2011 All-Area volleyball announcedThe Daily Globe gives you your 2011 All-Area volleyball team.
By: Lucas Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
5-9 senior setter/hitter
As Windom’s only senior this season, Abby Hayenga contributed in all phases of the game of volleyball and has done so for a long time.
“Abby has been a tremendous leader for our team,” head coach Ron Wendorff said. “She has been on the varsity for four years and a starter for three seasons, helping the Windom Eagles win 104 matches during her outstanding career.”
A two-time member of the All-Southwest Conference team, Hayenga “did a little bit of everything for us” according to Wendorff.
Hayenga played as both a setter and a hitter, racking up some impressive statistics in nearly every category. For her career, she served at a 97-percent clip and accumulated 1,323 set assists to go along with more than 400 digs and 350 kills.
“Abby played in a 6-2 system where she only set for three rotations,” Wendorff said. “She was able to contribute in many other areas because of this, displaying the ability to hit well in the front row and defend well in the back row. She was certainly a very versatile player who had a big impact on every game that she played.”
Hayenga finished this season with 388 set assists, 144 kills, 125 digs, 46 total blocks and 19 ace serves to lead the Eagles to a 21-8 record. She was 253-for-264 serving (96 percent).
Jackson County Central
5-9 senior middle hitter
Despite suffering a season-ending knee injury midway through the year, Kaylee Benson was a catalyst in helping Jackson County Central put together another tremendous volleyball campaign.
“Kaylee’s knee injury was unfortunate, but she is a true champion and one of my hardest working players,” head coach Teresa Van Epps said. “She constantly pushes to make herself and her teammates better, always willing to put in the extra effort to succeed in everything she does.”
An All-Southwest Conference performer, Benson put up some big numbers before being sidelined in early October. The all-around athlete, who also excels in basketball during the winter and golf in the spring, was a force in the middle of the front row for the 26-4 Huskies.
Benson charted 193 kills, 170 digs, 44 ace blocks and 27 ace serves on a well-balanced team that had seven players smack at least 100 kills and seven players who also came up with more than 100 digs.
“Kaylee is an outstanding athlete who can jump well and put a good swing on the ball,” Van Epps said. “She made lots of things happen with her genuine athletic ability and was one of many great players on our team.”
Benson was able to support the Huskies during their run to the Section 3AA championship match.
Jackson County Central
5-8 senior outside hitter
Named as the Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association Class AA player of the year, Whitney Burmeister was an All-State performer who often times dominated on the volleyball court.
“Whitney is a tremendous all-around player and was a great senior captain for us,” head coach Teresa Van Epps said. “She obviously gained a lot of respect and attention throughout the area, as well as throughout the state. To be named as the player of the year in the entire state is quite an honor for Whitney.”
Burmeister pounded a total of 318 kills to the floor this year, increasing her career total to 1,026 successful spikes. She improved her yearly kill total in each of her four seasons in JCC’s varsity lineup.
Burmeister also finished the season with 327 digs, 61 ace blocks and 45 ace serves to help the Huskies to a record of 26-4, including 5-1 in the Southwest Conference — good enough for second place behind eventual state champion Marshall. She was once again selected to the all-conference team.
“Whitney can do it all, from defending in the back row to hitting in the front row,” Van Epps said. “She excels in all phases of the game and has been an instrumental player for us throughout her career. She will definitely be missed next year.”
5-10 senior setter/hitter
A natural leader who is able to play any position, Sydne Springman has a passion for the game of volleyball and helped the Adrian Dragons in all aspects throughout her four years on the varsity team.
“Sydne has been in the gym since she was five years old and has inspired the love of volleyball onto others,” head coach Lynette Springman said. “She was our ‘go-to’ girl and does so many things on the floor, whether it is setting, hitting, blocking, digging or serving. Whatever needs to be done, she will be a part of it.”
After playing as a setter for most of her career, Springman adjusted to more of a middle hitter role in the last two seasons to accommodate the Dragons’ needs. As a result, she was a solid all-around contributor.
Springman finished this season with 239 kills, 224 digs, 100 total blocks and 28 set assists. She was selected to the All-Red Rock Conference team for the second straight year.
“Sydne is very coachable and is always respectful to her teammates, as well as the coaches,” Lynette Springman said. “She keeps her composure on the court at all times and maintains a positive mood for the team.”
Springman had career totals of 551 kills, 418 digs, 312 blocks and 265 set assists for the Dragons.
5-10 junior outside hitter
Described by head coach Brian Busker as the best all-around and most consistent volleyball player for Southwest Christian, Amber Pater was a key part of a balanced approach that led the Eagles to a Red Rock Conference championship this season.
“Amber was the most powerful outside hitter in the conference and could easily have been featured in any other team’s offense,” Busker said. “We had a balanced team that used attacks from every position, so Amber might not have the statistics that others do. But she was so steady and very much an all-around player for our team.”
Pater ended the season with a team-best 166 kills and 185 digs, earning all-conference recognition from opposing coaches. She helped the Eagles to a 10-1 league record, which was part of an overall mark of 20-4.
SWC also claimed the top seed in the Section 3A South tournament, and although the Eagles were knocked out in five sets by Red Rock Central in the semifinals, the balanced squad was highly-successful.
“We have always been a balanced team with lots of girls who contribute in all areas of the game,” Busker said. “Amber was a key part of our success, as she played all the way around and was so consistent. She was our best all-around player.”
Red Rock Central
6-0 senior middle hitter
Continuing to improve throughout her volleyball career, Klarissa Larsen stepped up her game during her senior season to help Red Rock Central reach the Section 3A South championship match this year.
“Klarissa really did step up this year and became a very dominate player at the net for us,” RRC head coach Sara Arfsten said. “She nearly doubled her kills total from the previous two seasons combined. She has nice court vision and was good at seeing holes in the defense.”
