The best around: All-conference volleyball teams announced
By Paul Lecker
Cloverbelt Conference East Division
Spencer won its fifth-straight Cloverbelt Conference East Division championship, one win ahead of second-place Marshfield Columbus Catholic, and each team had six players selected to the 2016 all-conference volleyball team.
Both the Rockets and Dons had two players picked by the conference coaches to the first team, second team, and honorable mention squads.
Spencer libero Jenna Rogers and Columbus Catholic’s Kendra Baierl, both seniors, were named to the first team for the second-straight year. Joining them are Spencer’s Jenna Schober and Columbus’ Sierra Litwaitis, both of whom were honorable mention choices last season.
Baierl had 529 kills this season, finishing her stellar career with 1,135. She also recorded 54 blocks and 58 service aces.
Litwaitis, a four-year starting libero for the Dons, had a team-high 404 digs, ending her career with 1,263.
Kassidy Lamovec of Greenwood, Karsyn Rueth of Loyal, and Jocelyn Thur of Neillsville/Granton were also named to the seven-player first team.
Celine Scholin and Jennifer Reigel of Columbus were repeat all-conference performers, both being named to the second team. Scholin was also a second-team pick in 2015, and Reigel was honorable mention.
Scholin finished second on the Dons with 264 kills and 44 blocks. Reigel had 407 assists this season and finished with 1,351 for her career.
“Sierra was our top receiver and was able to put the ball into our setter’s hands,” Columbus Catholic coach Kat Egle said. “Celine helped our defense out with her strong blocking skills and her play at the net. Jennifer was a strong server and digger for the team.”
Spencer’s Sadie Mercier and Liz Endreas were also second-team picks. Mercier was an honorable mention selection last year.
Columbus seniors Natalie Pospyhalla and Maddie DeSmet and Spencer seniors McKenzie Bainer and Courtney Buss were among those earning honorable mention status.
Wisconsin Valley Conference
Marshfield seniors Anna Ripp and Stephanie Rhodes capped off terrific careers by being named unanimously to the first team of the All-Wisconsin Valley Conference Volleyball Team for the second-straight year.
Ripp, the Tigers’ setter, became the program’s first player to reach the 2,000 assist mark for her career. Rhodes, an all-around player, led Marshfield in kills and digs and surpassed 1,000 kills for her varsity career late in the season.
“Anna has been a tremendous leader for us this season both on the court and in the weight room,” Marshfield coach Dawn Sadowska said. “Our offense got faster throughout the season, and that was due entirely to Anna’s ability to accurately time her sets with all of our hitters.
“Stephanie has been a dependable all-around player for us this season. She was a critical part of both our offense (serve receive to attacking) and our defense (blocking and digging) as her statistics throughout the season prove.”
Conference champion D.C. Everest had three unanimous first-team picks: Regan Stefan, Natalie Mohring, and Jenna Rombalski. Merrill’s Morgan Wardall also was a unanimous first-team pick. Ally Miklesh of Stevens Point and Katie Zelinski of Merrill round out the eight-person first team.
Marshfield seniors Alexa Aumann, a hitter, and Maureen Cassidy, the team’s libero, were among the second-team selections for the Tigers, which finished 7-5 and in third place in the WVC standings.
“Alexa came into her own this season, showing everyone her versatility as we ran her both as an outside hitter and a middle hitter,” Sadowska said. “She was a force in both positions and was able to attack a number of different sets. Mo (Cassidy) has been a defensive player since she was a sophomore but became our libero this season. Specifically, Mo’s defense and leadership in the back row stood out in every match. Mo’s specialty was digging tips that most liberos could not defend.”
Senior middle hitter Jamila Ougayour was Marshfield’s lone honorable mention selection.
Marawood Conference South Division
Stratford junior Makayla Krall and sophomore Mazie Nagel were two of the six players that earned unanimous first-team honors on the 2016 All-Marawood Conference South Division Volleyball Team, which was voted on after the season by conference coaches.
Krall was the Tigers’ captain and led Stratford in blocks and was second in kills this season as the team went 5-1 and finished second to four-time WIAA Division 4 state champion Wausau Newman Catholic.
Nagel led the Tigers in digs, kills, and assists and was second behind Krall in blocks. Both finished in the top 10 in the conference in attack percentage and kills per game.
“Krall is an explosive player both offensively and defensively,” Stratford coach Brooke Kafka said. “She is one of the most determined and hungry players I have met. Mazie has been a powerhouse for our team the past two years. She is a hard-working and driven individual.”
Marathon’s Jenna Dick and Newman Catholic’s Rylie Vaughn, Mariah Whalen, and Julianne Barkholz were also unanimous first-team selections. Marathon’s Amanda Kind was voted to the seven-member first team as well.
Stratford senior hitter Andie Zuelke and sophomore setter/hitter Brooke Peterson were among the eight second-team selections along with Auburndale senior Brooke Anderson and sophomore Cindy Jensen.
