It was another good year for the spikers and diggers. This year’s All-Conference volleyball teams are dominated by players from the two best squads in the county, Mabel-Canton and Fillmore Central. For the first time this decade, no one made All-State though. Nine girls have done so since 2010; R-P’s Kenzie Lind (2010 HM), M-C’s Belle Sand (2011/2012 HM, 2013 1st Team), Chatfield’s Alex Duxbury (2011/2012/2013 1st Team), FC’s Taylor Case (2012 HM, 2013 1st Team), FC’s Leah Scheevel (2014 1st Team), FC’s Morgan Malley (2014 1st Team), M-C’s Coranda Vickerman (2015/2016 1st Team), M-C’s Savannah Slafter (2016 HM), and FC’s Tayah Barnes (2016 HM).
League champion (28-5) and 1A East Runner-Up M-C has four All-SEC picks. Four-time selection Savannah Slafter heads the cast. Despite an injury that limited her to less than 100%, and less than 100% of M-C’s sets, the 5’7” senior OH was the squad’s second leading hitter (274 kills, .320 efficiency). Slafter added 216 digs and 33 aces (team-high 94.6% clip). She has topped 200 kills and 200 digs four straight years. Savannah finishes as one of only two Cougars ever (Belle Sand) to collect over 1,000 career kills (1,367) and 1,000 career digs (1,036). Only Kate Horihan (1,616) and Karlie Urbaniak (1,512) have more kills in M-C history. Slafter had double-digit kills 61 times total. Her best effort was a 28-kill match with Fillmore Central (2016). She also finishes with 205 career aces on 94% career serving. Leading M-C in kills (317) and earning her second All-SEC nod is Dakota Delaney. The 5’9” senior MH was M-C’s most efficient hitter at .345. Her 32 blocks was second on the team. For her career, Delaney finishes with 843 kills. Take away an injury junior year, and 1,000 kills wasn’t out of the question. Four-year stand-outs Slafter and Delaney majorly helped M-C to a 126-19 record the last four years. Repeating as All-SEC is Maddy Michels. The 5’6” junior MH had a team third-best 207 kills and a team-best 30 ½ blocks. Making her first All-SEC team (emphatically) is Kenidi McCabe. The 5’3” freshman setter went over 1,000 assists for her career, and over 1,000 assists just this year (1,008). She had over 30 helpers in a match eleven times with three 50-plus nights, the first Cougar in nine years to hit half-a-hundo. McCabe also contributed a team-best 62 aces (91% serving) plus 227 digs and 51 kills. Making All-SEC HM was OH Payton Danielson. The 5’6” sophomore tallied 145 kills, 57 aces (93.5% serving), and a team second-best 249 digs (while missing 20 sets).
For a second straight year, TRC second place squad FC (20-8) boasts four All-league picks. All are first-timers. Cailey Rindels heads the cast. The 5’7” senior progressed from mostly hitting middle, to one of the TRC’s best all-around players. She was FC’s leader with 257 kills, 387 digs, and 28 ½ blocks. Amidst her kills and digs were ten “double-doubles.” Rindels was one of only three girls in the TRC (Caledonia’s Madisyn Heaney, St. Charles’ Natalia VanderZanden) to finish top ten in each category. The 387 digs tripled what she had the past two seasons combined (115). Cailey finishes with 545 career kills. Also progressing nicely was FC’s second-best all-around player, Paige Donlinger. Maybe the conference’s best “small” OH, the 5’3” junior was likely the conference’s most improved player. She finished third on FC with 210 kills. That is 210 more than 2016, when she just played back row. Donlinger added a team-best 45 aces (91% serving) and team second-best 329 digs. She was one of eight girls in the TRC with 200 kills and 200 digs. Middle hitter Kaelyn Marzolf is All-TRC. The 5’11” senior was narrowly FC’s second leading hitter (256 kills), their most efficient pure attacker (.254 hitting). Marzolf had double-digit kills 11 times in 12 TRC matches. She more than tripled her kill-tally from junior year (75). She added a team second-best 43 aces and 26 ½ blocks. Rindels, Marzolf, and Donlinger were the only teammate-threesome in the TRC to each rack up over 200 kills. Rounding out the All-TRC troupe is Madison Scheevel. The 5’4” junior setter notched a TRC third-best 721 assists, topping 1,000 for her career. Scheevel added 268 digs, 35 aces (96% serving), and 85 (setter) kills (.298 hitting). She had 25 or more assists in 15 of 16 best-of-five matches, the high-point (45) versus Kingsland. Making All-TRC HM is Kjerstiana Corson. The 5’3” freshman libero had a team third-best 319 digs. Rindels, Donlinger, and Corson were the only teammate-threesome in the TRC each to rack up over 300 digs. No other team had more than one (though Cotter’s Mari Crowley led the conference with 725).
