Ashley Volpenhein has added another honor to her Mason HS swimming career. The vaulted senior swimming standout has been named the Cincinnati's Female Athlete of the Year for 2017.
Ashley was named the girls High School MVP of the Year at the annual Buddy LaRosa’s High School Sports Hall of Fame banquet held in Studio A of CET along with St. Xavier's Grant House this past Sunday.
Volpenhein is one of the most decorated swimmers in Cincinnati history. A seven-time state champion, she won six individual state titles during her career and one relay state championship. In her four years at Mason, the Comets placed second in the state twice and third in the state twice.
“It’s been a great experience to do this with somebody that has helped bring Cincinnati swimming into the foreground, there are some great athletes that have gone through local swimming programs and this area is really a powerhouse when compared to some other sports,” Volpenhein said. “I think it’s great to get more exposure for swimming and I’m honored to get this award with Grant, since we’ve had mirrored high school experiences.”
House and Volpenhein will continue to see each other at the collegiate level as they are both heading out West and to the Pacific-12 Conference – House will swim at Arizona State while Volpenhein will compete for Stanford.
The swimming duo were just two of 12 individuals that were named MVP of the Year Finalists. Mason softball pitching standout, Elle Buffenbarger, was an MVP finalist and also recognized at the event for her tremendous high school career. This past season she was named GMC Co-Softball Player of the Year and selected 1st Team All-State. She is headed to Youngstown State University next fall to continue her softball career on the collegiate level.
Bizzarri Inducted into HOF
Also at the annual Larosa's Awards on Sunday, former Mason running star Angela Bizzarri was inducted into the Buddy Larosa Hall of Fame along with 5 other former HS athletes. A four-time state champ in the 3,200 in track, Bizzarri finished with eight state track championships and became the first Comet to qualify for state in four events in track. Bizzarri also earned a pair of state cross country titles before going on to the University of Illinois where she was a NCAA champion in cross country and a nine-time All-American.
Bizzarri will become the 16th athlete in LaRosa’s history to be inducted in her first year of eligibility.
“My coaches (at Mason) were able to make it something I really enjoyed,” Bizzarri said. “I have a lot of memories of celebrating with teammates. Running cross country was fun, running the 4x800 relay was fun, but I think it’s because I liked the team-based events.
“I enjoyed athletics. It was something I wanted to sustain in as I went on.”
Now, Bizzarri runs for fun when she has time while finishing medical school.