CAPE ELIZABETH — Tess Haller is an unlikely selection as the Maine Sunday Telegram’s Volleyball Player of the Year, considering the junior middle hitter has devoted her energies toward playing for an NCAA Division I softball program.

But Haller was a dominant player who helped lead Cape Elizabeth to its first state title during a Cinderella season, Capers Coach Sarah Boeckel said.

The Capers captured the Class A title in their eight year as a varsity program. There wasn’t a winning tradition at Cape Elizabeth, and there were no volleyball championship flags on the gym wall.

Boeckel said it didn’t matter to Haller.

“Tess is that player who, if we want a point, I want the ball to go to her. She’s athletic, she’s aggressive, and she’s not afraid to make a mistake. She wants to win,” Boeckel said. “She doesn’t get tight. She doesn’t get scared or nervous or start flailing at the ball. She’ll go up and take a big swing. And she’s a smart player. She knows how to make an adjustment.”

With 106 kills, 33 aces, 49 digs and 29 blocks this season, Haller is a complete player, and so smart she makes decisions on where to place the ball without her coach’s input.

In the state final, Haller looked to her friends in the stands for information on where those gaps were on the court.

And yet, this past season was as much a game changer for Haller as it was for Cape Elizabeth. First, Haller needed to decide whether to switch positions from outside hitter to middle hitter to give the Capers the edge their coach said they needed after making the playoffs for the first time just two years ago.

Haller, who only started playing volleyball in eighth grade, fought the idea. But she ultimately decided to play middle to give her team more options on the court.

Boeckel said the switch was the difference that not only sent the Capers into the state tournament seeded fifth, but allowed them to upend the No. 1 and No. 3 seeds to claim the title.

“When I asked her to move from outside to middle hitter, I knew she was our best option. We are not a huge team. We’re not a big team. I knew Tess at middle would give us an advantage,” Boeckel said.

Not only did the Capers beat two of the top three seeds in the state tournament, they stormed back from a two-game deficit in each match.

Now, a month after the state championship match, Haller is trying to decide whether to stay with softball in college or maybe play volleyball.

“I was really on the Division I softball track. Now I’m not sure. I really like volleyball. This season was a lot of fun,” said the 5-foot-10 junior after returning from a softball tournament in California on Nov. 25.