A foursome from Section Runner-Up Mabel-Canton highlights the volleyball All-Conference list for the Journal covered schools. The Cougars boast two seniors, a junior, and a sophomore. Three are at least repeat All-league selections. The sophomore gets the biggest honor. Kenidi McCabe (5’5” setter) repeats as All-SEC. She also makes Class A first team All-State. Maybe M-C’s best pure athlete, and definitely their quickest reflex-player, McCabe put up 868 assists, a team second-best 379 digs (not normal for a setter), 101 kills, and 54 aces on 92.4% serving. She went over 2,000 career assists and has 1,876 the last two seasons alone. In that span, she’s had 23 matches of 30-plus assists and four matches of 50-plus. She is now one of only six setters in M-C history over 2-K helpers (with two years left). Lexi Thorson (5’5” OH/libero) and Maddy Michels (5’7” MH) are the two seniors. Thorson completes a strong, steady, and versatile five-year starter career as one of M-C’s top liberos and servers. She earns her second All-SEC honor (2016). With a tally of 1,591 digs, she finishes second in Cougar history behind Jenni Aasum’s four-year mark of 1,554. With a tally of 347 aces, Thorson is fourth in Cougar history in that category. For her senior year, Thorson led M-C with 91 aces and 391 digs. It’s her fifth year of at least 49 aces and her third year of at least 300 digs. She also has a pair of 100-kill seasons, freshman (152) and senior (139), a pair of 100-assist seasons, freshman (116) and sophomore (113). Michels was a steady presence in the middle for four years, becoming the Cougars’ top hitter in her last campaign, earning All-SEC for a third time. She led M-C with 264 kills (.259 hitting percentage), served at 95.2% clip with 37 aces, and chipped in 103 digs. She finishes her career with 749 kills. Her career-best game was 22 kills versus Caledonia (2018). Junior Payton Danielson (5’4” OH) is a first time All-SEC pick. Maybe the Cougars’ best all-the-way-around player, Danielson put up 315 digs, 210 kills, and 46 aces on 94.4% serving. She went over 1,000 career digs (1,035) and has now put together four straight years of at least 200 digs and 46 aces. Thorson, Danielson, McCabe, and Hannah Snell (350) gave Lonnie Morken four girls with over 300 digs, a rare feat. Making All-SEC Honorable Mention for the Cougs is Sarina Stortz (5’9” MH). The junior had a break-out season with a team second-best 234 kills (.268 hitting), a team-best 39 ½ blocks. Stortz nearly quadrupled her sophomore year kill output of 59. She notched double-digit kills in every Cougar play-off game, accumulating 60 across four contests (15 per). An anecdote to the Cougars’ season; M-C lost just three matches at full strength: Spring Grove, Minneota, and Medford. The Cougars redeemed themselves against the Lions thrice. Minneota defeated Medford for the Class A state title. Also making the All-SEC list are a pair of athletes each from Kingsland and Houston. For the Knights, sisters Lauren Buchholtz (5’9” OH) and Ellie Buchholtz (5’8” OH) each repeat as All-Conference (now in a different league). The senior Lauren wasn’t quite the dominant offensive player as junior year, when she had 440 kills and hit double-digits in 15 of 16 best-of-five matches. L-Buchholtz improved her game to be better all the way around though. She was still very impressive, notching county-highs in kills (360), blocks (53.5), and kills in a match (25 done twice) while adding 283 digs. The fair-haired leaper hit double digits in 13 of 16 best-of-fives while increasing her dig total by nearly 100. Kingsland’s top volleyball player this decade finished with 1,208 career kills, registering 800 the past two seasons alone. It was a great high-flying splatting run. Ellie also was a more all-around threat, transitioning from pure setter to mostly hitter. She racked up 178 kills, 162 digs, 175 assists, a team-best 51 aces, and 47 blocks all while missing six tourney and two regular season matches. Multiple nights, Ellie was as impressive as Lauren (a feat in and of itself). Making All-SEC HM is Taylor Zimmerman. The senior four-year starter led Kingsland with 292 digs. Compiled with freshman (285), sophomore (187), and junior (317) year totals, she finishes with a career total of 1,081. Zimmerman also led Kingsland in serving, hitting on 259 of 271 for an impressive 95.6%. For Houston, Ariel Scanlan (5’6” setter/OH) and Jenny Albrecht (5’11” MH) are the two picks. They helped the ‘Canes to an 11-10 season, one of only a few plus-five-hundred campaigns for ‘Cane volleyball. Scanlan, a senior, repeats as All-SEC, completing an excellent three-year career. She amassed 92 kills, 175 assists, and 177 digs while serving (98%) and serve receiving (90%) at high rates. Albrecht played all the way around, was a force in the middle racking up a number of blocks, while scoring 121 kills. Senior Alyssa Rostad (5’5” OH), Houston’s top defensive asset, made All-SEC HM. Lanesboro had no pure All-SEC picks. Senior multi-player Lexie Johnson (5’6” OH) made All-SEC HM.
