It was a great year for area volleyball teams. Mabel-Canton (36-3) won the SEC-East, Section 1A, and took third place at state. Caledonia (19-13) won the TRC and finished as 1AA runner-up. Spring Grove (28-5) and Chatfield (26-3) set school records for wins while taking second in their conferences. Rushford-Peterson (21-8), Fillmore Central (19-11), and Grand Meadow (17-12-2) also were well above five-hundred. Lanesboro (15-13-1) also won more than it lost. All-Southeast and All-Three Rivers Conference teams are littered with area athletes. Of note, all or most career stats below are hindered by the non-full-schedule COVID season of 2020.
Cougars/Lions Each Get Four All-SEC Selections
The All-SEC team in naturally headed by players from 1A champion and state third place Mabel-Canton, plus those from state-ranked Spring Grove. Each get a league-best four All-SEC selections. For Lonnie Morken’s Cougars, Sahara Morken (5’4” So. setter), Sophie Morken (5’7” senior OH), Kinley Soiney (5’10” Fr. MH), and Saijal Slafter (5’8” So. MH) are honored. Said girls were key cogs that got the Cougars over the hump and to the state tourney. Sahara Morken heads the cast, as she earned Player of the Year in the SEC as well as making Class A All-State. She was one of two area kids to make All-State (SG’s Addyson McHugh). A repeat All-SEC pick, Morken racked up an M-C single-season record 1,263 assists. It was her second straight campaign of over 1,000 assists. She is well over 2,000 for her career. Morken topped 40 assists in a match nine times including 184 combined in the final three rounds of sections. She had 68 assists versus B.A. to help M-C to state. The sophomore added 73 kills, a team-best 95 aces (on 95.9% serving), plus a team third-best 335 digs. Sister Sophie Morken battled through a knee injury, which dropped her junior-to-senior offensive numbers. But the middle Morken sibling still amassed 211 kills, a team-best 435 digs, and 70 aces (on 95.3% serving). She finished her career with 995 digs. The senior had 132 digs over M-C’s last six playoff games. Sophie is a three-time All-SEC pick, last year’s Player of the Year. Soiney and Slafter were middle hitter double-trouble. Slater repeated as All-SEC with 356 kills on .356 hitting (tops for M-C’s hitters). She had double digit kills in her last eight matches including 126 in M-C’s seven play-off contests. The sophomore added 53 total blocks (16 ace blocks) while serving at 95.5%. Soiney had a massive breakout season, a team-best 441 kills (.340 hitting). She had 144 kills in M-C’s seven playoff matches including 38 in the 1A final win over B.A. The freshman also had a team-best 104 total blocks (45 ace blocks). Making All-SEC Honorable Mention is McKenzie Kelly (5’5” Sr. libero > team second-best 433 digs, 65 aces on 95.3% serving). Said girls helped M-C (36-3) to maybe its best season ever. Spring Grove, which spent most of the season ranked, also gets four All-SEC picks in Addyson McHugh (5’10” Sr. OH/MB), Kenadee Gerard (5’10” Sr. OH), Maggie Lile (5’5” Sr. libero), and Kendal VanMinsel (5’11” So. Setter). The three seniors head the cast. They helped the Lions to a school-record 28 wins and a second straight 1A semifinal berth. McHugh earned All-SEC a fourth time, Lile a third time, and Gerard repeated. McHugh finished a fabulous career by leading the Lions with 325 kills and 54 total blocks (33 ace blocks). Her season-best kill total was 21 versus B.A. in the 1A semis. She had 56 total in three play-off matches, hitting .328 for the season. McHugh was also second on the team with 206 digs and 53 aces (94.9% serving). The senior made Class A All-State. For her career, she finished with 1,023 kills, having notched three seasons of at least 240; freshman (291), junior (248), and senior (325). Lile led the team in digs (384) and aces (62) serving at 93.5%. She had double-digit digs in 20 matches including single-game totals of 28 (Lanesboro), 34 (M-C), and 38 (B.A.). In amassing a Lion record 1,466 career digs, Lile racked up five seasons of at least 188; 8th grade (221), freshman (215), sophomore (188), junior (448), and senior (384). Gerard had a team second-best 263 kills, teaming with McHugh as a formidable duo. Gerard finished with 584 career kills. VanMinsel amassed 729 assists, 192 digs, and 56 kills. Earning All-SEC HM for the Lions is Sydney Holland (5’5” So. DS > 139 digs, 42 aces). Said girls helped SG get Kelsey Morken named 1A Coach of the Year.
