It was another good year of volleyball action in Fillmore County. Mabel-Canton won the SEC and 1A East again, pushing for state. Fillmore Central stayed one of the elite teams in the TRC. Lanesboro and Chatfield each improved a bunch. Nine total players from the Cougars, Burros, Kingsland, and Houston were named All-SEC. Seven players from the Falcons, Gophers, and Rushford-Peterson were named All-TRC.
Leading the group are All-SEC players from Mabel-Canton, Kenidi McCabe, Payton Danielson, Sarina Stortz, and Jordyn Newgard. The virtuoso setter/hitter McCabe is the top honoree. Kenidi is the SEC Player of the Year. She also repeats as 1st Team All-State, joining Caledonia’s Lydia Lange, K-W’s Julianna Boyum, and Medford’s Kinsey Cronin in representing Section 1A. A now three-time All-SEC pick, the 5’5” junior was fantastic with her quick-reflex digs, speedy setter-abilities, and seamless transition to hitter in one of M-C’s rotations. McCabe posted the super-rare quad-hundo (four categories in the 100s); 195 kills, 850 assists, 450 digs, and 118 aces. She was third on the team in kills (despite mostly setting), had over 800 assists for a third straight year, led the team in digs (as the setter), and came up one ace short of the Cougar record (119 set by Lydia Geving in 2011). McCabe went for 30-plus assists eight times, double-digit digs 24 times, and four-plus aces 12 times (including probably an M-C match record, 18 versus L/P). She’ll head to her senior year with 2,917 assists, 1,410 digs, and 308 career aces. Finishing off a five-year career is repeat All-SEC selection Danielson (5’4” OH). Payton was second on the team in kills (265), digs (397), and aces (72) while leading the squad in serve-percentage (93.4%). Through half a decade, Danielson was a strong defender (five seasons of 225-plus digs) and a strong server (five seasons of 45-plus aces). She improved offensively every year (8 to 36 to 145 to 210 to 265 kills). Over her last two varsity matches, the senior recorded 59 digs. She finishes her career with 1,432 digs, 307 aces, and 665 kills. Danielson contributed greatly on teams that went 159-23 the last five years. Fellow senior Stortz earns her first All-SEC nod after being A-C HM last year. The 5’8” MH led M-C in kills (314), kill percentage (.373) and blocks (65.5) while adding 40 aces. Sarina had 10-plus kills 14 times including a career-best 21 in the Section title match with Medford. She led all Journal-covered athletes in kills. She contributed greatly on teams that went 92-15 the past three years. Also earning her first All-SEC selection is Newgard. Jordyn was an improved glue player. After mostly playing front-line last year (133 kills, 97 digs, 2 aces), the 5’6” junior OH amassed 124 kills, 310 digs, and 53 aces (on 92.7% serving) this year. Molly Lee (5’3” So. OH) made All-SEC HM, having amassed 112 kills and 250 digs. Her four best offensive nights came in M-C’s four play-off games. Lauren Wyffels (5’4” Jr. DS > 222 digs, 39 aces, 143 assists) also did notable work for the Cougars. The group helped M-C to a 34-3 SEC-East champion, 1A-East champion, Section Runner-Up season.
After another successful season, Fillmore Central gets a trio of first time All-TRC picks, Kandace Sikkink, K.J. Corson, and Maddie Krage. The 5’8” Sikkink transitioned from MH to OH/setter, essentially going from “hitting middle some” as a junior, to “never resting” as senior. She amassed 222 kills (second on team), 395 assists (first on team), and 232 digs (third on team) while serving at 93%. She had seven kill-assist-dig triple-doubles. A year ago, Sikkink had 127 kills, 3 assists, and 64 digs. Corson kept up her superb back-line work, leading the team with 500 digs and 94.7% serving while doing a vast majority of the serve receive. She was one of four TRC players with 500-plus digs. The 5’3” junior libero reached double-digits in every best-of-three match, including posting 30 versus Hayfield, 48 versus Cotter, and 42 versus W-K. K.J. topped 1,000 for her career and sits at 1,205 heading to her senior year. She’s gone over 300 digs all three years she’s played varsity. Krage was FC’s most vertically-inclined player, amassing a team third-best 186 kills (despite missing 16 sets), hitting at team-best .248. The 5’5” junior MH had the Falcons’ best one-game kill total, 25 versus W-K. Making All-TRC HM is Lauren Mensink. The 5’7” sophomore had a break-out campaign, also “never resting” amidst both setting and hitting. Mensink tallied a team-best 232 kills, team second-bests 343 assists and 264 digs. She had eight kill-assist-dig triple-doubles. Ashlyn Simon (5’7” Jr. DS > 217 digs, 94.5% serving, 28 aces) and Hope Sexton (5’5” Jr. DS > 223 digs, 28 aces) also did notable work. Said players helped FC to a 17-11 season (against tough competition), a second place TRC finish.
