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Ysker a complete package for Windom

ST. PAUL -- Windom's Megan Ysker may be listed as a setter on the roster, but her skills on a volleyball court go way beyond setting.

For her talents on the volleyball court, Ysker was named as a first team All-State player earlier this week.

"It's really exciting," Ysker said of the honor. "But I really didn't expect it."

While Ysker may have been surprised, her coach knew she was deserving.

"She's by far one of the best players in this part of the state, if not the state," Windom head coach Ron Wendorff said. "She's just a very gifted player and has a great attitude about the game. She never gets flustered and has a smile on her face all the time, and she has the quickest arm swing you'll ever see. She can jump really well and has soft hands on the set. She's a complete package, no doubt about it, she's just an awesome player."

For Wendorff, it's easy to see the love Ysker has for the sport.

"She loves the game; she's always playing it," Wendorff said. "It's something that she's worked hard at and she loves the sport. She's going to play a lot of volleyball for a long time somewhere."

In the Eagles' semifinal victory over Chisholm, Ysker showed how complete of a player she is. She scored seven straight points from the service line in the third game to spark her team's sweep over the Bluestreaks.

Ysker later admitted that she has worked on her serving this season.

"I think my serving has improved for me the most going through the year," Ysker said. "(The run) was pretty good. I really didn't know if I'd be on top of my game or not, but it proved that I did, and serving is part of everything."

The junior entered the state tournament with a team-leading 60 aces. She had six in Windom's opening-round victory over Wheaton.

However, Ysker does more than just serve. She is second on the team with 225 kills and also has 50 blocks, second only to Casey Christensen.

"We have her do everything for us. She's one of our best blockers when she's at the net, and obviously she's one of our strongest hitters," Wendorff said. "But she also sets the ball so darn well that you have to keep her setting the ball. She's a good defender, and of course the serving. There isn't anything that she doesn't do well. We use every aspect that we can of her."

Ysker had six kills in each of the first two matches at the state tournament, and had 17 set assists in the first match compared to 14 in the second. She said that being able to do one helps with the other.

"I think setting helps me with my hitting in the aspect of finding my hitters and everything," Ysker said. "I like hitting because it's more aggressive."

Listed as 5-10, Ysker thinks being tall allows her to hit as well as set.

"I think part of it is because I'm tall for the hitting part of it," Ysker said. "And I've been setting since I was in eighth grade."

Having a late growth spurt has also helped lead the Windom front line.

"She's gotten stronger and has grown about four inches in the last three years," Wendorff said. "She's one of those girls that grew later on."

Earlier this season, Ysker reached a setting milestone as she recorded her 1000th career set assist.

"It was actually homecoming week," Ysker said of her accomplishment. "It was cool because it's been my dream ever since I started setting to get my 1000th set assist."

With one more victory, the Eagles and Ysker will accomplish another dream: a state championship.

"I'm excited for tomorrow and the championship game," Ysker said. "I think my setting is going to have to really dominant to try and find my hitters, and hitting wise, try to get off my shots. We're pretty much on top of our game."

Windom will have to continue to play well against a tough Bethlehem Academy squad. But Wendorff said that having Ysker will be an advantage.

"She's going to have to play very well, and to be honest with you, I think that's the one thing that we have that they don't," Wendorff said. "I don't think they have anyone quite as strong as she is in all those parts of the game. We expect her to have a good game, and if she does, we're going to be just fine."