The 16s level can be so exciting to watch with athletes starting to develop their identity as a volleyball player and some teams have been playing together for a while and the early season chemistry is apparent. While watching these…
The 16s level can be so exciting to watch with athletes starting to develop their identity as a volleyball player and some teams have been playing together for a while and the early season chemistry is apparent. While watching these matches, there were so many noteworthy players, it was tough to narrow the list down to eleven (and no, that’s not a Stanger Things reference). With a variety of players on this list, the progress they make throughout the season will be very exciting. The recruiting process tends to heat up when athletes enter this age level. Here are a few (or eleven) to keep track of throughout the season.
Milla Malik (Waunakee) and KJ McNabb (Sun Prairie) – Capital Adidas 16 – Outside Hitters
For Capital 16 Adidas, you really can’t talk about one and not the other. Malik has one of the fastest arm swings I’ve seen at the 16s level so far this year. She is so quick to the ball with a very aggressive approach. Teams barely have enough time to get in position and blockers are off. By the time the defense gets to the spot where they are suppose to be Capital is already celebrating the point.
KJ McNabb is a true six rotation player with a repertoire of plenty of shots. Coming from a baseball background I think of Malik as the power pitcher where McNabb will hurt you with her placement, change of speeds, and then overpower you when the opportunity arises. These two will be fun to watch at GLPL this weekend!
Kaleigh Fitzgerald (Kettle Moraine) – Milwaukee Sting 16 White – Outside Hitter/Libero
For college coaches, they are evaluating the details of players that can’t always be measured with how high they touch or what all the stats are in the program. When watching Fitzgerald play, her body language says it all. She is fierce, competitive, intense, and can will her team to win. A solid ball handler, who is also playing on the outside this is an athlete that has those dispositions that are so key at the next level.
Julia Treichel (Wisconsin Lutheran) – Motion 16 Blu – Outside Hitter
Treichel is a true six rotation outside that can fly and is extremely athletic. Receiving a bulk of the sets for Motion, Treichel can put a ball down at any spot. She is very vocal on the court and plays with a fire, Motion (MVP) is athletic at every position and will continue to be a force in the Badger Region.
Tahya Pozorski (Oconomowoc) – Motion 16 Blu – Libero
Pozorski has all of the intangibles of a libero with great court sense, communicating with her hitters, and the body language to lead her team. She has a great platform, very fluid movement around the court, and solid with serve receive. MVP has very athletic middles and Madeline Seidenburg on the right side. This team has a lot of potential to be a great this upcoming club season.
Madeline Haines (Indian Trail) – Wisconsin Jr 16-1 – Middle Blocker
Haines can play in the middle or on the pin. At 6 feet tall and very long and athletic, Haines will be a go to for Wisconsin Juniors 16-1. She plays high and can move from pin to pin with relative ease. Whatever position she ends up playing she will be a force offensively and defensively.
Jordan Armstrong (Verona) – Capital Adidas 16 – Setter
On Saturday night, Armstrong ran a 5-1 offense with Capital Adidas 16 running a very balanced attack. Armstrong will always have options with Malik and McNabb, but I was impressed with how she was able to connect with her middles and get the ball to the rightside. At 5’11 she puts up a solid block, but is also a great defender. She will be one to watch at GLPL!
Isabelle Schauer (Watertown) – Milwaukee Sting 16 White – Setter
Smooth operator. Schauer isn’t flashy, she gets to the ball, she puts her hitters in position, plays great defense, and just when she becomes what you think is predictable, the lefty will send it over on two to score a point. Setters are comparable to point guards at times, they aren’t always noticed, but when their teams are winning (which Sting White went 3-0 Saturday night), there is always a great setter putting others in position to execute. Schauer does exactly that.
Madelyn Kelley (Verona) – Capital Adidas 16 – Middle Blocker
No wonder Kelley and Armstrong were having such a great night at the Winter Classic, they have probably been playing with each other for years, and will have a couple more at Verona High School together. Kelley is a 6’1 middle that puts down a heavy ball. With the solid ball control of Capital, it makes running the middle a little easier with a solid first contact. Kelley had plenty of one on one opportunities, very aggressive, and scoring a lot of points.
Katie DiRaimondo (Manitowoc Lincoln) – FC Elite 16 Navy – Outside Hitter
DiRaimondo spent her 15s year in the middle and has now switched to the outside. With her experience of blocking in the middle, she brings a physicality to the outside. A strong and athletic player, who is also very dynamic DiRaimondo will only get more refined on the outside and will eventually develop into a six rotation player once she has more experience playing in the backrow. Give her a clean set to the outside and it’s almost automatic to be a point.
Jacqueline Smith (Northland Pines) – Wisconsin Ice 16 – Outside Hitter
Smith is someone who can play all positions and is extremely versatile. This past weekend at the Winter Classic she played on the outside for Ice and led her team to Gold Bracket play. There is a lot of untapped potential here. Very athletic and springy, Smith will continue to climb up the ladder on the list of recruits for potential colleges.