Lensing, Loomis gain first-team honors for second straight year
Heidi Lensing, a 5-11 senior middle hitter from Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, and Danelle Loomis, a senior setter from MACCRAY, are repeat first-team selections to the Tribune's All-Area volleyball team.
Joining Lensing and Loomis on the first team are Megan Lambertson, a 6-foot senior middle hitter, and Jamie Wollin, a 5-10 senior outside hitter, both from Litchfield; Emily Roelike, a 5-6 senior outside hitter from Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa; and Macy McKay, a 5-10 senior outside hitter from Yellow Medicine East.
Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, the lone area team to qualify for the state tournament, had three players selected, as did New London-Spicer and Yellow Medicine East.
Willmar, Litchfield, MACCRAY and Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg each had two players honored. Benson, Lac qui Parle Valley and Montevideo also had a player named.
Those named to the second team are: Emily Nelsen, a 5-8 senior outside hitter, and Hannah Smith, a 5-5 junior setter/hitter, both from Willmar; Cassie Ziemer, a 5-9 junior middle hitter, and Justine Dammermann, a 5-6 junior setter, both from New London-Spicer; Demi Young, a 5-9 senior middle hitter from KMS; and Aimee Johnson, a 5-8 junior setter from Yellow Medicine East.
Third-team selections are: Beka Schwendemann, a 6-1 junior middle hitter from Montevideo; Jenny Bouta, a 5-11 senior middle hitter from Benson; Andrea Rheingans, a 5-7 senior outside hitter from Lac qui Parle Valley; Sarah Carlson, a 5-9 senior setter from KMS; Brianna Jacobson, a 5-10 senior hitter from New London-Spicer; and Stina Leiseth, a 5-10 junior middle hitter hitter from Yellow Medicine East.
Two liberos were named All-Area, although they are not designated to a specific team. They are: Brandi Bodin, a senior from MACCRAY, and Julie Hieserich, a senior from BBE.
The All-Area team is selected by the sports editor after consulting with several area coaches, players and officials.
Lambertson and McKay were named to the second team last year and Wollin and Ziemer were on last year's third team.
BBE senior hitter
Lensing, arguably the hardest hitter in the area, pounded down 434 kills so far this season for the Jaguars (30-1) with a robust .389 kill percentage. The three-year starter has 1,067 career kills, only the 16th player all-time from the area to reach the 1,000-kill mark. She also has 91 ace blocks this season and 210 for her career. And she is serving 96 percent with 28 aces and is third on the team in digs with 295.
BBE senior hitter
Roelike, a three-year starter for the Jaguars, has been one of the area's most consistent players this season. She has a .308 kill percentage with 254 kills, is serving 97 percent and is one of the area's top defensive players with 407 digs and has 300 serve receptions with only 10 errors.
Litchfield senior hitter
Lambertson uncorked 442 kills this season, the area's all-time eighth highest single-season total. She amassed a .385 kill percentage for the Dragons, who finished 19-10. Lambertson, a four-year starter, also had 55 ace blocks, 24 ace serves and had 187 digs. Lambertson finished her career with 1,055 kills and 200 ace blocks.
Litchfield senior hitter
Wollin's all-area skills were invaluable to the Dragons' success this season. She had 180 kills, 31 ace blocks and 25 ace serves while serving 95 percent to bolster the offense and was the team's top defensive player, recording 274 digs and 265 serve receptions, both team highs.
YME senior hitter
McKay's 204 kills led the Sting, who shared the West Central South Conference title and reached the section championship. She had a .280 kill percentage and led the team with 60 ace serves. She also was a solid defensive player as evidenced by her 252 digs and recorded 30 ace blocks. She finished with 148 career ace serves.
MACCRAY senior setter
Loomis, a four-year starter for the Wolverines, finished her career with 2,187 set assists, the 10th most all-time in the area. This season, Loomis amassed 586 assists to go along 68 kills, 68 ace serves, 18 ace blocks and 135 digs as the Wolverines finished the season 20-10.
Willmar senior hitter
Nelsen, although often attacking against taller defenders, utilized a quick and powerful arm swing and the ability to jump quickly to unleash 248 kills this season. The three-year starter also amassed 41 ace serves and 15 ace blocks as the Cardinals went 16-13. Nelsen also came up with 154 digs.
Willmar junior hitter/setter
Smith, a two-year starter, became one of the area's most dangerous servers this season, averaging one ace every six attempts and finishing with a team-high 67. She also chalked up 322 assists, had 116 kills in 381 attacks and had 252 digs.
YME junior setter
An excellent all-around player, Johnson had only 21 setting errors in 1,272 attempts, while notching 433 assists for the Sting. She also contributed 50 ace serves while serving 90 percent, 48 kills and 24 ace blocks. Also an outstanding defensive player, Johnson led the Sting with 256 digs.
NL-Spicer junior hitter
Ziemer's individual numbers don't stand out, but her all-around play and consistency this season for the Wildcats does. She had 135 kills and led the team in kills percentage at .253. The four-year starter also served 94 percent and had 39 ace blocks and 218 digs as the Wildcats went 23-7.
NL-Spicer junior setter
A starter since eighth grade, Dammermann has over 1,500 career set assists for the Wildcats. She had 505 assists this season with only 12 errors in 1,710 attempts. Dammermann also had 87 kills, 29 ace serves and 17 blocks. On defense, she came up with 183 digs.
KMS senior hitter
Young enjoyed a solid season in her third year as a starter for the Fighting Saints. She uncorked 225 kills, served 92 percent with 47 aces and had 12 ace blocks on offense. Also an excellent defensive player, Young led the Saints in serve receive and was second on the team in digs with 255.
Montevideo junior hitter
A middle hitter and two-year starter for the Thunder Hawks, Schwendemann had a .274 kill percentage this season while dropping down 212 kills. She also was second on the team in ace blocks with 40, served 92 percent with 36 aces and led the Thunder Hawks with 266 digs.
Benson senior hitter
Bouta was one of the Braves' most consistent players this season, generating 224 kills to go along with a team-high 56 ace blocks. She also led the 21-7 Braves in serve receive and was second on the team with 41 ace serves, and also chipped in with 209 digs.
LQPV senior hitter
Rheingans led the resurgent Eagles with 178 kills and 480 digs this season. She was one of the reasons why the team broke a school record for wins in a season with 19. Rheingans, a three-year starter and outside hitter, also served 91 percent with 17 aces and had 24 ace blocks.
NL-Spicer senior hitter
Jacobson started three years for the Wildcats, helping them steadily improve until a 21-win campaign in 2008. She had 205 kills this season in 550 attacks and also had a team-high 51 ace blocks as the Wildcats finished second in the West Central North Conference.
YME junior hitter
A very consistent hitter as evidenced by her team-high .321 kill percentage, Leiseth had 174 kills with just 36 errors in 430 attacks this season. She also was second on the team with 46 ace blocks and third on the team with 174 digs. She also aced 25 serves.
KMS senior setter
Carlson was a steady setter for three seasons for the Fighting Saints with a knack for reading defenses and distributing the ball to the right hitter. She chalked up an area-best 657 assists this season with only 52 errors in 2,182 sets. Carlson also dropped in 60 ace serves while serving 91 percent, had 86 kills in and also finished with 176 digs.
Bodin, a relentless worker who never gives up on a ball, had 369 digs for the Wolverines this season. A three-year starter, Bodin also contributed 40 ace serves and 16 kills.
Hieserich, a two-year starter, helped the Jaguars reach the state tournament for the second straight season. She had 275 digs, serve received 89 percent and had 39 ace serves.