West Champion Grand Meadow and LeRoy-Ostrander each get three All-SEC picks, Lanesboro two, Houston and Kingsland each one. GM’s selections are Kendyl Queensland (5’11” Sr. OH), Lauren Queensland (5’10” So. OH), and Isabelle Fretty (5’5” Sr. setter). Despite the Larks graduating three All-SEC picks in 2021, the above trio kept GM’s SEC-West reign going for Matt Rosaaen. K-Queensland led the Larks with 205 kills while adding a team third-best 274 digs and serving at 94.9%. She was All-SEC HM last season and nearly doubled her kill-total from junior to senior year. L-Queensland had team second-bests in kills (197) and digs (283). She served at 98.7%. Fretty amassed a plethora of stats as the Larks’ setter; 586 assists, 264 digs, and 63 kills while serving at 95.8%. Sydney Cotten (5’6” Sr libero > team-high 366 digs) made All-SEC HM. Making All-SEC for L-O are Jordan Runde (5’9” Sr. OH), Benita Nolt (5’10” So. MH), and Jenna Olson (5’5” Jr. setter). Runde repeats as All-SEC. A powerful hitter, she led the Cardinals in kills (270), digs (279), and aces (51). Nolt was second the team in kills (220) and digs (256). She also had 48 aces and a team-best 58 total blocks. Olson set Runde and Nolte often, racking up 597 assists to go with 146 digs. Brooke Jasper (5’9” So. OH > over 100 kills and 100 digs) made All-SEC HM. Lanesboro’s two picks are Kaci Ruen (6’0” Sr. MH) and Jessie Schreiber (5’11” Sr. MH). Each made All-SEC for a third time. Ruen had a team-high 298 kills plus 214 digs, 57 total blocks, and 49 aces. The senior amassed at least 130 kills each of the last four years including 654 the last two. For her career, she finished with 1,010 kills (the only Burro in the “Journal Sports” era to reach said milestone). Ruen also finished with 737 digs and 148 aces in her career. Schreiber was also a four-year mainstay. She tallied 189 kills, 118 digs, and 39 total blocks this year. Her 30 kills versus GM are probably the most in a match for a Burro the last ten years (plus). She finished her career with 640 kills. Making All-SEC HM for the Burros is Jensyn Storhoff (5’5” Fr. Setter/OH > 81 kills, 188 assists, team-best 274 digs). Kingsland’s sole pick is Anika Reiland (5’6” Sr. OH). She led the Knights in kills (183) and digs (322) while finishing second in aces (41). Reiland was twice All-SEC HM prior. She finished her career with 875 digs. Chantle Reiland (5’6” So. MH > 71 kills, 162 digs, team-best 58 aces) made All-SEC HM. Making All-SEC for Houston is Sydney Torgerson (5’10” Sr. MH). She led the ‘Canes in kills (215), digs (206), and aces (31). Torgerson was All-SEC HM last season. Jaden Woodard (5’9” So. OH > 100 kills, 184 digs) made HM this season.
