All-Area volleyball team announcedThe Daily Globe's 2010 All-Area volleyball team has been selected.
Red Rock Central
5-5 senior setter
After Red Rock Central’s homecoming, Cierra Nickel went home rather than staying out all night.
The next day on the volleyball court against Fulda, the Falcons were trailing. Nickel then stepped to the service line and reeled off a string of points, leading her team’s comeback effort.
It was this work ethic that made Nickel a truly elite setter.
“She’s always worked hard, and she’s very dedicated to the sport,” coach Sara Arfsten said. “She puts in a lot of time and really works on her craft, and I think that’s part of why she was so successful as a setter, just the great work ethic that she has.”
Nickel was a two-year captain for RRC, holding a truly strong leadership presence among her teammates.
“I looked at her as an extension of myself on the floor,” Arfsten said. “As our setter, she was like the quarterback — the little general. She did a real nice job trying to keep everyone together.”
Nickel picked up 638 set assists this season alone, adding 217 digs, 176 service points and leading the Falcons with 43 service aces.
She also chipped in 59 kills — about 95 percent a result of her ability to find the right moment to dump the ball.
“I didn’t really see any of the other setters in the conference that could dump the ball the way she did,” Arfsten said.
5-9 senior outside-hitter
What more can you say about a player that was named the Class A player of the year?
“I don’t know what to say about her that hasn’t already been said,” coach Ron Wendorff said. “I think that’s probably a statement in itself.”
Ysker has made the Daily Globe’s all-area first team three years in a row, and she has kept getting better every year.
This season she was almost unstoppable, racking up a phenomenal 459 kills — setting a school-record with 1292 career kills — while leading the Eagles once again to the section final.
She also served 97 aces, had 257 digs, and 442 serve receptions to add to her accolades.
“Someone said something about setting one time, and I said, ‘Well, if I would have made her a setter, she probably would have been an awesome setter too,’” Wendorff said. “She can just about do anything.”
Possessing a player of Ysker’s ability made the game-plan very simple for the Eagles.
“We got the ball up in the air, and she just went and got it, is basically what we did,” Wendorff said.
Ysker has signed a letter of intent to play at Augustana College next year.
Wendorff has called her “a once in a life-time player,” whose leadership will be missed.
Jackson County Central
5-8 junior outside-hitter
Already possessing as wide an arsenal of shots as any volleyball player could hope for, Whitney Burmeister will spend the winter trying to develop even more.
“It’ll be interesting what other shots she develops throughout the winter,” coach Teresa Van Epps said.
A silent leader that leads primarily by her actions, Burmeister brought the Huskies to the brink of winning the Section 3AA state tournament bracket, falling short with an agonizingly close loss to Marshall.
Next season, Burmeister will be flanked by almost the exact same roster to try to advance even further.
“She sets the bar, and we continually reach that bar that she’s setting, so that’s really nice,” Van Epps said.
Burmeister had 282 kills, 50 ace serves and 59 ace blocks.
She also recorded 363 digs, highlighting her strong defensive ability.
“She really is one of the top defensive players in the state,” Van Epps said. “Then you get her in the front row, and she just knows so many different shots, that she is definitely an offensive weapon for us also.”
Burmeister was on of four Huskies named to the Southwest Conference all-conference team out of a total of only 12 players selected for the honor.
5-10 senior outside-hitter
Taylor Elzenga brought the kind of electricity to the court that few players have the ability to do.
“She would wow the fans,” coach Natalie Ross said. “There’s just a lot of power packed in that body that she has — she’s not even a real big person, but she’s really got a lot of velocity and good jumping ability and speed, and hits the ball really super-hard.”
Elzenga was one of the team’s three senior captains, all of whom combined to create a dominant core of senior leadership for the Chargers this season.
She helped take the team to the semi-finals of the Sub-Section 3A South state tournament bracket, where they were eliminated by Ysker’s Windom squad.
A bout of mono slowed Elzenga down early in the season, leading her to miss some time. However, she still amassed 227 kills with an incredible 41.8 percent kill efficiency, leading W-WG in kills most of the matches that she played in.
She also went 204-for-236 serving on the season with 31 service aces, accumulated 135 digs, and had 50 serve receptions, though Ross noted that the early season illness limited her ability to play in the back row.
Her talent, coachable nature and volleyball smarts made her a Red Rock all-conference selection.
Murray County Central
5-3 senior libero
Elissa Reinsma was never satisfied with how well she was doing.
Despite being arguably the grittiest player in the area — coming up with amazing digs, and dishing them up on target as well — she always pushed herself and her teammates to be better.
“Even if we were down a set, down two sets, or down majorly in one of the sets, she kept her head up and kept a lot of the girls playing level headed,” coach Kati Newgard said. “That’s something that not everybody can do, and you can’t teach somebody to do.”
Reinsma had an impressive number of digs in past seasons, but she eclipsed all of her past marks with an almost super-human total of 626 digs this year, falling just shy of recording 1500 career digs.
She also served an impressive 51 aces with a serving percentage of 92.6.
Reinsma played through a hurt knee without a single complaint all season, and was at the roots of a potent Rebels offense, consistently placing the ball in the right spots and creating a good tempo for her teammates to build off of.
“She is exactly what you want every player to be,” Newgard said. “Her drive and motivation is beyond what you could expect from a high school girl.”
Southwest Star Concept
6-1 senior middle-hitter
After graduating 10 seniors last year, the Quasars appeared to be entering the season looking to rebuild.
Katey Granstra entered the season as the player with the most varsity experience, and her leadership by example gave SSC a strong pillar to not only rebuild, but to pose a threat to its competition in the Red Rock Conference.
