Husker recruit Lindsay Krause (Skutt Catholic) of Premier 15 Gold prepares for a serve during Saturday’s action. (Photo by Berk Brown) After a really solid 5-team, round-robinNext Level 18 Gold Tournament, here are some of the take aways I have…
Husker recruit Lindsay Krause (Skutt Catholic) of Premier 15 Gold prepares for a serve during Saturday’s action. (Photo by Berk Brown)
After a really solid 5-team, round-robinNext Level 18 Gold Tournament, here are some of the take aways I have from it, broken down by the teams.
Nebraska ONE 17 Titanium
Marriah Buss (Lincoln Lutheran) was Marriah Buss. No surprise there. Augustana recruit Lexie Langley (Archbishop Bergan) did not play because she dislocated her left knee cap during prom. Nothing major apparently, but she will be out a handful of weeks.
I think perhaps my biggest take away of the whole tournament was just how impressive sophomore Lauren Taubenheim (Lincoln Pius X) has become. She looks like she’s grown and is a legit 6’2 or 6’3 and she has big-time potential. Watching her play on Saturday, she reminded me of aGatorade Player of the Year a couple years ago – Megan Wickey of Omaha Concordia who went to Ohio State before concussions put an end to her career.
Another huge take away for me on the day was how good Seward’s Camryn Opfer played defensive. She dug up some serious bullets on the day. Really, really impressive.
Hope Leimbach (Lincoln Lutheran) is Kelly Hunter’s mini-me. The kid is such a gutsy and fearless competitor. Midland University got an absolute steal with her.
There is not a better libero in this state right now than Erin Williams (Lincoln Lutheran).
Premier 17 Gold
I could watch this team play all day. It’s such a balanced team, but what it ran up against on Saturday was an evenly matched opponent that had a player that simply took over the match.
When you talk abut the best full-rotation players in the state of Nebraska, Megan Skovsende, who committed to Creighton last week, has to be among the top three or four players in that discussion. Both she and Wyoming recruit Hailey Zuroske (Omaha Marian) are big-time attackers at this level. It will be interesting to watch Premier 17 Gold the next couple months to see if either of those two becomes that unstoppable force that can go off for 15-20 kills in a big-time match.
Taylor Pribyl (Omaha Concordia) has always been an impressive player as an outside hitter in high school, but with Zuroske and Skovsende, the Jacksonville State recruit plays middle and going against two outstanding middles from Nebraska ONE 17 Titanium (Fallon Stutheit and Kamryn Willman), Pribyl tallied eight kills.
Premier 15 Gold
Maybe it’s just because I haven’t seen Husker recruit Lindsay Krause (Skutt Catholic) play in 5-6 weeks, but man does she look a lot stronger.
Norah Sis (Papillion-LaVista) is so good, it’s sick. She’s going to be ridiculously big time.
It’s really hard to not picture MC Daubendiek being one of the top right sides in the state next year for Omaha Marian. She’s a tall, physical, lefty that is hard to stop. I definitely don’t want to try and make a living predicting what the Omaha Marian team will look like on the court this fall, but it’s also hard to not picture Sophia Steffes somewhere in the mix along the net.
Nebraska Elite 17 Razee
There are few certainties in life, but I’m willing to go ahead and say this: Paige Holdsworth (Millard North) is a future NAIA All-American at Bellevue University. Chalk it.
Kelsey Olson (Millard South) is finally healthy and at full strength for what is probably the first time in her career despite the fact that she has been a key contributor for the Patriots since her freshman year. The 6-foot middle is going to be an absolute steal for someone because she is just now starting to scratch the surface of her potential. She was quick, strong and confident on Saturday and looked really good.
Nobody gets more out of their talent than Lauren Walenz (Millard South), whose array of shots and ability to keep the ball in play completely makes up for her being a 5’9 outside hitter. She wants to play beach in college, and her game is perfect for that.
Club Legacy 18 ROX
Pittsburgh recruit Sabrina Starks (Platteview) has so much potential and there were flashes of that on Saturday. I found myself, however, wondering what she would be capable of doing if on a team with similarly talented players pushing her. There is no denying her talent, I just don’t think we’ve had a chance to really see it on full display.