In the Three Rivers Conference, its 3-2-1. FC gets three A-C picks, R-P two, and Chatfield one. Seniors Madison Scheevel (5’5” setter) and Paige Donlinger (5’3” OH) each repeat as All-TRC for the Falcons. Each finishes a three-year varsity career. Scheevel notched 631 assists, 281 digs, 80 kills, and 31 aces on 96.1% serving this past season. Her assist total was third best in the TRC behind Caledonia’s Haley Jennings (801) and W-K’s Alana DeAngel (756). Her serve percentage (minimum 100 attempts) was fourth best to Cotter’s Abree Dieterman (97.4%), D-E’s Carly Mauseth (97.2%) and Hailee Welsh (96.2%). Scheevel was already over 1,000 career assists entering the campaign, and completes her career with 1,676. The last two years, she compiled 1,352 assists and 549 digs in quarterbacking the Falcons to a .650 winning percentage (37-20). Donlinger was her best accomplice. The TRC’s best “little” hitter, at 5’3”, was a model of consistency for two seasons. As a junior, she had 210 kills and 329 digs. As a senior, she went for a team-high 227 kills, a team second-best 315 digs, plus 36 aces. Her 2018 kill total was fifth best in the TRC, behind Caledonia’s 6’2” Lydia Lange (371), 5’10” Katie Tornstrom (232), L-A’s 5’8” Ciarra McNally (318), and St. Charles 5’10” Elie Welch (261). A back-row player first, Donlinger finishes her career with 791 career digs. From two three-year staples to a one-year transplant, German foreign exchange student Stella Schrüfer (5’8” OH) is a third Falcon to make All-TRC. The senior said “guten nacht” on a number of her “der smashes” while also offering up a solid serving effort. Schrüfer had a team second-best 168 kills and team-best 40 aces (despite missing 23 sets to injury). Her teammates can say “danke.” Her presence was definitely key in helping the Falcons to a TRC second place finish. Making All-TRC Honorable Mention are sophomore K.J. Corson (5’4” libero) and senior Katrina Bergey (5’4” DS). Corson wore the odd colored jersey well for a second straight year in amassing a team best, TRC top three, 386 digs. It’s her second 300-plus dig season. Corson also served efficiently at 93.3%. Bergey, a senior, chipped in 140 digs and served at 95.3% (85 attempts). The fivesome helped FC to a solid 17-12 season. Rushford-Peterson’s All-league list includes five total selections. Alyvia Eide (5’4” libero) and Kjersta Hinz (5’11” MH) are first-time All-TRC picks. Eide, a sophomore, burst onto the scene as libero, notching 430 digs (or 368 more than her freshman year). She was tops in the TRC in that department (not including La Crescent, which didn’t supply complete stats). Eide had five 20-plus dig matches including a pair of 30-plus efforts. Hinz, a third-year player, was one of only four girls in the TRC with 50-plus blocks. The senior had 52 rejections and 112 kills. Making All-TRC HM is the senior trio of Lauren Lawston (5’7” OH), Peyton Hoiness (5’7” setter), and Jaelyn Connaughty (5’6” OH). Lawston was R-P’s best all-the-way-around player. After going 177/251 (kills/digs) as a junior, Lawston went 183/280 as a senior, again leading R-P in spikes. After posting 386 as a junior, Hoiness tallied 291 assists as a senior, again leading the Trojans in that department. She chipped in 141 digs. Connaughty was R-P’s most versatile, and most improved. She contributed across the board with 273 assists, 120 digs, 74 kills, and a team-best 49 aces on 94% serving. In 2017, Connaughty played in just 25 sets (71 assists, 32 digs, 6 kills, 12 aces). Said ladies helped R-P to a solid 15-13 season. For Chatfield, the Gophers best offensive swinger Kielan LaPlante (junior OH) makes All-TRC. The 5’10” hitter had a team best 118 kills plus 34 ½ blocks. Fellow hitter Paige Erickson (5’8” MH) is All-TRC HM. Erickson had 100 kills, and team-bests 37 ½ blocks, 36 aces.
*All TRC stats/rankings courtesy of Bill Bentson.