THE BEISNER FILE
Parents: Amy and Bryan
Siblings: Brooks, Coleen, Janhea, Marisa, Garret
Favorite non-volleyball sport: Track
Favorite place to eat: Chik fil a
Favorite music: Country music, Jason Aldean
Favorite school subject: History
By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
PUNTA GORDA — Shelby Beisner didn’t have the most kills on the Charlotte High School volleyball team this season.
She didn’t have the most digs or aces, either. The sophomore didn’t even have the most blocks or assists.
Instead of specializing in just one or two of those categories, she excelled in almost all of them. Her 238 kills, 323 digs and 35 aces were all good enough for second best on the Tarpons this year, and she was No. 3 on the team with 31 blocks, making her a dynamic do-it-all player.
Beisner was not only the Tarpons’ best player this season, she was tops in the area, earning The Sun’s 2016 All-Area volleyball honors.
Her breakout sophomore year was not a surprise to her coach Michelle Dill.
“I know her capability,” Dill said. “I know her goals in wanting to play in college. Especially playing Division-I. For her to do that I know she’s going to work hard and keep getting better to try to get to that level.”
Shelby isn’t the first Beisner to be named The Sun’s All-Area volleyball player of the year, however. Her older sister Marisa won the award two years ago, leading little sister to set her goals on one day doing the same.
“I think it’s awesome,” Marisa said. “She works hard for it. She spends all of her time with volleyball. She’s a hard worker, and I think she deserves it.”
The younger Beisner led the Tarpons to the regional finals for the second consecutive season, except this time, her role drastically improved.
“It was a lot better than my freshman year,” Beisner said, reflecting on 2016. “I think the team had better chemistry than last year and we worked really well together.”
The outside hitter made her case for All-Area clear by elevating her game as the season progressed and the stakes increased.
In a three-set sweep for Charlotte over Clearwater in the regional quarterfinals, Beisner had 11 kills in the first two sets alone, ending the match with 14. She had another 14 kills the next match to send her team to the regional finals.
Her six kills in the season-ending match against Barron Collier don’t show just how hard she fought in the match, but the 20 digs she had displays her refusal to lose.
It’s been close to two months since that loss for the Tarpons, and Beisner said she’s moved on for the most part, but there’s sometimes it still hurts.
“I think it was really hard on her because her freshman year we lost in that round,” Dill said. “She really wanted to keep the momentum going. I think it’ll be good for her. In those games, and matches and situations it’ll make her stronger as a player mentally.”
Even though Beisner knows she has more opportunities at the high school level, that doesn’t ease the pain much.
“It was kind of devastating,” Beisner said. “Even as a sophomore to not win in that game. I wanted it incredibly bad, and I know the rest of the team did, too. We just couldn’t come together that day.”
ALL AREA TEAM
KAYLEE BRANNON: Charlotte, Senior
Routinely was the Tarpons’ leader defensively with an area-best 444 digs. Brannon also picked up her 1,000th career dig early in the season. The senior was one of the top servers in the area, too, leading Charlotte with 42 aces.
ALEXIS FRACAVILLA: North Port, Junior
Nobody in the area was a bigger defensive threat along the net than Francavilla. She had an area-best 64 blocks, and was among the best with 160 kills to lead the Bobcats.
CAROLINE HILL: Lemon Bay, Sophomore
The Manta Rays’ top player did a little bit of everything in her sophomore year. She led the team with 151 kills and 61 blocks, both of which are near the best in the area. She also chipped in with 16 aces and 35 digs.
JESSICA MOORE: Charlotte, Senior
Nobody came close to matching Moore’s 740 assists as she remained the area’s top setter in 2016. She was tested plenty defensively toward the end of the year, and ended with 301 digs and 35 blocks, while also adding 29 aces.
MCKENZIE STEWART: Port Charlotte, Sophomore
Was one of those players who contributed up and down the statsheet in 2016. Stewart led the Pirates with 362 assists, and also had 124 digs to go with 71 kills and 34 aces.
KIERSTEN TISDALE: Port Charlotte, Freshman
Had a breakout freshman year as one of the area’s top offensive players. Tisdale had a Pirate-best 218 kills, and also had a strong defensive season with 158 digs. She even threw in 34 aces along the way.
EMILY VAUGHN: Charlotte, Junior
Vaughn was No. 1 in the area in kills, leading the way with 247. The lefty boasted a .310 hitting percentage, and also made an impact defensively with a Tarpon-best 36 blocks.
Honorable mention: Port Charlotte: Zoe Burkhart, Samantha DiBene; Lemon Bay: Kannah Krzysiak, Haylee Layne; North Port: Lindsey Matthews, Samantha Tennent; Charlotte: Michelle Bunch, Skylar Gribben.