The competition was thick this weekend in Gothenburg. With two ranked teams in C-1, Kearney Catholic and Ogallala, as well as teams with state tournament experience, the underdog came out on top. St. Paul was given the championship after it…
The competition was thick this weekend in Gothenburg. With two ranked teams in C-1, Kearney Catholic and Ogallala, as well as teams with state tournament experience, the underdog came out on top. St. Paul was given the championship after it was all said and done on Saturday. There were many notable players throughout the tournament, but some stood out as definite difference makers for their teams.
Hayley Fox was undoubtedly an influential player for the Wildcats. Coming off of an ACL tear the week before the state tournament last year, Fox is slowly but surely working back into her game. The 6’1″ junior has played in the middle for part of her career, but is now making her mark on the left-side. Her ability to swing down the line consistently puts her at the top of her position. St. Paul lost their first match of the tourney, but rallied back to win their next five, including a win over Ogallala.
Diana Reed, senior, of Ogallala was the definite go-to for the Indians this weekend. Her athleticism and dynamic approach and arm swing allow her to hit shots with ease and just swing the ball hard. In addition to her front row presence, she defends well out of the back row and is a key ball handler for her team.
Arleigh Costello and Gracie Stienike carried the load for Gothenburg. Costello swings a mean ball out of the middle. Being a left-handed middle is unusual, but when it works, it works. The awkward angles and confusion of where to set the block on a lefty in the middle really makes life tough on the defense. The senior middle does a great job of hitting either direction and exploiting teams’ defenses. Stienike does everything else for the Swedes. The half-time setter, half-time swinger showcases her knowledge and athleticism by playing multiple positions. Her fast arm and experience playing make her extremely fun to watch. This duo will for sure lead the Swedes to more upsets this season.
Ashlynn Schmaderer, former libero for the Stars, has expanded her volleyball repertoire by becoming a left-side hitter. Her controlled ball handling and athleticism make her able to play anywhere on the court. The 5’6″ senior may be little, but she is mighty. Though doesn’t crush balls like a traditional left-side, she gets the job done with extraordinary court awareness and volleyball savvy.
Other notable players:
Jensen Rowse (OH) Minden, Alexas Kuehn (L) Minden, Olivia Micek (S) Kearney Catholic, Emily Barr (MH) Hershey