Wisconsin Class of 2020: Top Available Middle Blockers
Every player on the court will say their position is the toughest to play, but for a middle blocker – the lateral defensive moves, knowing what the other side of the net is doing at all times, and then transitioning…
Every player on the court will say their position is the toughest to play, but for a middle blocker – the lateral defensive moves, knowing what the other side of the net is doing at all times, and then transitioning to see the ball fly to the outside can be quite the job. A middle has to be a workhorse, someone who doesn’t take a play off, someone who anticipates and reads well, and someone who can be efficient. The Class of 2020 already has middles in Kiara Reinhardt going to Creighton, Elise Goetzinger to Kentucky, and Karina Leber to Colorado State, but here are more that are on the radar to take a look at.
Carly Clausen – Milwaukee Sting – Catholic Memorial
Clausen will be one of two middles for Catholic Memorial that will be extremely athletic and strong defensively for the Crusaders. This past club season she played for Milwaukee Sting gaining valuable training and experience. Last year Catholic Memorial finished the year on a tear by making the state tournament with a relatively young team. Clausen had 96 total blocks and hit just under .300.
Sarah Mattes – Motion MVP – Greendale
One of the biggest misconceptions in volleyball is the tallest athlete must play middle. Wrong. Overall, this group of 2020 middles are full of athleticism and are extremely dynamic being able to close the block and attack off of one foot for a slide. Mattes has the ability to play any of the front row positions, but in the middle she is so quick pin to pin that she can take up space and also be very terminal offensively as well.
Madelyn Kelley – Capital Volleyball Academy – Verona
Kelley and her high school and club setter Jordan Armstrong had a strong connection all season. If Verona can get in system these two will be tough to handle with Kelley being able to swing uptempo or go out for the slide. Last year Kelley had a solid counterpart in North Dakota State recruit, Kristin Tidd, where Kelley will be a definite go to for the Wildcats this fall.
Emily Alan – Wisconsin Juniors – Burlington
Burlington is full of solid all around volleyball players, the gym is full of future Division 1 athletes and Alan is quietly effective in establishing herself in the middle and will be relied upon to be efficient, score a few points, and let the backrow which at times could have Kaley Blake (Milwaukee commit), Maddie Berezowitz (Kentucky commit), and Sam Naber (Marquette commit). Alan was on the Wisconsin Juniors 16-1 team that had a very strong season and played alongside Karina Leber at middle who is heading to Colorado State.
Ava Rebarchik – Milwaukee Sting – Sussex Hamilton
Hamilton definitely has the pieces to be dangerous this Fall with solid all around players and defense. Rebarchik is strong and physical at the net and will be a force on offense and defense. With virtually their whole team returning from last season, look for the Chargers to make a run in 2017.
Katie Pogodzinski – Royal – Milwaukee Pius XI
Pogodzinski will be the main go to in the middle for the Popes this year who will be looking to regain their long standing tradition of being a strong competitor for conference and state tournament appearances. Pogodzinski at just under six feet tall has the athleticism to be a threat in the middle and one opponents will need to key on.
Olivia Asare – Wisconsin Volleyball Academy – Appleton North
Asare has come on very strong in the past couple months for WVA and Appleton North. Her best volleyball is definitely ahead of her as she comes into her own. A solid athlete and savy for the game, she brings a physical style of play to the net and is very high IQ with her shot selection and how to score points, even with a chance to play on the right side. Keep her on the radar as she continues to improve her game throughout the season.