“She’s very quiet, so she really leads by example,” coach Cindy Owen said. “But the kids really listen to her... and I think all the other players just really respected her.”
Beginning the season with five losses within a week and a half, by following Katey’s leadership the Quasars only suffered three more losses the rest of the season.
“The kids just decided, ‘You know what, we’re not going to have this happen,’” Owen said. “ They just really worked hard. A lot of that was due to the senior leadership, and in particular Katey.”
Granstra used her stature and keen sense of game awareness to play a smart brand of volleyball, leading her to accomplish a team-high 282 kills. She also took part in 210 blocks on the defensive side of the net.
A four-year varsity starter, Katey helped SSC win at least 20 games each season, and this year she earned her third Red Rock all-conference selection.
ALL-AREA SECOND TEAM
Abby Hayenga Windom Eagles junior setter
Coach Ron Wendorff calls Abby Heyenga his “stat sheet stuffer.”
The Southwest Conference all-conference player was lethal from the service line, serving at a 97 percent clip, missing only eight serves all season (303-for-311).
She also had 35 service aces, 453 set assists while setting only three rotations, 116 kills, 127 digs and 34 solo blocks.
Chanel Madson Westbrook-Walnut Grove senior outside-hitter
According to coach Natalie Ross, Chanel Madson “basically excels in everything she does, in sports and outside of sports.”
Madson was a threat no matter were she was on the court, leading the team in serving and serve receiving.
She unleashed a team-high 62 ace serves (92.2 percent serve rate), defensively she amassed 363 digs, and in attack she delivered 157 kills.
Brittany Hulstein Fulda Raiders senior outside-hitter
The Raiders couldn’t give Brittney Hulstein the ball enough.
Whether passing the ball or putting it away, she was close to perfect with every opportunity.
Coach Jennifer Tiesler praised Hulstein for knowing the game inside and out.
Hulstein was voted the Raiders’ MVP by her teammates, and plans to pursue volleyball at the college level.
Morgan Spronk Southwest Christian senior middle-hitter
If the Eagles ever needed a point, Morgan Spronk was their go-to player.
Spronk led SWC in kills, and coach Brian Busker called her the team’s most dominating player offensively.
Her hard work over the years led her to a Red Rock all-conference selection this year.
Busker also praised the energy she brought to the team, calling her “very enjoyable to have on our team.”
Molly Jarmer Westbrook-Walnut Grove senior libero
In volleyball, defense wins games.
Molly Jarmer just wouldn’t let the ball drop.
Her ability to anticipate the ball before it crossed the net and pursue shots all across the court led her to amass 549 digs this season.
She also joined Elzenga and Madson as a team captain, a leadership combination that will be missed by coach Natalie Ross.
Sydne Springman Adrian Dragons junior setter
On paper, Sydne Springman has been a setter her whole career.
This year, it was her imposing play at the net that made her a standout for the Dragons and earned her a selection to the Red Rock all-conference team.
Springman led Adrian’s attack with 248 kills and also registered 75 ace blocks. She also added 141 set assists, 143 digs and 159 service points.
ALL-AREA THIRD TEAM
Tiffani Karbo Tracy-Milroy-Balaton junior setter
Very few players in the area rivaled Tiffani Karbo’s setting proficiency.
Karbo recorded a massive 671 set assists, and was named all-conference in the Camden Conference for the second time.
Amber Sebring Windom Eagles senior libero
A good libero needs to be able to throw their body around, and Amber Sebring did just that.
Sebring recorded a 90 percent serve reception rate to go with 228 digs.
Makenzie Giese Murray County Central junior outside-hitter
Makenzie Giese learned a lot from Elissa Reinsma, developing the same drive to always make herself and her teammates better.
She led the Rebels with 275 kills, adding 170 digs, 70 blocks and 35 service aces.
Mara Eichenberger Round Lake-Brewster senior setter
The Raiders’ Hustle Award may have to be renamed after Mara Eichenberger.
Her on-court persistence earned her the award, as well as the team’s MVP award. She had 406 set assists and 186 digs.
Courtney Donnelli Jackson County Central senior outside-hitter
Courtey Donnelli was a hidden weapon for the Huskies, switching from middle to outside-hitter.
She played strong defense with 280 digs, and her great line shot earned her 185 kills.
Kristen Andersen Worthington junior middle-hitter
The Trojans were outranked only by powerhouses JCC and Marshall in their state tournament bracket, and Kristin Andersen was a big reason why.
Andersen recorded 41 service aces, 181 kills and 171 digs
Courtney Vaske, Adrian
Nichole Loosbrock, Adrian
Racheal Steffl, Edgerton
Becca Sieff, Ellsworth
Andrea DeBoer, Ellsworth
Courtney Hulstein, Fulda
Lydia Brandt, H-LP
Samantha Brueggeman, H-LP
Jayme Plimpton, H-BC
Natalie Steuven, H-BC
Kaylee Benson, JCC
Sarah Darling, JCC
Michelle Van Epps, JCC
Katlyn Sawtelle, Luverne
Kaitlin Feil, ML/B-O
Laura Romsdahl, ML/B-O
Abby Van Meveren, MCC
Bree Woelber, Pipestone Area
Alyssa Fredrickson, RRC
Britney Mouw, SWC
McKenzie De Kam, SWC
Abby De Groot, SWC
Jennifer Schmidt, SSC
Courtney Place, SSC
Ashley Daniels, T-M-B
Kate Johnston, T-M-B
Dayna Comnick, W-WG
Anne Woelber, W-WG
Taylor Heidebrink, WHS
Martha Alwal, WHS