Volleyball Post-Season Wrap-Up
In the Southeast Conference, the league’s top two teams, Mabel-Canton and Lanesboro, combine to boast nine of the 19 All-SEC picks. Leading the way are four players from the SEC East champion Cougars squad.
Senior Kenidi McCabe (5’5” setter/OH) heads the list, making All-SEC for a fourth straight year. She is also the SEC Player of the Year for a second straight year. It’s a shame there was no post-season to see what M-C’s Phenom could do one last time in the play-offs. The excel-at-everything player had a team-best 162 kills on .434 hitting, or 3.9 kills per set. She had a season-high 25 kills in five-set win over Lanesboro and topped 10 kills in a match eight times. McCabe also posted a team-best 138 digs, hitting double digits in a match eight times. She added 173 assists and 37 ace serves. She served at least one ace every match and multiple aces in 11 of 14 matches. She finished her career having posted at least one ace in 31 straight matches. All told, she notched five volleyball triple doubles including the crazy line of 25 kills, 26 digs, 19 assists, and 4 aces versus Lanesboro. For her career (shortened because of 2020’s COVID), McCabe finished with 3,090 assists, 1,555 digs, and 345 aces. She ranks first in M-C history in assists (the only Cougar over 3,000), first in digs (the second over 1,500), and fifth in aces. McCabe also finishes with 526 career kills (and she mostly set prior to her junior and senior years). Over the six years McCabe played, M-C went 173-23! She is one M-C’s best-ever players.
Repeating as All-TRC is classmate Jordyn Newgard (5’6” MH/OH). Newgard was again steady, amassing a team third-best 89 kills (on .332 hitting), a team second-best 95 digs, and a team second-best 39 aces. She had six-plus kills in 12 matches and 6-plus digs in 11 matches. Earning their first All-SEC selections are Sophie Morken (5’7” sophomore setter/OH) and Molly Lee (5’4” junior OH). Morken, the daughter of Coach Lonnie Morken, did a bunch of everything for the Cougars, posting a team second-best 100 kills on .288 hitting, a team third-best 84 digs, a team-best 209 assists, and a team-best 51 aces as M-C’s most-used server (194-211, 91.9%). If the SEC had a “Newcomer of the Year,” she could heavily make claim to it. Lee was a steady presence all the way around, notching 80 kills and 75 digs. M-C’s sole All-SEC Honorable Mention pick is Emily Carolan (5’4” junior RH). Carolan had 64 kills and 38 digs. This group of players led the Cougars to a perfect season, 14-0.
Julie Schreiber’s Lanesboro Burros get five picks, the five girls who led the way to an excellent 9-3 season. Three Burros repeat as All-SEC, senior Sydney Taylor (5’8” RH), juniors Ella Cambern (5’5” setter) and Malia Tessum (5’4” libero). The Burros have two newcomers to the All-league list, sophomores Kaci Ruen (6’0” MH) and Jessie Schreiber (5’11” MH). Ruen had a break-out season, leading Lanesboro with 131 kills (3.5 kills/set). She had 19 kills in a big five-set win over Grand Meadow and 21 kills in a five-set loss to M-C. Five of her six double-digit kill matches came in the final seven games of her season. Ruen added 98 digs, 20 aces, and 21.5 blocks. Cambern topped 1,000 career assists versus GM, finishing the year with 318 helpers. She topped 30 in a match four times and 20 in every match save two. Cambern keyed an offense with three hitters (Ruen, Schreiber, Taylor) who topped 100 kills in just 12 games. The junior setter added 23 kills and 111 digs. She also went 183 for 186 serving (98.4%), including serving perfectly in nine of the Burros’ 12 matches. Through the first seven matches, she missed on just one serve (118 of 119). Taylor continued her excellent all-around work. The right side hitter had 112 kills, 141 digs, and a team-best 24 aces. She had four kill/dig double-doubles. Taylor had a 20-kill match (GM) and a 29-dig match (M-C). Schreiber got more swings and thus “broke out” just like classmate Ruen. The coach’s daughter amassed 119 kills, 77 digs, 21 aces, and 16 blocks. Tessum was the main passer leading to the Burros big offense. She led Lanesboro with 237 digs, topping 20 in a match seven times (including having 35 versus M-C). Kendall Stettler (senior OH) made All-SEC Honorable Mention. Said group helped Lanesboro volleyball truly turn the corner to a powerhouse. The Burros only losses were to M-C and Goodhue (minus Ruen).
