Grace Tubbs towers over opponents on the volleyball court.

While her 6-foot-5 frame is an asset, the Clinton senior's skill set often is overlooked because of that height.

"Nobody has ever said it to my face, but I know there are people who want to see me fail and think I'm only good because I'm 6-5," she said. 

Tubbs has done significant work in the past year to shed that stigma with weight training and improving her mobility. 

The middle hitter was among the top attackers in the Mississippi Athletic Conference and is the captain of this year's Quad-City Times All-Metro team. 

The University of Iowa signee led the conference in total kills (360) and ranked among the league leaders in total blocks (72). She powered Clinton to a 27-win season, a state ranking and one victory from the Class 4A state tournament. 

Even in moments of angst and frustration, volleyball has been her love.

"It brings out the extremes in every emotion that you have," she said. "When you win a game, it is the highest high ever felt. When you lose, it is the lowest low you'll ever feel. Those lows make those highs even better."

Among the eight players on the first team, six are seniors signed to play Division I or II volleyball next fall. Davenport Central's Kami Knutsen and Raina Smith join Tubbs on the first team along with Bettendorf's Ally Grothusen, Davenport Assumption's Emma VanSeveren and Moline's Bella Mitchell. 

Pleasant Valley's Erica Brohm and North Scott's Emma Powell, both juniors, round out the top team. 

The All-Eastern Iowa team is captained by Utah recruit and Tipton junior Sommer Daniel. A setter and outside hitter, Daniel led the Tigers to a school-record 39 wins and a state runner-up finish in Class 3A. She averaged 4.25 kills, 4.46 assists and 3.03 digs per set. 

Camanche attacker Madilynn Parson, West Liberty libero Macy Akers and Wilton hitter Aubrey Putman are repeat first-team choices along with Daniel.

Wethersfield senior Brittney Litton captains the All-Western Illinois team for a second straight season. Litton accumulated 1,658 kills and 222 aces in her storied four-year career.

Orion outside hitter Sarah Jacobsen is a repeat first-team choice. She sparked the Chargers to a Three Rivers Conference title and regional crown. 

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Sports Editor

Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.