr.

OH/MB Jasmine Robinson, Fleming Island, Jr.

OH Sammy Sicoli, Bartram Trail, Sr.


OH Felicity Acosta, Fernandina Beach, Fr.

OH Grace Albaugh, Bolles, Fr.

S Gracie Arnett, St. Johns Country Day, 8th

OH Kyla Bailey, Menendez, Sr.

OH/S Ashlyn Banton, Menendez, Jr.

OH/MB Kyeli Brennan, Mandarin, Sr.

MB Izzy Collier, Creekside, So.

S Megan Costolo, Yulee, Sr.

OH Jaycee Davis, Union County, Fr.

S Annie Dill, Bartram Trail, So.

S Mone Gordon, Middleburg, Sr.

OH Meg Hall, Eagle’s View, Sr.

OH Faith Hammond, University Christian, Sr.

MB Grace Hollis, University Christian, So.

MB Virginia Hudson, Christ’s Church, Sr.

MB Christina Jackson, Yulee, So.

S Ellie Jackson, Mandarin, So.

OP Morgan Killingsworth, Fletcher, Sr.

OH/DS Amaria King, Trinity Christian, 7th

OH Emily Mayher, Episcopal, Sr.

L Riley McBride, Fletcher, Sr.

L Mary McDonnell, Stanton, Sr.

S Annie Messler, St. Augustine, Sr.

OH Gray Miller, Providence, Jr.

S Lydia Mortensen, Christ’s Church, Jr.

L Tina Nika, Bishop Kenny, So.

OH Bryanna Parrett, Oakleaf, Sr.

MB Britany Range, Middleburg, Sr.

MB Robin Repass, Providence, Fr.

OH Emma Richard, Fleming Island, Jr.

MB Amaya Ross, Trinity Christian, Jr.

DS/L Danya Rukab, Bolles, Jr.

S Jessica Shattles, Ponte Vedra, Fr.

MB Emily Sheperis, Yulee, Sr.

OH Shanice Steer, Ridgeview, Sr.

OH Jenna Sypniewski, Middleburg, Jr.

S Abby Tennant, Ridgeview, Jr.

OH Klaire VanDeusen, Bartram Trail, So.

OH Kylie Vining, Harvest, Sr.

OH Maya Walker, Fleming Island, So.

OH Maddy Watson, Mandarin, Sr.

OH Katie West, Fernandina Beach, So.

Note: Input from area coaches, statistics, a team’s quality and competition all went in to helping determine the All-News4Jax volleyball team.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.