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. Next are three teams at the U17 level. Again, we find some of the nation’s best prep athletes and future college stars.
Minnesota Select 17-1
The MN Select 17-1 squad returns some key athletes from 2017 while adding some great additions heading into 2018. Returning outside hitters Maizy Jackson (Benilde) and Syra Tanchin (STMA) are currently ranked #14 and #21 among Prep Dig’s Minnesota class of 2019 athletes. Jackson is also a Northern Iowa commit and a reigning Minnesota Class AAA all-state honorable mention selection. Jackson and her teammates will rely on the ball control skills of fellow returning defensive specialist Madison McIntosh (St. Louis Park HS), #16 among Prep Dig’s rankings. Some of the key additions include junior right side Kate Achenbach (Osseo HS), ranked #35, as well as junior setter Madison Schaefer (Totino-Grace) and junior outside/right side Alexie Pryd (Maple Grove HS), ranked #52 and #79 respectively. Middle blocker Sami Hilley (Champlin Park HS) is another great addition, ranked #14 in the class of 2020. The roster is rounded out by a pair of juniors in middle Selena Levendoski (Clayton HS) and outside hitter Kelsie Sealock (Osseo HS). This group will see some great competition in February as they will travel to Milwaukee for the JVA Milwaukee Jamboree before heading to Las Vegas for the highly competitive Las Vegas Classic event.
Northern Lights 17-1
The NL 17-1 squad has talent to compete among the best within their age group and above. However, it is in a 2021 setter that this group will rely on a lot to lead this highly capable offense. Kennedi Orr (Eagan HS) is a Nebraska commit, touches over 10 feet, and has multiple years of varsity level experience already as a ninth grader. She has plenty of options among her attackers, led by #1 and #2 ranked 2019 prospects in the state of Minnesota. Top-ranked Kyndra Hansen (Mahtomedi HS) is an outside hitter while teammate Blythe Rients (St. Paul Academy) is a middle blocker. Both are committed to Iowa. Other weapons on the pins include #4 ranked and UCLA bound Marissa Hinkle (Rosemount HS), #6 ranked and Minnesota Class AA all-state selection Peyton Suess (Kasson-Mantorville HS), #9 ranked Christine Graf (Edina HS), and #17 ranked Jasmine Mulvihill (Lakeville South HS). Also competing in the middle are Gabrielle McCaa (Minneapolis SW HS) and Ellie Husemann (Eagan HS), ranked #7 and #8 respectively. The ball control will be led by Minnesota bound Rachel Kilkelly (Shakopee HS), the #13 ranked athlete in the state. Erika Brute (Alden-Conger HS), the #15 ranked athlete, will contribute as a libero/setter. The team’s first big event will be at the January Thaw tournament at the end of the month in Omaha.
Kandi Elite 17-1
The Kandi Elite 17-1 squad features some of the best talent in the west central area of Minnesota. Outside hitter Makenna Steffel (BOLD HS) is ranked #43 in the Prep Dig rankings of class of 2019 athletes. Competing with her are a pair of MACCRAY High School teammates in middle blocker Piper Asche and defensive specialist Danni Burns. Asche is ranked #54 in the class of 2019 and both are recent 2017 Camden all-conference honorable mention selections. Libero Riley Decker (Morris HS) is ranked #57 and will be joined in the backcourt by fellow libero Avery Elfering (RCW HS). Representing Willmar High School on the KEVC 17-1 team are middles Sydney Olson and Grace Marti, outside hitter Caitlin Ogdahl, and setter Carly Wedel, a Central Lakes all-conference selection. Marti was named Central Lakes all-conference honorable mention in 2017. Kendra Hardy (Alexandria HS), another Central Lakes all-conference selection, will play opposite. Morgan Cleveland (Canby HS) rounds out the roster as a setter and utility option. KEVC 17-1 begins their competitive schedule with the Big City Luau in the Twin Cities area at the end of January.