The Lanesboro Burros had a much-improved season. As such, they get an SEC third-best three All-league picks, Sydney Taylor, Ella Cambern, and Malia Tessum. All are newbies to an All-SEC list. Taylor heads that cast. The 5’9” lefty RH was the Burros top offensive threat, capable of pounding it down or tipping it where they weren’t very well. Taylor amassed a team-best 298 kills while adding 291 digs (nearly joining the rare 300/300 club, which hasn’t been done in the county since 2013). The junior had 20-plus kills three times, joining Kingsland’s Buchholtz as the only county player to top 20 multiple times. Taylor averaged 14-plus kills over her last eight matches. She also led the team with 62 aces. Twenty-nine of those came over Lanesboro’s last six matches. Keeping Taylor and the other Burro hitters happy and the team offensively potent was Cambern. Lanesboro’s setter racked up 569 assists while serving at a team-best 96.3% rate (343-356). The 5’6” sophomore topped 30 assists five times and 40 assists twice. She averaged 31-plus assists over her last seven matches while chipping in 197 total digs. Rounding out the threesome is another sophomore, Tessum. The 5’4” libero led Lanesboro with 365 digs, topping 20 in a game six times. Making All-SEC HM is Payton Benson. The 5’4” senior OH accrued 259 digs while serving at 90.9% (281-309) with 40 aces. Not making an A-C team but making a big splash were freshmen Kaci Ruen and Jessie Schreiber. Ruen, a 5’11” MH, had 199 kills and 246 digs. Schreiber, a 5’11” MH, had 136 kills and 44 aces. Said players helped the Burros go from 6-25 to 16-14.
Scrappy defensive team Rushford-Peterson gets a pair of All-TRC picks. Heading the cast is the county’s only repeat All-TRC pick, libero Alyvia Eide. The 5’6” junior again wore the odd jersey and again racked up the defensive stats, tallying 510 digs. She was one of four in the TRC with 500-plus, topping 30 digs in a match six times. Last year, she had a league-high 430 digs. Eide went over 1,000 career digs (1,002) versus Lanesboro in the play-offs. She also served at 93.5% clip. R-P’s other All-TRC pick is first timer, strong server and hitter Kaleah Davis. The 5’11” RH led the Trojans with 226 kills and 46 aces. Kaylee Ruberg (5’10” Fr. OH), Isabelle Kahoun (5’8” Fr. Setter), Elly Malone (5’5” So. OH), and Lakyn Rasmussen (5’6” Jr. OH) all got the nod as All-TRC HM. Ruberg had 154 kills and a team-best 33 blocks, Kahoun 412 assists and 216 digs, Malone 277 digs, and Rasmussen 256 digs.
Also improving a bunch were the Chatfield Gophers, who get a pair of first-time All-TRC picks in Peyton Berg and Paige Erickson. The 5’5” sophomore libero Berg led the Gophers in digs with 331 while doing a vast majority of the serve receive. She topped 20 digs in match five times. Included was a three-match stretch with Cotter, W-K, and R-P where Berg had total 82 digs. Erickson was the Gophers most versatile scoring weapon. She got points with kills, blocks, and aces. The 5’8” senior MH had 127 kills, a 75.5 ace blocks, and 44 aces, leading the team in the latter two categories. She led the TRC in blocks. Erickson was All-TRC HM last year. Zaybe Priebe (6’0” sophomore MH), Teagan Allen (5’6” senior setter), and Kielan LaPlante (5’8” senior OH) made All-TRC HM. Priebe was a long threat in the middle with a team-best 152 kills plus 58 blocks. She had the Gophers top offensive night, 17 kills versus L-A. Allen amassed 275 assists but served perfectly in 22 matches. Included was a seven-match string of 68 for 68 and a 12-match string of 166 for 166. She was 331 for 339 (97.6%) for the season. LaPlante (an All-TRC pick last year) had her strong offensive nights, tallying a team second-best 131 kills. Devann Clemens (5’5” So. setter > team best 312 assists, 96.8% serving, 35 aces), Abi Hinckley (5’4” Jr. DS > 209 digs, 94.1% serving, 33 aces), and Abby Nosbisch (5’5” Sr. DS > 192 digs, 94.7% serving) also did notable work. Chatfield went from 5-23 in 2018 to a much more competitive 11-17 this past year. They played in eight four or five-set matches.
Capping the list are players from Kingsland and Houston. Each gets a sole All-SEC pick and an All-SEC HM pick. Knight junior Ellie Buchholtz heads the casts, having garnered her third A-C selection, joining McCabe as the sole three-time pick in the county. The 5’8” OH/setter fought off early injury to lead the Knights with 306 kills. She was second to M-C’s Stortz amongst Journal athletes in said department. Buchholtz had four nights of 20-plus kills, tops for any Journal-covered athlete. Ellie added 144 assists, 167 digs, and 32 blocks. She topped 1,000 career assists early in the year. Teammate Caitlyn Miner (5’10” Sr. MH) makes All-SEC HM. Miner had 149 kills and a team-best 33 blocks. Audrey Webster (5’4” So. libero > team best 313 digs, team-best 34 aces), Shelby Beck (5’10” So. MH > 157 kills, 32 blocks), and Alyssa Link (5’5” Jr. setter > 343 assists) also did notable work for Kingsland. For Houston, Jenny Albrecht is an All-SEC repeat selection. Junior libero Becca Rostad is All-SEC HM. Albrecht played four years of varsity volleyball. She had around 150 kills and around 250 digs. Rostad also had roughly 250 digs. Complete stats for Houston were not submitted.
*TRC stats supplied by Bill Bentson