Audrey Rothman earns county’s volleyball Player of the Year award

Published 10:08 am Wednesday, December 1, 2021

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

There was perhaps no better way to draw up the ending to Spain Park’s volleyball season.

On a perfect set, Audrey Rothman leapt in the air and powered a ball right into the teeth of the McGill-Toolen Yellow Jackets. As usual off a Rothman kill, it was too much to handle, as she picked up the final kill of the Jaguars’ state championship season.

It was also the final kill of Rothman’s stellar career as one of the best volleyball players to come through Shelby County, as the Florida State signee held true on a promise to bring a state championship to the Jags before leaving.

And in doing so, she also earned a repeat performance as the Shelby County Player of the Year.

Rothman finished the season as the county’s leader in kills with 709, while the senior also posted 249 digs, 71 blocks and 35 assists. She finished the state championship match with 24 kills and 12 digs to lead the Jags to a sweep in the title. 

It was a special final year that was all driven by a heartbreaking end to the 2020 season.

Losing to rival Hoover 3-0 in the state championship last year, Rothman promised her coach the 2021 season would be different. 

“I said that last year as soon as we walked off the court in a heartbreaking moment,” Rothman said. “You have all year to get better, it eats away at you, so we knew coming into this season that we were the only thing stopping ourselves from getting it. We really focused on putting ourselves in adversity and our team culture every single day so that we knew when we got to this point we would win. It really paid off in the end.” 

The Jaguars tore through their redemption path, finishing the season 46-4 overall, beating Hoover in the regional tournament to earn a trip back to the Elite Eight and then sweeping Enterprise, Sparkman and McGill-Toolen en route to claiming their first state championship.

At the end of it all, Rothman sat as the school’s all-time leader in kills and digs. She finished her playing days at Spain Park with 1,858 kills and 1,344 digs.

Her final season bested her junior season that saw her post 512 kills, 244 assists, 172 digs, 64 aces and 46 blocks.