10 Stars: Heartland Cup 17/18s Power League
Alex Lemke (Lincoln East) on the near side of VCNebraska 17 Elite competes for a ball against MacKenzie Saitta (Elkhorn South) of Nebraska Elite 171 TKO during Sunday’s match. (Photo by Berk Brown). Here are the 10 stars – listed…
Alex Lemke (Lincoln East) on the near side of VCNebraska 17 Elite competes for a ball against MacKenzie Saitta (Elkhorn South) of Nebraska Elite 171 TKO during Sunday’s match. (Photo by Berk Brown).
Here are the 10 stars – listed alphabetically – from the Heartland Cup 17-18 Power League on Sunday.
Michaela Bartels (Bennington), Nebraska Elite 171 TKO – During the course of the day, Pool 1 proved to be the much tougher division and it was loaded with quality middles. The Nebraska-Kearney recruit put up a really impressive block against larger players across the net and was really effective in all three matches.
Kelsie Cada (Bishop Neumann), VCNebraska 17 Elite – Cada’s heavy arm was on full display on Sunday, showing she can terminate against pretty much anyone. The Wayne State recruit continues to impress with not only the power of her shots, but with the array of them.
Mayah Delgado (Omaha Duchesne), Nebraska Elite 161 Vici – Delgado wasn’t healthy for most of the high school season, so it’s going to be exciting to see what she does during the club season and she got off to a great start on Sunday. Her physical presence at the net and powerful arm helped lead her team to an undefeated day.
Anna Gregerson (Papillion-LaVista South), Nebraska Juniors 171 Black – Gregerson, who is committed to Palm Beach Atlantic, seems to always get better. On Sunday, her athleticism and blocking looked pretty good She’s something of a late bloomer, so the progress she makes between now and June/July has the potential to be off the charts.
Lily Heim (Omaha Marian), Nebraska Juniors 181 Black – Just a silky-smooth operator at setter, Heim looked in mid-season form for her first time out with Nebraska Juniors this club season. The SMU recruit also got a little bit of a chance to flash her attacking – which she couldn’t really do running a 5-1 at Omaha Marian.
Alexandra Lemke (Lincoln East), VCNebraska 17 Elite – The Drake recruit is a player that has really impressed with her development over the past couple season. Her setting has come a long ways, but she has really become a powerful left-handed force at the net with her attacking. She hits a really heavy ball compared to what she did in her younger years.
Lucy O’Brien (Omaha Marian), Nebraska Elite 16 Vici – Any time you can go 3-0 against quality competition, your team is getting strong play from its back row and Lucy O’Brien was providing just that for her squad on Sunday. As the team works to get more comfortable with its new setter – Tria McLean – the more important O’Brien’s play will be in its early success.
Leah Palensky (Papillion-LaVista South), Nebraska Juniors 171 Black – Palensky looked good in her club season debut after missing the final portion of the high school season with an injury. She also seems to have gotten bigger and stronger and was flashing some good all-around defense as the libero for Nebraska Juniors.
MacKenzie Saitta (Elkhorn South), Nebraska Elite 171 TKO – Saitta’s approach and ability to rise high on the attack is absolutely beautiful to watch. There might not be a higher riser than the Tenneessee-Chattanooga commit from Elkhorn South and teams were struggling to deal with her attack at the net all day.
Ana Thacker (Lincoln East), VCNebraska 18 Black – Sometimes, when you pull someone out of their comfort zone at the last minute, it goes really well with zero time to think about it. That’s what happened with Thacker – a Hastings college recruit – who normally plays right side but was forced into action as a middle and she was one of the best players in Pool 2 on the day.