Warriors and Gophers Highlight All-TRC Volleyball Selections
Caledonia, Chatfield, and Fillmore Central were the top three teams in the Three Rivers Conference while Rushford-Peterson finished with 20-plus wins. And thus, each of the four “Journal 11” TRC volleyball teams boasts at least three All-league picks. Champion Caledonia leads the way with five picks; Logan Koepke (5’10” Jr. OH), Paige Klug (5’10” Sr. OH/MH), Jovial King (5’10” Sr. setter), Braelyn Lange (5’10” Jr. MH), and Liv Myhre (6’0” So. MH). Koepke, Klug, and King all repeated. Koepke once again was the Warriors top hitter, leading the team in kills with 339 while hitting at a .226 efficiency. She also led the Warriors with 31 aces while serving 93.1%. The junior added a team second-best 271 digs. Koepke had 311 kills and 357 digs a season ago, but got more help this year. She and Chatfield’s LaPlante were probably the top two hitters in the league. Klug had a team second-best 241 kills and a team third-best 216 digs. She had 127 kills a season ago. King notched 631 assists, 159 digs, and 30 aces at a 92.3% clip. She finished with over 1,000 career assists, having notched 438 in 2021. Lange and Myhre gave the Warriors good ancillary attacking and strong blocking. Myhre had a team-high 35 ½ blocks plus 124 kills. Lange had a team second-best 28 ½ blocks and 132 kills. Koepke, Klug, Myhre, and Lange gave the Warriors four girls with over 100 kills, over 800 total combined. Making All-TRC HM are Aubrie Klug (5’8” Fr. Libero > team-best 279 digs) and Emme Kittleson (5’6” Jr. DS > 95.1% server, 141 digs, 52 kills). Said girls helped 19-13 Caledonia to the TRC title and the 1AA runner-up finish. Second-place Chatfield gets four selections, Jaelyn LaPlante (5’8” So. OH), Harper Goldsmith (5’4” Fr. Setter), Kara Goetzinger (5’10” Sr. MH), and Cora Bicknese (5’4” 8th grade libero). LaPlante was a major force with her high-leaping hitting, leading the Gophers with 341 kills while also notching a team second-best 244 digs. LaPlante hit at an impressive .285, topping 15 kills in a match eight times. The sophomore repeated as All-TRC. Goldsmith stepped in her first year at setter and had a huge season with 693 assists, 158 digs, a team-best 60 aces plus 73 kills. She had 10 games of 30-plus assists. Bicknese had a team-best 364 digs as just an 8th grader while adding 44 aces on 92.4% serving. She had big dig games versus R-P (29) and L-A (27). Goetzinger chipped in 111 kills and a team-best 47 total blocks. Making All-TRC HM for the Gophers are Trindy Barkeim (5’7” Fr. OH > team second-best 213 kills, 155 digs, 43 aces) and Alexis Hinckley (5’6” Jr. DS > 149 digs, 43 aces). Chatfield had four girls with 40 or more aces. Said girls helped the Gophers to a best-ever 26-3 campaign. Fillmore Central gets three All-TRC picks; Kammry Broadwater (5’9” Jr. OH), Alyssa Britton (6’0” Jr. MH), and Kyla Hellickson (5’7” Fr. Libero). Broadwater led the Falcons with 240 kills (hitting .197) while also contributing 229 digs and 31 aces. She led FC last year in kills too (234) and repeats as All-TRC. Britton tallied a team third-best 196 kills (hitting .230) and a team-best 54 total blocks. She added 35 aces. Hellickson had a team-bests in digs (403) and aces (57). She had 380 digs and 60 aces last year as an 8th grader. Both Britton and Hellickson were All-TRC HM last year. Making All-TRC HM this year are Abby Bothun (5’9” Sr. OH > team second-best 221 kills, .221 hitting, team second-best 45 aces, 241 digs) and Regan Hanson (5’8” Sr. RH > 227 digs, 119 kills, 37 aces). Bothun was All-TRC a season ago. The Falcons had four girls with over 100 kills and four with over 200 digs. Said girls helped FC go 8-2 in the TRC, 19-11 overall. Finally, R-P gets three All-TRC picks; Kaylee Ruberg (5’11” Sr. OH), Isabelle Kahoun (5’6” Sr. setter), and Taylor Helgemoe (5’10” Jr. MH). Ruberg is a three-time All-TRC selection. Kahoun repeats. Ruberg notched a team-best 282 kills hitting .256. She missed 14 sets to injury, or would’ve topped 300 kills. She added 164 digs while serving 92.6%. For her five-year career, Ruberg finished with 937 kills and would’ve easily topped 1,000 had it not been for the COVID year. She had 666 kills the past two seasons. Kahoun racked up 575 assists, 136 digs, 56 kills, and 29 aces on 94.1% serving. She finishes her four-year career with 1,719 assists, having amassed nearly 500 each of the last two years. With a full 2020 campaign, she likely would’ve topped 2,000 assists. Helgemoe had 142 kills and a team-best 44 ½ blocks, more than the rest of her teammates combined. Making All-TRC HM are Hannah Ronnenberg (5’7” Sr. OH > 137 kills, 179 digs, team second-best 36 aces) and Torryn Schneider (5’7” Fr. OH/libero > team bests with 206 digs and 40 aces, 94.5% serving). Said girls led R-P to a 21-9 record and a second straight trip to the 1A quarterfinals in Rochester.