Title IX at 50: Ava Brizard's Story

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

August 23, 2022

Bloomfield Hills Marian long has been a state volleyball powerhouse, and was the class of Division 1 the last two seasons with Ava Brizard leading the Mustangs to back-to-back championships. The now-graduated 6-foot-1 outside hitter earned the Miss Volleyball Award during her senior season as she posted with 591 kills including 25 in the championship match win over Ann Arbor Skyline.

Marian finished 53-1 on the season, and Brizard also was named first-team All-America by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. She has moved on to begin her college athletic and academic careers at North Carolina State, where she is studying business administration.

What the opportunity to compete as a female athlete means to Ava Brizard:

"It’s just incredible. Getting to compete at the highest level and being able to represent my school and my family and myself, it’s just an incredible honor and I am so glad that I get the opportunity to go out and do what I love every day and be able to compete.

“And also just being able to know that by me getting a chance to go out there and showcase my abilities, I can inspire future generations of other young girls to go out there and work hard and pursue their dreams in athletics and show the world that girls can do it too.”

Second Half's weekly Title IX Celebration posts are sponsored by Michigan Army National Guard.

Previous Title IX at 50 Spotlights

Aug. 16: Paige Miller's Story - Read
Aug. 9:
Gracie Olsen's Story - Read
Aug. 2:
Maddy Stern's Story - Read
July 26:
Reese Miller's Story - Read
July 19:
Macy Irelan's Story - Read
July 12:
Bridget Boczar's Story - Read
July 5:
Ella Boose's Story - Read
June 28:
Kaila Jackson's Story - Read
June 23: 
We Celebrate Our Past, We Look Forward to Our Future - Read
June 21: Assistant Directors Have Been Difference Makers - Read
June 14: 
Girls Lacrosse Finals Officials Set Empowering Example - Read
June 7: 
From Gymnastics to Wrestling, Girls Opportunities Continue to Grow - Read
May 31: 
Mumford Sprinter's Magnificent 2006 Final Remains Unmatched - Read

May 24: Scane, Whiteside Alone on 400-Goal, 500-Point Girls Lacrosse Lists - Read
May 17: Over 8 Days in 1988, Pair of Champs Set No. 1 Singles Standard - Read
May 10: 
Portage Central's Tarpley Scores as State's Superstar, U.S. Soccer Hero - Read
May 3: 
Prychitko 'Legend In Her Own Time,' Legend for All Time - Read
April 26: 
Braddock vs. Verdun Still Striding Among All-Time Sprint Matchups - Read
April 19: 
Holmes' Strikeout Record Rarely Approached, May Be Unbreakable - Read
April 12: 
Anticipation High as 45,000 Girls Return to Spring Sports - Read
April 5: 
Regina's Laffey Retiring as Definition of Legendary - Read
March 29: 
Edison's Whitehorn named 2022 Miss Basketball - Read
March 22: 
Carney-Nadeau Sets Girls Hoops Standard with 78-Win Streak - Read
March 15: 
Binder Among Voices Telling Our Story on MHSAA Network - Read
March 8: 
28 Years, Thousands of Cheers - Read
March 1: 
Kearsley Rolls On Among Girls Bowling's Early Successes - Read
Feb. 22: Marquette Ties Record for Swim & Dive Finals Success - Read
Feb. 15: Jaeger's 2004 Winter Run Created Lasting Connection - Read
Feb. 8: Marian's Cicerone to Finish Among All-Time Elite - Read
Feb. 1: WISL Award Honors Builders of State's Girls Sports Tradition - Read
Jan. 25: Decades Later, Edwards' Legend Continues to Grow - Read
Jan. 18: Iron Mountain Completes Championship Climb - Read
Jan. 11: Harrold's Achievement Heralds Growth of Girls Wrestling - Read
Dec. 20: Competitive Cheer Gives Michigan Plenty to Cheer About - Read
Dec. 14: 
Evelyn's Game Had Plenty of Magic - Read
Dec. 7: 
Council Term Ends, But Leinaar Leaves Lasting Impact - Read
Nov. 30: 
Basketball Season Ready to Add to Rich Tradition - Read
Nov. 23: 
Marysville Builds Winning Streak Yet to be Challenged - Read
Nov. 16: Wroubel Has Championed Girls School Sports from Their Start - Read
Nov. 9: Pioneer's Joyce Legendary in Michigan, National Swim History - Read
Nov. 2: Royal Oak's Finch Leading Way on Football Field - Read
Oct. 26: Coach Clegg Sets Championship Standard at Grand Blanc - Read
Oct. 19: Rockford Girls Set Pace, Hundreds After Have Continued to Chase - Read
Oct. 12: 
Bedford Volleyball Pioneer Continues Blazing Record-Setting Trail - Read
Oct. 5: 
Warner Paved Way to Legend Status with Record Rounds - Read
Sept. 28: Taylor Kennedy Gymnasts Earn Fame as 1st Champions - Read
Sept. 21: 
Portage Northern Star Byington Becomes Play-by-Play Pioneer - Read
Sept. 14: 
Guerra/Groat Legacy Continues to Serve St. Philip Well - Read
Sept. 7: 
Best-Ever Conversation Must Include Leland's Glass - Read
Aug. 31: We Will Celebrate Many Who Paved the Way - Read

Performance of the Week: Lake Orion's Nina Horning

September 15, 2022

Lake Orion's Nina HorningNina Horning ♦ Lake Orion
Volleyball ♦ Senior

Horning put another exclamation point on the recent announcement that she’s one of 10 finalists for this year’s Miss Volleyball Award by leading Lake Orion past Division 2 then-No. 3 Detroit Country Day 25-11, 25-17, 25-19 on Sept. 8. Horning had 10 kills during the third set alone and is approaching 1,400 kills for her career.

The 6-foot-5 outside hitter is a four-year varsity player for the Dragons, as she joined the program the season after Lake Orion won the Division 1 title led by another standout hitter, then-senior Paige Briggs. Horning made the Division 1 all-state second team as a sophomore and first team as a junior after leading her team to Oakland Activities Association Red and District titles. She has committed to continue her academic and volleyball careers at University of Cincinnati; she's interested in studying physical therapy.

Follow the MHSAA on TikTok.


A post shared by MHSAA (@mhsaasports)

MI Student Aid

Second Half’s "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

2022-23 Honorees

Sept 8: Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1:
Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25:
Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report

(Photos courtesy of Nina Horning.)