By Bruce Campbell Staff Writer



Making the All-State team and leading Enid to a runner-up finish in the state tournament is just part of the legacy Cayleena Koehn leaves the Pacers volleyball program.

Her 308 kills, 36 aces, 22 blocks, 411 digs and 93 percent serving in 2005 said one thing -- she's the best player in the nine-year history of the program.

"Yes, she is," said Enid coach Lynn Miller before the team's banquet Tuesday night. "They don't grow players like her on trees. She's going to be hard to replace."

Those words, echoed by five-year volunteer assistant James Ward, mean a lot to Koehn, who was named to the All-State team Friday along with teammate Jill Donaldson.

"Wow," she said. "That's something I can't believe. You're pretty much speechless when they say that."

Koehn, Donaldson and alternate All-Stater Stephanie Owens led the Pacers to back-to-back trips to the state tournament. Enid only had been to the regional finals once before Koehn's arrival.

"I played on some great teams," Koehn said. "In previous years, I had good leaders to look up to. The coaches pushed us hard. They got us where we are today."

Koehn, at 5-foot-8, is small for an outside hitter. Ward has said she may have been recruited by most NCAA Division I schools had she been 6-foot or taller. What she lacked in height, she made up in heart.

"She's a gazelle," Miller said. "She's everywhere on the court. She had the motivation, the drive, the enthusiasm. I told her she was the Energizer Bunny, she never quit."

Koehn said she succeeded because she practiced hard and was determined.

"I want to be remembered as someone who had a great work ethic and was humble, compassionate and just loved the game," she said. "I'm really competitive. I hate to lose at anything, even a board game."

She is the fourth Pacer to earn All-State honors. Former teammates Katelyn Ruby and Rena Charboneau were the first EHS players honored.

"It's an honor," she said. "I saw the other girls make it. It was something I had looked forward to since my freshman year. It's really exciting."

Koehn stepped up as a leader in the Charboneau and Ruby mold as a senior.

"At the first of the season, I wasn't very vocal," Koehn said. "As we got toward the end of the season, I knew if we were going to make it farther, I needed to step up. I was comfortable doing that."

She was at her best making a kill at the net. Miller said she was equally effective on defense.

The Pacers lost to Edmond Memorial twice in the championship round of the state tournament after beating the Lady Bulldogs in the winners bracket finals. She has no regrets about that.

"Second is much better than I thought we would end up," she said.

Koehn will be playing on a club team out of Stillwater this winter. She is keeping her college options open but has talked with Trinity International in Chicago.

Koehn is interested in going into sports management and possibly coaching. Miller, Ward and EHS assistant Sandy Bush have been major influences.

Koehn went out for volleyball in the eighth grade because her friends were trying out. Ward got her hooked on the sport that year when he took her, Donaldson and Owens to the Oklahoma-Missouri game.

"At first, I didn't know too much about it," Koehn said. "Every year seemed to draw me in more."



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