6-1 junior hitter
Murray County Central Rebels
When Emily Bose’s name was announced at home volleyball matches, the Murray County Central crowd would acknowledge her presence with a low-voiced and foreboding moan, mimicking both the fear and awe opponents might have held within.
A 6-foot-1 junior, Bose was an intimidating and sometimes unstoppable presence in the middle. Her size, strength and athleticism alone were enough to strike fear in those on the opposite side of the net.
“I don’t think they like playing against her, the other team,” MCC coach Donna Johansen said. “She’s not only tall, but she’s strong and very smart. It’s tough.”
Bose attacked at 90 percent and had a combined 345 kills and ace tips on the season, pushing her career total to 858 with her senior season to look forward to.
“She’s got a lot of talent, and I’m very glad she’s not done yet,” Johansen said, laughing. “She’s a great all-around athlete, and she’s done a great job for us.”
Bose’s strength was in the middle, where she recorded 93 ace blocks.
Bose still found ways to score when she wasn’t in the front row. She served at 90 percent and recorded 35 aces and 159 points.
5-11 senior hitter
Ron Wendorff has been Windom’s volleyball coach for 17 years. He’s led four teams to the state tournament, and he’s coached numerous athletes who went on to play at Division I and Division II universities.
Wendorff said he’s never coached a player more versatile than Megan Ysker.
She has the numbers to prove it.
Ysker, a four-year starter who recently signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at Minnesota State-Mankato, reached triple-digits in five statistical categories this season. Her superior athleticism, unmatched versatility and rare volleyball talents were big reasons why the Eagles won their first state championship in program history.
Ysker had 19 kills, 13 set assists, 29 digs and two ace serves in Windom’s four-game victory against Bethlehem Academy in the Class A championship.
The 5-foot-11 senior, who was listed as a setter, recorded 436 kills, 422 set assists, 191 digs, 112 ace serves and 101 solo blocks on the season en route to a second consecutive all-state selection.
“She’s the most versatile player I have ever coached,” Wendorff said. “And she has the ability to take over a match in all aspects of the game.”
5-9 senior hitter
Holli Aggen’s talents are intimidating.
Few volleyball players in the area possess the explosive swing that the Worthington senior hitter put on display in every match over the past four years. Violent, vicious and threatening to opponents’ safety, Aggen’s hits left marks and bruises. They also helped make history.
Aggen attacked at nearly 32 percent and recorded 273 kills this season, leading the Trojans to their most successful season in recent memory.
Worthington won 23 matches — the most in program history, according to records that date back to 1991 — and earned the No. 2 seed in the Section 3AA playoffs.
Aggen, who recently signed a letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Sioux Falls, played an integral part in the Trojans’ historic season.
Along with being Worthington’s most explosive offensive player, Aggen also was its top defender.
The four-year starter amassed 225 digs, 31 block assists and 13 solo blocks..
“She has a powerful swing — she can do a lot of good things for the team,” Worthington coach Melissa Schutz said. “And she was just a big part of our successful year.”
5-3 junior setter
Southwest Star Concept Quasars
Luanna Henkels never got rattled.
In her first season as Southwest Star Concept’s lone setter, Henkels was asked to quarterback a high-powered offense that featured numerous weapons, including dominant hitters such as Erika Post, Jenna Leopold and Katey Granstra.
The 5-foot-3 junior thrived, amassing 722 set assists and leading SSC to a runner-up finish in the Section 3A championship.
“She’s the quarterback of the team,” SSC coach Crystal Fast said. “She does a really nice job of distributing the ball and knowing, on any given night, who is the hot hitter.”
Henkels started in a two-setter scheme last season and split time at setter in her freshman year. Entering this season, Fast changed the scheme and handed Henkels the reigns.
“She’s always calm on the court; she never gets razzled by anything,” Fast said. “She leads by example, and her teammates follow her.”
Unlike a lot of setters who prefer to wait for a pass, Henkels isn’t afraid to get defensive. She racked up 294 digs and 41 blocks this season.
One of the Quasars’ best at the service line, Henkels served at 91 percent and recorded 53 aces.
5-8 sophomore hitter
Yes, there’s another one. And the Southwest Conference, along with every team in Class A, already has been put on notice.
The younger sister of Windom star Megan Ysker, Courtney Ysker isn’t living in anybody’s shadow — she’s already making a name for herself.
A 5-foot-8 sophomore hitter, Ysker recorded 275 kills, 253 digs, 107 ace serves and 41 solo blocks this season.
While she put her superior talent and athleticism on display throughout the regular season, Ysker took her game to another level when the pressure was on.
She had 19 kills, 14 digs and five ace serves to lead the Eagles to a dramatic five-game victory over Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in the Class A semifinal. In Windom’s state championship victory over Bethlehem Academy, Ysker had 14 kills, nine digs and eight service aces. She and her older sister were named to the all-tournament team.
“She had an incredible state tournament — there’s no question about that,” Windom coach Ron Wendorff said. “She had that look in her eye and got into a real zone with her serving. All year long she had been a very consistent player for us, and we asked her to do a lot of things.”
5-11 senior hitter
Jackson County Central Huskies
When describing the abilities of Brooke Burmeister, Jackson County Central coach Teresa VanEpps kept repeating one word:
A 5-foot-11 senior hitter for the Huskies, Burmeister justified her coach’s description throughout the season.