“Brooke Anderson was our only senior this year, and she did a great job of leading her team by example,” Auburndale coach Peggy Empey said. “She was very hard working and always had a positive attitude. She was great at reading the hitters and getting herself in the correct position to make a play as our libero.
“Cindy Jensen, a sophomore in her second year on varsity, is a huge presence in the middle front as a blocker and attacker. Her improvement throughout the season was wonderful as she led our team in kill percentage and blocking.”
Mackenzie Raab and Teryn Lau of Auburndale and Jadyn Dahlke and Katie Krueger of Stratford were honorable mention choices.
Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 All-Cloverbelt Conference East Division Volleyball Team
First team: Sierra Litwaitis, sr., Marshfield Columbus Catholic; Kendra Baierl, sr., Marshfield Columbus Catholic; Kassidy Lamovec, sr., Greenwood; Karsyn Rueth, sr., Loyal; Jocelyn Thur, sr., Neillsville/Granton; Jenna Rogers, sr., Spencer; Jenna Schober, sr., Spencer.
Second team: Celine Scholin, sr., Marshfield Columbus Catholic; Jennifer Reigel, sr., Marshfield Columbus Catholic; Kelly Nielsen, jr., Greenwood; Morgan Reinwand, sr., Loyal; Morgan Hauge, sr., Neillsville/Granton; Sadie Mercier, jr., Spencer; Liz Endreas, sr., Spencer.
Honorable mention: Kiersten Weiland, jr., Colby; Natalie Pospyhalla, sr., Marshfield Columbus Catholic; Maddie DeSmet, sr., Marshfield Columbus Catholic; Taylor Hendricks, sr., Gilman; Mindy Schoengarth, sr., Neillsville/Granton; Brittany Schwark, sr., Owen-Withee; McKenzie Bainer, sr., Spencer; Courtney Buss, sr., Spencer.
2016 All-Wisconsin Valley Conference Volleyball Team
First team: *Regan Stefan, sr., outside hitter, D.C. Everest; *Jenna Rombalski, jr., outside hitter, D.C. Everest; *Natalie Mohring, jr., setter/outside hitter, D.C. Everest; *Stephanie Rhodes, sr., outside/middle hitter, Marshfield; *Anna Ripp, sr., setter, Marshfield; *Morgan Wardall, jr., middle hitter, Merrill; Katie Zelinski, sr., right side hitter, Merrill; Ally Miklesh, jr., setter, Stevens Point.
Second team: Skylar Rickstad, so., libero, Wausau West; Alexa Aumann, sr., outside/middle hitter, Marshfield; Caroline Hehir, sr., setter, D.C. Everest; Madeleine Burch, sr., middle/right side hitter, Stevens Point; Maureen Cassidy, sr., libero, Marshfield; Taylor Cichy, sr., libero, Merrill; Ieden Sheehan, jr., setter, Wausau West.
Honorable mention: Paige Brandenburg, so., outside hitter, Wausau West; Lexie Higgins, jr., middle hitter, D.C. Everest; Maddix Bonnell, jr., outside hitter, Merrill; Jordan Murphy, jr., setter, Wausau East; Teilyn Schubring, jr., libero, D.C. Everest; Jamila Ougayour, sr., middle hitter, Marshfield; Kelsie Belfiori, so., defensive specialist, Merrill; Sydney Salewske, sr., defensive specialist, Stevens Point; Lauren Luoma, sr., libero, Wausau East; Mya Hoernke, sr., setter, Wisconsin Rapids.
2016 All-Marawood Conference South Division Volleyball Team
First team: *Amanda Kind, sr., Marathon; *Mariah Whalen, Wausau Newman Catholic; *Rylie Vaughn, jr., Wausau Newman Catholic; *Makayla Krall, jr., Stratford; *Mazie Nagel, so., Stratford; Julianne Barkholz, jr., Wausau Newman Catholic; *Jenna Dick, jr., Marathon. (*unanimous selection)
Second team: Karley Fischer, jr., Marathon; Andie Zuelke, sr., Stratford; Cindy Jensen, so., Auburndale; Brooke Balz, jr., Marathon; Makenzie Krach, so., Wausau Newman Catholic; Brooke Peterson, so., Stratford; Brooke Anderson, sr., Auburndale.
Honorable mention: Chrysten Linzmeier, Wisconsin Rapids Assumption; Kara Milkey, Wisconsin Rapids Assumption; Mackenzie Raab, Auburndale; Teryn Lau, Auburndale; Elizabeth Boehm, fr., Marathon; Breck Wcisel, sr., Wausau Newman Catholic; Lauren Fech, sr., Wausau Newman Catholic; Erin Gast, sr., Northland Lutheran; Halley Englebrecht, sr., Northland Lutheran; McKayla Behselich, Pittsville; Lydia Sanken, so., Pittsville; Katie Krueger, sr., Stratford; Jadyn Dahlke, so., Stratford.