Kingsland volleyball shared the SEC-West title. Amanda Siskow’s group gets two All-SEC picks in Ellie Buchholtz and Alyssa Link. Buchholtz (5’8” senior OH) joins McCabe as being the only four-time All-Conference pick in volleyball on this list. She made All-TRC as a freshman, then All-SEC the past three years. Buchholtz led all “Journal 10” athletes in kills per set with 5.5. She scored with 142 kills over just seven matches (26 sets). The 5’8” high-riser had 29 kills versus GM and 30 kills versus Southland, the two single-game high totals for all “Journal 10” athletes. The senior also had a team second-best 84 digs plus 17 aces. She had a kill/dig double-double in six of seven matches. She finishes her career with over 1,000 assists and almost 700 kills. Had her senior year not been cut short, Buchholtz likely would’ve passed 900 kills. She needed 541 kills on the year for 1,000. Joining her is the junior Link (5’7” setter), who surpassed 1,000 assists versus PEM. Kingsland’s third-year setter amassed 221 helpers. She was the only “Journal 10” athlete to top 40 assists in a match, doing so twice (the matches Buchholtz put up 29 and 30 kills). Anika Reiland (5’4” sophomore RH) made All-SEC Honorable Mention. Said girls helped the Knights to a 5-2 season.
Also sharing the SEC-West were the Grand Meadow Super Larks. Like Kingsland, they get two All-SEC picks. Both are repeat selections in the form of senior sisters Hailey Hindt (5’8” OH) and Madison Hindt (5’7” setter/RH). Hailey Hindt was one of the SEC’s top hitters, scoring 109 kills in eight matches (or 4.0 kills/per set). She had double digit kills in six of eight matches including 18 once and 16 three times. The athletic senior added a team third-best 73 digs and a team-best 19 aces. Madison Hindt co-set and did some hitting. She tallied 29 kills, a team-best 117 assists, 66 digs, and a team second-best 15 aces. Emma Grafe (5’7” junior setter/RH), GM’s other co-setter, made All-SEC Honorable Mention. She had 19 kills, 101 assists, and 48 digs while serving a team-best 97.3%. Said players helped Sue Wilson’s GM squad to a 5-3 overall mark.
Spring Grove logged a sixth straight winning season at 8-4 with a third-place finish in the SEC East at 5-4. Two sophomore Lions again earned conference honors – Addyson McHugh, All-SEC for a second straight season, and Maggie Lile, All-SEC this season after receiving Honorable Mention a year ago. McHugh (5’10” MH), with 136 kills, was again the Lions’ leading scorer, topping SG in kills in 10 of the 12 matches. Scoring with a block in every match, McHugh contributed to 32 scoring blocks (21 solo) and served 92% with nearly three times as many aces (32) as errors (11). Lile (5’4” libero) was the Lions’ preferred passer and defender. The veteran sophomore, starting for a third season, had double-digit digs in eight matches with a season-high 33 versus Randolph. Although always on the back row, Lile displayed exceptional versatility with 15 kills and 34 assists in the 12-match season. She served 92% with 31 aces. VaNessa Peterson (5’7” senior OH/DS) received Honorable Mention.
Rounding out the All-SEC picks are players from Houston and LeRoy-Ostrander. Hurricane senior Emma Geiwitz (5’9” senior MH) is the sole double-H player to make All-SEC. A powerful middle hitter, Geiwitz put up numbers across the board with a team-best 94 kills plus 68 digs, 16 aces, and 11 ½ blocks. Back-line teammate Becca Rostad (5’5” senior libero) repeats as All-SEC Honorable Mention. Rostad had a team-best 125 digs while adding 19 aces for Brianna Meyer’s group. LeRoy-Ostrander’s Sidney Lewison (5’8” MH) is the only Cardinal to grace the All-SEC list, as the junior made All-SEC HM. She had a team-second best 51 kills and a team-best 17 blocks. The Cardinals released their team awards. Lewison was the team “Most Valuable Player.” Kylie Welsh (Jr. DS) and Kayden Schulte (Sr. OH) won the “Teammate Award.” Gracie O’Byrne (Jr. libero) was the “Defensive Player of the Year,” having racked up a team-best 194 digs. Brianna Tucke (Jr. MH) and Benita Nolt (8th OH) were the “Most Improved” for Lindsay Milks’ group. Jordan Runde (So. MH) led the team in kills (55) and was second in digs (99). Anna Welsh (Jr. setter) led the team in assists (178). The Cardinals went 5-4.