Larsen recorded 328 kills, 119 digs and 39 total blocks this year. She was at about 94 percent serving with 112 points and 17 aces.
Forty-five percent of Larsen’s hit attempts landed for kills, as she had a .305 hitting percentage. A three-year starter and letter winner, she was selected to the All-Red Rock Conference team for the first time this season.
“Klarissa is very competitive and loves to win in everything she does,” Arfsten said. “She is very determined and is able to play through adversity. She played through an ankle injury throughout our playoff run, leading us at the net and finishing her career on a positive note.”
Larsen ended her career with 687 kills, 505 digs and 95 total blocks. A captain this year, she led RRC to an overall record of 19-9.
ALL-AREA SECOND TEAM
Hanna Bosma Southwest Christian 6-1 senior middle hitter
One of many key players on a balanced Eagles’ squad that won the Red Rock Conference title with a 10-1 league mark, Hanna Bosma charted 163 kills and 64 ace blocks.
“Hanna was the most intimidating middle hitter in our conference,” head coach Brian Busker said. “Every team we played adjusted to try and slow her down.”
Bosma was an all-conference selection for SWC, which went 20-4 overall.
Makenzie Giese Murray County Central 5-9 senior hitter
The offensive MVP for the Rebels, Makenzie Giese finished her career with 563 kills, 358 digs and 323 blocks.
“Makenzie was a great leader on our team,” head coach Kati Bobeldyk said. “She did so many good things to help us succeed, both offensively and defensively.”
Giese was a two-time All-Red Rock Conference performer.
Tiffani Karbo Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 5-8 senior setter
A four-year starter, Tiffani Karbo played a large role in helping T-M-B reach the Section 3A title match this season.
“Tiffani was a very good setter for four years,” head coach Katie Gervais said. “She was certainly a big part of our exciting playoff run.”
Karbo amassed 710 set assists this year, increasing her career total to 2,404. She also had 188 digs and 54 kills.
Michelle Van Epps Jackson County Central 5-9 junior setter/hitter
An All-Southwest Conference performer for the 26-4 Huskies, Michelle Van Epps contributed as both a setter and a hitter on the right side.
“Michelle is a leader on and off the court,” head coach Teresa Van Epps said. “She did a great job of running our offense as a setter.”
Van Epps finished the season with 531 set assists, 133 kills and 131 digs to help JCC reach the Section 3AA title match.
Hali Tasler Windom Eagles 5-8 junior outside hitter
A three-year starter and an All-Southwest Conference selection, Hali Tasler was a big-time player who helped the Eagles to a record of 21-8.
“Hali plays the game with a passion that is second to none,” head coach Ron Wendorff said.
Tasler led Windom with 236 kills and had 227 digs to go with a passing efficiency of 2.18.
Courtney Place Southwest Star Concept 6-2 freshman hitter
Earning All-Red Rock Conference honors for the second straight season, Courtney Place put up big numbers to lead SSC to an 18-11 record.
“Courtney is only a freshman, but she plays like a senior,” head coach Cindy Owen said. “She has such great, genuine athletic ability and brings so much to our team, as she is able to play well in all aspects of the game of volleyball.”
Place racked up 307 kills, 269 digs and was a part of 113 total blocks this year.
ALL-AREA THIRD TEAM
Courtney Hulstein Fulda Raiders 5-6 senior setter
Fulda’s MVP award went to Courtney Hulstein, who was an All-Red Rock Conference performer and charted 511 set assists and 190 digs — finishing her career with more than 1,000 set assists.
Maddie Rasche Southwest Star Concept 5-6 sen
Maddie Rasche posted 334 digs and 202 service points for SSC this season, playing solid in the back row and earning All-Red Rock Conference honors for the second straight year. She had 772 digs and 376 service points in her varsity career.
Taylor Heidebrink Worthington Trojans 5-9 senior setter
A multiple-year player, Taylor Heidebrink was a consistent setter who helped the Trojans to a record of 16-12 this season — producing 608 set assists, 162 digs and 72 kills to finish her career with 1,164 set assists.
Amanda Haupert Pipestone Area 5-5 junior libero
Selected as PA’s MVP, Amanda Haupert had a solid season and was recognized with an All-Southwest Conference award.
Haupert had 405 digs and 29 ace serves in addition to a passing efficiency of 2.026.
Chloe Arfsten Red Rock Central 5-7 junior outside hitter
One of several three-year starters for the Falcons, Chloe Arfsten had a strong season and was selected to the All-Red Rock Conference team. She registered 253 service points (82 aces), 248 digs and 216 kills for RRC, which went 19-9.
Dayna Comnick W-WG Chargers 5-10 sophomore hitter
An all-around player for the Chargers, Dayna Comnick was selected to the All-Red Rock Conference team. She finished the year with 266 digs, 231 kills, 64 ace serves, 41 set assists and 23 total blocks, helping W-WG to an overall record of 19-10.
Kristen Andersen, WHS
Mackenzie Gerber, WHS
Tara Svalland, WHS
Kelsey Hanefeld, Windom
Paige Erickson, W-WG
Alison Kircher, RRC
Jessica Menning, Edgerton
Ashley Daniels, T-M-B
Kate Johnston, T-M-B
Kristi Bose, MCC
Courtney Vaske, Adrian
Jennifer Schmidt, SSC
Kailey Wendland, RL-B
Abby Drenth, Ellsworth
Michaela Zeinstra, SWC
Silvia Zanini, Fulda
Rachel Cheadle, Fulda
Lydia Brandt, JCC
Sydnee Donnelli, JCC
Cheyenne Hemme, Luverne
Laura Romsdahl, ML/B-O