The other five FCJ covered schools combined for just five All-Conference picks. Kingsland got two and they both eat at the same dinner table. They are the Knights’ first All-league volleyball players since Cheyenne Losey in 2012, as Kingsland’s 14-18 season was their best since 2010. After twice being A-C Honorable Mention, Lauren Buchholtz earns her first purely A-C nod. The blonde-blaster easily led the TRC with 448 kills. Caledonia’s Heaney (318) was the only other gal in the conference to top 300. Buchholtz is the first girl in the TRC with 400 kills since 2013 (FC’s Taylor Case 449, D-E’s Brandi Blattner 419). Case accomplished the feat amidst the Falcons making it all the way to the state title match. Thus, Buchholtz’s kill total is the most by a TRC player who didn’t make state since R-P’s Amy Todd had 501 in 2012. Lauren added a TRC third best 57 ½ blocks and a team second-best 190 digs. She had a huge three game kill-a-thon versus La Crescent (27), St. Charles (29), and Cotter (22). The 5’8” junior OH also killed R-P, tallying 31 and 26 kills over two meetings. Lauren hit 20-plus kills seven times and double digit kills in 15 of 16 best-of-five matches. Sister/setter Ellie Buchholtz reaped the whirlwind, also being named A-C amidst tallying a TRC fourth-best 688 assists. They are the first sibling duo to make A-C in the same sport simultaneously in the FCJ Sports era. The 5’5” frosh had nine matches with 30-plus assists and added 45 blocks. Kori Kruegel (5’8” senior OH), Taylor Zimmerman (5’4” junior libero), and Nora Jahn (5’7” junior MH) are All-TRC HM. Kruegel had a team second-best 216 kills. Zimmerman tallied a team-best 317 digs. Jahn had a TRC fourth-best 52 ½ blocks. Kingsland should have a different girl hit 1000 kills, 1000 assists, and 1000 digs next year. R-P boasts just one pure A-C pick in Olivia Hoff. The 5’4” senior libero had a TRC fourth-best 387 digs, tripling her junior year out-put (119). She recorded double-digit digs in 14 of 16 best-of-five matches including 30 or more three times. Hoff also hit on 97% of her serves. Nicole Blagsvedt (6’0” senior MH), Kensay Clobes (5’8” senior OH), Kjersta Hinz (5’11” junior MH), and Lauren Lawston (5’9” junior OH) are All-TRC HM. Lawston led R-P in kills (177) and was third in digs (251). Clobes led the team in aces (36) while ranking second in kills (98) and digs (277). Blagsvedt had 73 kills and a TRC sixth-best 46 ½ blocks. Hinz had 58 kills and 41 ½ blocks. After back-to-back All-SEC HM’s, Lanesboro’s Joelie Schreiber is All-SEC. The 5’11” senior MH did everything for the Burros, leading them in kills, aces, and blocks for sure, probably assists. Peighton Prestemon (5’4” junior libero), Lanesboro’s dig leader, is All-SEC HM. Houston’s Ariel Scanlan (5’7” junior setter) is All-SEC, as she was the Hurricanes setter and top server. Becca Lee (5’6” senior OH) is All-SEC HM for a second straight year. Chatfield had no All-TRC picks. Grace Friederichs (5’4” senior setter), Abi Hinckley (5’3” freshman DS), and Kielan LaPlante (5’10” sophomore MH) are All-TRC HM. Hinckley had team-highs in aces (37) and digs (309). LaPlante led Chatfield in kills (186) and blocks (30). Friederichs tallied 460 assists, 197 digs, and 27 aces (93.4% serving).