Parkland College Athletics and Parkland Cobras Volleyball are pleased to announce that that Ryleigh Warfel has been named the 2019-20 Female Athlete of the Year. This past season, Warfel helped lead Parkland to an NJCAA Division II National Runner-Up finish along with championships in the Central A District and the Mid-West Athletic Conference. The team finished 57-3, tying the most single-season wins in program history.
"I am extremely grateful to be receiving this award," reflected Warfel. "I would like to start by thanking my teammates, because without them, this last season at Parkland would not have been nearly as exciting. I would also like to thank the coaching staff for giving their best efforts towards us, 100% of the time, especially (Head Coach Cliff Hastings). He made me the player I am today, and I have him to thank for everything. He taught me so many things that I didn't even know could be learned."
Warfel, from Downs, Ill., was selected to both the NJCAA DII and AVCA All-American First Teams. In addition, she was the 2019 Region 24 Player of the Year. In September, 2019, she was recognized nationally as the NJCAA Division II Player of the Week.
The outside hitter was an attacking force all season long, totaling 463 kills and ranking 18th nationally. She was also in the top-20 nationally in total points, when combining her kills with service aces (42) and blocks (72). Over the entire season, Warfel led the Cobras in kills per set, total points, and points per set, while also finishing second on the team in total attacks, kills, digs, and digs per set.
"Ryleigh is an outstanding choice for Parkland Female Athlete of the Year," expressed Cobras Head Coach Cliff Hastings. "She embodies everything we hope for a Parkland College athlete to represent. She is fierce on the court and kind off the court. When recruiting her, we saw the potential of what she could accomplish, and she only exceeded our expectations. She was outstanding in all aspects of the game and scored at will for us. We are so thankful that she said, "Yes!" to Parkland two years ago, and we will miss her on-court production as well as her off-court humor, joy and constant smiles."
Warfel recorded her career-high 21 digs vs. Iowa Western (11/2/19), and she recorded her career-high 24 digs in two separate matches. She leaves Parkland ranking 5th all-time in kills, with a two-year total of 926. The Tri-Valley High School alum has moved on to continue her academic and athletic careers at the University of Illinois-Springfield.
Warfel is the daughter of Brian and Lori Warfel. Her academic interests include Communications.
[Article by Joey Gruner]