PD Gauntlet – POTW Gamechangers of the Weekend
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Prep Dig has a POTW Contest where anyone can vote. This week we were looking for Gamechangers across different levels and from different areas. The Prep Dig Scouts have taken over. Rachel Kass, Breit Nelson, and myself had a group…
Prep Dig has a POTW Contest where anyone can vote. This week we were looking for Gamechangers across different levels and from different areas. The Prep Dig Scouts have taken over. Rachel Kass, Breit Nelson, and myself had a group chat that was on fire – texting from different courts of big time performances we saw throughout the weekend. Here are six that we nominated for the Prep Dig POTW – The Gamechangers.
– Adrenaline 16 Doug
2025 Outside Hitter
Meester showed why she is rising among the top outside hitters in the country in the Class of 2025. She has a cannon for an arm and was a big time point scorer this weekend for the squad out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This Adrenaline team made a huge first impression on the qualifier season when they made it to day three gold pools at MEQ. There are others on this squad who have shown some big promise. Carley Jonker is such a great athlete at libero and is so steady. Adalyn Hermanson was swinging big on the outside and the right side who seems to jump higher every time I see her on the court is Sydney Maue. She’s got to be touching over 10 feet as a left handed right side. The prior weekend she finished second in Iowa’s Class 3A high jump. She will have a fun summer ahead with her recruiting process.
– Northern Lights 17-1
2024 Middle Blocker
Ptacek is a dynamic middle blocker who can score in multiple ways. She is deadly off one foot and was one of the top middles at the Prep Dig Gauntlet. She plays for Northern Lights out of Minnesota, but she is actually from Prescott, Wisconsin just across the Mississippi River. There was a fun moment in the championship of the 17s where she got to go head to head with her future Kansas Jayhawk teammate in. KU has a really strong 2024 recruiting class where they are extremely athletic and will be a lethal attacking crew.
– 1st Alliance 17 Gold
2024 Outside Hitter
Nelson was the top outside hitter in the tournament. She is looking to break fingers when she swings. Her arm swing is fast and she is continuing to add velocity on such a heavy ball which makes it so difficult for the defense to keep in system. 1st Alliance will head into the National Tournament where they will be looking to grab some hardware after a successful qualifier season and they were a gold bracket team in their age group in 2022. They control the ball and have plenty of balance which is always a recipe for success.
– Milwaukee Sting 16 Gold
2025 Middle Blocker
Pitcel is rising among the ranks of 2025 middle blockers where her athletic ability in the front row is unmatched. She is a great leaper and has a fast arm making for a really tough matchup. The other Prep Dig scouts and I were talking about how she always seems to score a big point when her team needs it the most. Her ability to use the open angles and hit the ball straight down is so fun to match to go along with her fast approach. Sting 16 Gold caught fire on Monday taking home the 16s crown, avenging their prior losses to Northern Lights and Michigan Elite.
– Michigan Elite 16 Mizuno
2025 Middle Blocker
Ignash plays with a ton of spark for Michigan Elite 16 Mizuno who lost a close three set battle to Sting in the championship of the 16s division. Ignash is a force at the net as a blocker and is really tough to stop when she can approach off one foot. The fate of Michigan Elite was in flux at the end of April where they had multiple top ten finishes in qualifiers, but didn’t get an open bid. They were awarded an at-large open bid and rightfully so with their number of high quality wins and a ranking of nine in the latest AES Rankings prior to the Prep Dig Gauntlet. Michigan Elite had some huge wins against top teams in the country this weekend and will be heading to Orlando in a few weeks to bring home a podium finish.
Josie Imes – Circle City 16 Purple
2026 Outside Hitter
Imes was key for Circle City 16 Purple who had a solid weekend, finishing runner up to Sting 15 Gold on Monday. Imes is a solid and consistent passer with a really solid all around game. On the outside she knows when to go for the big kill or hit the high IQ shot. She was a big reason for the success for the kids from Indy at the Prep Dig Gauntlet. As I watched Circle City, I kept thinking how positive her play was where she was always continuously bettering the ball. This Circle City team has improved immensely since I saw them at the Northern Lights Qualifier two months ago. With another month of training, they will be a dangerous team at the 15 National Division in Chicago.
– Illini Elite 16 Cardinal
2025 Middle Blocker
Illini Elite 16 Cardinal had a dominant performance in the Prep Dig Gauntlet with their only loss coming on Monday morning in the gold bracket to Michigan Elite. Sasse was a key piece to their success out of the middle where she was scoring points at will. The other Prep Dig scouts and I were saying she had to be hitting .700 over the weekend. She is athletic and physical with a quick arm swing where she found the floor for a lot of points throughout the weekend. She hits the ball square and her setters kept feeding her whenever they had the chance. They will be a fun team to keep tabs on in Orlando at AAU Nationals.