The North Country Region | Great Talent Featured at the U18 Level
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The North Country Region has many athletes and several clubs competing in 2018, including some of the best talent in the country located in Minnesota. As the club season is getting underway, Prep Dig will profile some of the best…
The North Country Region has many athletes and several clubs competing in 2018, including some of the best talent in the country located in Minnesota. As the club season is getting underway, Prep Dig will profile some of the best teams at the U15-U18 levels. We start with roster highlights from a few U18s as some are kicking off qualifying season this weekend.
Minnesota Select 18-1
One of the most competitive clubs in the North Country Region, MN Select boasts one of the best teams in the country at the U18 age group. The roster is loaded with talent at all positions including eight athletes committed to NCAA Division I schools that competed in the recent 2017 championships. Leading the way is the versatile and powerful Eleanor Holthaus (Rocori HS/Iowa State), Prep Dig’s current #1 ranked senior volleyball athlete in Minnesota. At one outside hitter position is Penn State bound junior, Lauren Clark (Armstrong HS). Clark provides great athleticism and a fast arm. Also contributing at the pins are seniors Grace Persson (Eden Prairie HS/Michigan) and Kari Zumach (Buffalo HS/Creighton) as well as junior Emma Schmidt (Champlin Park HS/Northern Iowa). The middle position is also loaded with seniors Kayla Bair (Prior Lake HS/Michigan) and Brynn Paumen (Maple Lake HS/Missouri). Junior middle Evie Harrington (STMA HS) is the lone uncommitted athlete to date according to the MN Select website. Leading the offense is senior setter Izzy Ashburn (Champlin Park HS). She is headed to Wisconsin, a Big Ten power known for having great athletes at the setter position. The ball control and defense will be led by junior Kaitlyn Weimerskirch (Champlin Park HS/Illinois State). The team’s first big test is this weekend at the Girls’ Winter Championship qualifier in Chicago.
Northern Lights 18-1
Northern Lights features a talented 18-1 team with several athletes committed to programs around the country. Senior Lauren Turner (Edina HS) will take her talents to the University of San Diego while fellow middle/opposite Kennedy Brady (Lakeville North HS) will be at Concordia. Seniors Ellie Koontz (Academy of Holy Angels/Marquette), Meg Schmidt (Jordan HS/SMSU) and McKenna Melville (Eagan HS/Central Florida) as well as junior Anna Erickson (Hopkins HS/uncommitted) will handle the point scoring on the pins. As Melville will also compete as a libero, she is joined in the backcourt by fellow senior Isabella Ratzloff (East Ridge HS/Rhode Island). A pair of senior setters round out the roster in Madeline Mackinac (Rosemount HS/Bemidji State) and Amanda Burger (Lakeville North HS/Academy of Art). Along with the NL Power League, NL 18-1 will be tested early at the KC MLK qualifier in Kansas City this weekend.
Fielding no U17 team in 2018, SWMNVB has a U18 roster comprised mostly of juniors. Returning in 2018 is senior setter Sydney Schwitters (MACCRAY HS). Schwitters is ranked #72 in Prep Dig’s class of 2018 player rankings for the state of Minnesota. She was also selected the 2017 Camden League North Division MVP. Joining SWMNVB this season is Prep Dig’s 57th ranked senior, Alexis Ferrell (Luverne HS). Ferrell is a reigning all-Big South Conference selection. Additional all-Big South selections are Marshall High School’s Whitney Schwartz (2018) and junior Erica Jones (2019). Jones is Prep Dig’s 87th ranked junior in Minnesota. Other Camden League all-conference selections include Lydia Sussner (Minneota HS) and Ellie Thein (MACCRAY HS). Sussner is Prep Dig’s 37th ranked junior in Minnesota and was also selected to the all-tournament team at the 2017 Minnesota high school state championships in helping her team to a runner-up finish. Rounding out the roster are juniors Maddy Guetter (Wabasso HS/40th ranked Minnesota junior), Meeghen Dahlager (YME HS/74th ranked Minnesota junior), Ahlea Wright (Canby HS), and Miah Kunkel (Adrian HS).