Breakout Stars from the WIAA State Tournament: Part 1
One thing I love about the State tournament is having new athletes jump onto my radar. I always come away from state with pages of notes from athletes across the state and across all divisions. What makes the state tournament…
One thing I love about the State tournament is having new athletes jump onto my radar. I always come away from state with pages of notes from athletes across the state and across all divisions. What makes the state tournament special is seeing players under pressure in a huge arena. Here are some breakout stars from the state tournament!
I don’t think there are enough pages to express how impressed I was with Maddie. It is hard to be a breakout star on a team as star-studded as the DSHA squad, but Maddie shined throughout the state tournament. She has some of the most natural and talented blocking instincts of any athlete I have seen. Add in her insane athleticism and discipline on the court, and it is the perfect equation for a high-level middle. Maddie is only a sophomore, and this is not the last we will see of her! If my math is correct, Maddie had 20 blocks across 11 sets; that is a truly impressive stat. In the semi-final match, she had 9 kills, 0 errors, and hit a 0.643.
I am so happy for Caroline and the impact she had at state. She had eight block assists and was key to stopping Oconomowoc’s incredibly talented pin hitters. Her blocking talent was a difference-maker throughout the state tournament, and she was an energizer on the court.
Oconomowoc is another team that is absolutely packed with star players. And similar to DSHA, it can be hard to stand out with that much talent. But Samantha was everywhere she needed to be. She played as a defensive specialist and was scrappy in defense. Every time she stepped on the court, she made big plays on defense and serve receive. Samantha reads hitters and servers quickly and accurately and made a huge impact throughout the tournament.
Brooke is an athlete whom I have had the opportunity to see play several times. She is a go-to hitter for Hamilton and one of their most efficient hitters. She was one of the only hitters who was able to power through DSHA’s massive block in the semi-final match. She hit a 0.353 against the best team in the state, which is very impressive.
In her very first game at state, Emily broke a dig record. That is incredible. She was everywhere at once and got clean touches on nearly every ball. Emily is a naturally talented libero with great instincts, a high volleyball IQ, and a lot of athletic talent. She works hard on every play and has a great first touch on the ball.
Kayden really impressed me as a right-side hitter. She is a lefty pin and really came alive at state. In North’s quarterfinal match against Franklin, Kayden had 6 kills and 0 errors, hitting a 0.750. She also had 4 blocks. Kayden has a lot of potential to be a key factor for Appleton North next year. She really held her own against the best teams in the state and caught my eye numerous times.
Lilly was setting for the Demons at state and was impressive. She is only a sophomore and moved the ball around very well. She played with a lot of maturity and was consistent and reliable in her play. She had 13 assists in their quarterfinal match and was on the run quite a bit. Lilly did a good job feeding her hitters and is a very low-error player.
Madison was absolutely unstoppable at the state tournament. In the championship match, she led her team in kills, aces, and blocks. She played all six rotations and was an absolute weapon at the net. Madison was fearless with her swings and made great connections with Mariah Potter throughout the tournament.
Kayla really exploded onto my radar. She has so much potential and was impressive in both the state semifinal match and the championship. In the semifinal match, Kayla had 7 kills, 3 aces, and 4 blocks. She is a really well-rounded athlete and one I think we will see continue to impress throughout her high school career.
Riley can play on the pin and the middle, making her a double threat. She is efficient and was an offensive weapon and go-to hitter for McFarland throughout the state tournament. Riley is a player I think we will see step into a leadership role in the next season and one I hope to see again in the state tournament.