Badger Region 17/18 Open Pool and Player Breakdown
One last time…for some of these athletes who are Seniors this may be the last time they will be playing competition in the state of Wisconsin. For some it might be the last time, others it might not be until…
One last time…for some of these athletes who are Seniors this may be the last time they will be playing competition in the state of Wisconsin. For some it might be the last time, others it might not be until next fall, or for those playing their collegiate volleyball out of state it could be the last time for years. Badger Region is always a special tournament, and in this case some of these athletes have been playing together at Badger Region since they were twelve years old.
In this year’s Badger Region 17s and 18s division, Badger Region has combined the 17s and 18s into one division and has made an Open division of the top nine teams. Great call! There are some clubs that will not be making an appearance this year because this tournament conflicts with the JVA World Challenge held in Louisville. With three weekends of Badger Region, it is almost impossible not to find a conflicting date between the Great Lakes Power League, The MidEast Qualifier, and the JVA World Challenge. This is still a tournament loaded with talent and future collegiate players of all levels.
Milwaukee Sting 18 Gold
Southwest Volleyball Club 18
WVA 17 Black
Milwaukee Sting Gold will be the heavy favorite to win this pool, but expect a battle from all teams. The matchup between Southwest and WVA to be a great back and forth battle. Southwest is loaded with athletes who have been playing together for a very long time and WVA is a team that has had flashes of greatness.
Players To Watch:
Miranda Wucherer – Setter – Milwaukee Sting 18 Gold – Brookfield Central
The name “Wucherer” is going to be a name that will be in the Sting program for many years between the three sisters of Miranda, Abby, and Mckenna. Miranda will be playing in her last Badger Region tournament before she plays her collegiate volleyball at Northern Kentucky. This year for Sting 18 Gold, Wucherer has played right side and set. Her top spin jump serve is lethal and can go on a run in a hurry. Sting has earned an Open bid to Nationals and will be looking to stay healthy and fine tune their game before Anaheim at the end of the month.
Abby Arena – Outside – Southwest VBC 18 – West Allis Hale
Arena is one of the best kept secrets in Wisconsin volleyball, but I am predicting a solid career for her under Coach Jon Ellmann at UW Oshkosh. Arena is a multisport athlete that racked up over 1500 kills and 1000 digs in her career at West Allis Hale. Southwest has a group of plenty of multisport athletes and will be a dangerous match up in a crossover. Arena is one of their main go to players that can do a little bit of everything really well!
Gabby Murray – MB – WVA 17 Black – Xavier
Murray is one of the top hitters still available from the Class of 2019. With a high touch and a big block, Murray can play in the middle which would be her first position, but can also play on the pin. WVA 17 Black is scrappy with some undersized pins in Rachel Aasby and Jenna Chaussee who are All State, six rotation players as well as setter Olivia Olson who can set and hit.
Milwaukee Sting 18 Black
WVA 18 Black
Wisconsin Premier 18 Teal
This pool is up for grabs, but Milwaukee Sting 18 Black definitely has the upper hand. Sting Black has been competing at the open level and most recently finished ahead of Sting Gold at the MidEast Qualifier. WVA 18 Black has had some injuries, but most recently went 0-7 at MEQ. Wisconsin Premier has been playing well as of late and had a tight three set match against WVA at the Badger Region Qualifier, that will be a key match up in this pool.
Players To Watch:
Sarah Klobuchar – Setter – Milwaukee Sting 18 Black – Brookfield Central
Milwaukee Sting 18 Black runs a 6-2 offense with Klobuchar and Tommy Albers of Neenah. Klobuchar has committed to Doane University which is an NAIA school in the Great Plains Athletic Conference which is a volleyball powerhouse sending multiple teams to the NAIA National Tournament each year (Viterbo in La Crosse finished third in the national last year at the NAIA National Tournament). Klobuchar is a steady, dependable setter that puts the ball in place for the power of Cori Meyers, Abby Koenen, and Abby Hamilton to terminate.
Alexis Dorner – MB/RS – WVA 18 Black – Luxemburg-Casco
Dorner will be playing in her last Badger Region championship before heading to Green Bay to play under new head coach, Abby Sutherland. Dorner has been playing with setter, Megan Cannon for years at L-C and will get to finish their club career together for WVA. Dorner can play middle or on the right side. With Emily Scott, a Louisville recruit, focusing on track and not being full time with WVA, it will be Dorner’s versatility that will be key for her team.
Shea Lauria – Libero – Wisconsin Premier 18 Teal – Brookfield East
Lauria has had a stellar year climbing up the prospect ranks at libero for Wisconsin Premier. Premier is a team that has been playing extremely well lately with Ari Miller (UW Milwaukee) in the middle and Abby Neidinger (Oakland) on the outside. Lauria is from the Class of 2019 and will be a solid catch at the Division 1/Division 2 level as a libero.
FC Elite 17 Navy
Milwaukee Sting 18 Silver
WVA 17 Red
FC Elite 17 Navy has been steamrolling teams all season, finishing in the top ten of teams at the Great Lakes Power League. They will have one more opportunity to increase their bid to an Open for Nationals when they head to the Northern Lights Qualifier in Minneapolis at the end of April. Milwaukee Sting 18 Silver has a roster of college athletes that are extremely tough with Rylie Vaughn and Jessica Grabowski heading to Milwaukee and a group of Division 2 athletes who will be very competitive with Elite. WVA 18 Red has a mix of athletes from 2018 to 2020, but could be an interesting match up in the crossover rounds.
Players To Watch:
Hannah Vanden Berg – OH/OPP – FC Elite 17 Navy – Little Chute
Vanden Berg can play anywhere in the front row and score points, she can play anywhere in the backrow and score points. With an offer accepted to Marquette, she is very comparable to the likes of Hope Werch who was the Big East Freshman of the Year at Marquette and Neenah alum. Vanden Berg is joined on Elite by current Neenah players, Kayla Kraus and Addison Barnes who along with Kasey Bell were cheering for their future school in the final four in Loyola-Chicago.
Annie Pulizos – MB – Milwaukee Sting 18 Silver – Greendale
Pulizos is a multisport athlete who will be heading to Purdue Northwest which is a Division 2 school part of the Great Lakes Valley Conference with schools from Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and UW Parkside. At Greendale, Pulizo was part of multiple state tournament runs and knows what it takes to win. With solid first contact, Sting can run a quick middle and Pulizos is very terminal and IQ allowing her to be very effective off a free ball or transition.
Taylor Vanden Berg – Setter – WVA 18 Red – Appleton North
Vanden Berg is a little bit of a unique situation here being one of the few Class of 2020 athletes to be playing at the 18s level in this tournament. At six feet tall and a setter, Vanden Berg is very athletic and physical at the net. Playing up two levels has allowed her to compete at a very fast pace with players who may have more experience. Vanden Berg will be playing at Appleton North which has asserted itself as one of the top programs in the Fox Valley and a contender for a state tournament appearance year in and year out.