Possessing one of the most violent and powerful swings of any hitter in the area, Burmeister attacked at nearly 38 percent, recording 243 kills in 303 attempts.
“Explosive, so explosive,” VanEpps said. “As far as being able to hit the ball with such velocity, Brooke is definitely the hardest-hitting athlete I’ve ever coached.
“She’s such a hammer on the outside. She was a go-to person, and that’s what you need out of your outside hitters. And she did that for us.”
She did much more.
Burmeister, who signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at Southwest Minnesota State, excelled as a hitter, a blocker, a defender and a server.
She notched 61 blocks, including 23 ace blocks. She led the Huskies with 229 digs, and she added 235 serve-receives.
At the service line, Burmeister recorded 53 aces while serving at 92 percent.
ALL-AREA SECOND TEAM
6-3 sophomore middle hitter
It didn’t take long for Martha Alwal to become one of the most feared and dominant volleyball players in the Southwest Conference.
A 6-foot-3 middle hitter, Alwal thrived in her first year as a starter for Worthington. She attacked at 90 percent and recorded 256 kills. Her unmatched height, length and athleticism helped her record 69 block assists and 33 solo blocks this season.
5-6 junior outside hitter
Jackson County Central
Although she was listed at 5-foot-6, Briel Hendrickson played like she was five inches taller.
While relatively small in stature, Hendrickson delivered vicious and punishing hits. She connected on nearly 37 percent of her attacks and recorded a team-high 261 kills. She added 84 blocks and 28 ace blocks.
Hendrickson, who had 225 digs and 198 serve-receives, served at 88 percent and had 22 aces this season.
5-5 junior setter
Murray County Central
In regard to junior setter Alyssa Schmidt, Murray County Central volleyball coach Donna Johansen offered a bit of advice:
“Just get out of her way.”
Schmidt, a 5-foot-5 two-year starter, had 609 set assists, 25 ace blocks and 82 kills this season.
She also served at 93 percent, adding 35 aces and 80 points.
5-10 senior outside hitter
Southwest Christian senior outside hitter Angie Vermeer displayed a competitive edge that few athletes are blessed with, and she had the superior talent to match.
Vermeer had 241 kills, 314 digs and 54 ace blocks this season, leading SWC to a 24-5 record and to the second round of the Section 3A playoffs.
5-6 senior libero
Every great volleyball team needs a player who does “the little things” well, and Class A champion Windom is no exception.
Allison Nau led Windom with both 342 digs and 264 serve-receives.
Featuring an unpredictable float-serve that danced and dived like a pitcher’s knuckleball, Nau served at 86 percent and recorded 60 ace serves.
5-6 junior setter
A junior setter, Kayla Broekhuis was given the task of distributing passes between four all-conference hitters, but the second-year starter thrived, recording 464 set assists.
Broekhuis showed the ability to get under any ball — even if it wasn’t a pass. She finished second on her team with 286 digs.
Broekhuis also served at nearly 93 percent with 58 aces.
ALL-AREA THIRD TEAM
5-7 senior outside hitter
A 5-foot-7 high-riser, Iedema had 232 kills and 37 solo blocks this season, leading Sibley-Ocheyedan’s volleyball team to the first winning season it has on record.
The four-year starter recorded 206 digs and served at nearly 91 percent, adding 22 service aces for the Generals (14-10).
5-8 junior hitter
Southwest Star Concept
When Southwest Star Concept’s volleyball team needed a kill, it turned to Erika Post.
A 5-foot-8 junior outside hitter, Post had 217 kills, 328 digs and 141 blocks.
She also served at nearly 89 percent and totaled 55 aces.
5-4 senior setter
A senior setter on Windom’s volleyball team, Borsgard played in a 6-2 system that allowed Megan Ysker to record 422 set assists to go with 436 kills. Despite the system, and despite the fact that she set in only three rotations, Borsgard flourished, finishing with a team-high 534 set assists.
She also added 132 digs and served at 96 percent, recording 80 aces.
5-9 senior hitter
Murray County Central
The lightning to Emily Bose’s thunder, Kate Robinson recorded 220 kills and 45 ace blocks.
Robinson also served at 90 percent and had 17 aces.
6-0 senior middle hitter
A standout both offensively and defensively for W-WG, Audra Schmidt led the Chargers in kills (249), blocks (68) and ace serves (48).
Kourtney Kramer, Adrian
Katy Slater, Adrian
Macy Butson, Edgerton
Alyson Drooger, Edgerton
Amanda DeBoer, Ellsworth
Mari Holinka, Fulda
Chrissy Wieskus, Fulda
Jessy Bos, Hills-Beaver Creek
Whitney Burmeister, JCC
Stacey Schuller, JCC
Ashley VandeHoef, Luverne
Brittany Wenner, ML/B-O
Elissa Reinsma, MCC
Megan VanderPoel, PA
Abby Halter, Red Rock Central
Krystle Sell, Red Rock Central
Karen Schmitz, RL-B
Jessica Ackerman, S-O
Jenna Leopold, SSC
Taylor Elzenga, W-WG
Sara Jarmer, W-WG
Chanel Madson, W-WG
Makenzie Lovell, Windom
Anneli Dudley, Worthington
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