DIVISION I VOLLEYBALL: Cougars’ Oblad makes largest impact

Coronado’s Berkeley Oblad didn’t see the most playing time on her own team this season.

But the senior middle blocker was unquestionably the most dominant player in Southern Nevada when she was on the court.

Oblad, a Utah signee, was the coaches’ choice as the All-Southern Nevada Most Valuable Player after leading the Cougars to their second consecutive Division I state championship.

“There’s a lot of great players in Southern Nevada, but most of the go-to players were on the floor for all six rotations,” Coronado coach Matt Johnson said. “By the time Berkeley entered at left front and left after she served, she made the greatest impact. Not just for our team, but for any team for the amount of time she was on the floor.”

For as talented as she is, the 6-foot-4-inch Oblad was an even better teammate according to her coach. Oblad sacrificed her own playing time and individual accomplishments for the betterment of the team, which eventually resulted in another Sunrise Region and state title.

“She was somebody you had to pay attention to,” Johnson said. “She only played front row for us, even though she could’ve played everywhere else. Considering she’s only on the floor half the time, she made the most impact with the least amount of time … She’s a quiet leader. She’s not a rah-rah kind of person. She leads by example. Her opinion was always what was best for the team, not what was best for her. She’s a very team-oriented player.”

In Oblad’s four years, Coronado won three Southeast League titles (2012, 2013, 2014) and two region championships (2013, 2014). This season, she was key in leading a team that only lost once to a Southern Nevada opponent and finished with a 34-7 record.

“We’re going to miss her,” Johnson said. “She’s one of the those athletes that only come around once in a while. I’m looking forward to watching her on the Pac-12 Network … In the last couple years, she’s really embraced the weight room. She’s a strong, physical athlete now. I can definitely see her competing and being an impact player at the University of Utah next year.”

Johnson also was voted the Coach of the Year by his peers.

“It takes a lot of people to get that award,” he said. “I rely on my assistant coaches, the players and the parents. It would be selfish to say it’s all about me. The kids and assistant coaches do so much in buying into the program and making the culture that we have in our program. It should just be another team award.”

Oblad and Johnson also swept the Sunrise Region and Southeast League’s major honors.

Shadow Ridge’s Ashley Smith was the Sunset Region MVP, and the Mustangs’ Karissa Guthrie was the region’s Coach of the Year. Both also won the Southwest League honors.

In the Northeast League, Silverado’s Sydney Berenyi was the MVP, and the Skyhawks’ Samantha Richard was the Coach of the Year.

In the Northwest League, Bonanza’s Sophie Cram earned MVP honors. Arbor View’s Jay Renneker was the Coach of the Year.

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