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YME volleyball star killed in rollover

GRANITE FALLS -- Stina Leiseth, who was recently named to the Tribune's All-Area volleyball team, was killed in a one-vehicle rollover Wednesday afternoon near Granite Falls. She was 16 and a junior at Yellow Medicine East High School.

Leiseth, the daughter of Rich and Becky Leiseth, was re-portedly en route to the high school in Granite Falls to have pictures taken for basketball at 2 p.m. and later for a scrimmage with Canby.

She was alone in the vehicle that was found in a small stream near her home six miles north of Granite Falls. She was pronounced dead at the Granite Falls Hospital.

The Chippewa County Sheriff's Department is still investigating the accident.

Leiseth, who was also a returning starting wing on the Yellow Medicine East basketball team, helped the Sting volleyball team share the West Central South Conference title and reach the Section 3AA championship before losing to eventual state runner-up Marshall.

"She was a great kid," said YME volleyball coach Tasha Feldman. "She had a quiet assurance about her, on and off the court."

Leiseth had 174 kills in 430 attacks and an impressive team-high .321 kill percentage. She was second on the team with 46 ace blocks and third on the team in digs with 174. She also aced 25 serves.

"We all knew she was a great athlete, but she was such an intelligent athlete, too," said Feldman. "I could tell her something and I didn't even have to show her and she would think about it a few seconds and then go out and do it. That's pretty rare. Not too many kids can do that."

In basketball, Leiseth scored 98 points and had 74 rebounds, 42 assists and 43 steals last season as a sophomore.

She also was set to play this spring for the Southwest Minnesota Juniors, a Junior Olympic volleyball team in Marshall.

"This is just such a slap in the face. She was such a great kid. She came down and tried out for the JO team after the state tournament and made the team," said Ridgewater volleyball coach Joe Sussenguth, who directs the JO league. "She's an undersized middle (hitter) who jumps out of the gym and has a big arm swing. I know Southwest Minnesota State was already recruiting her big time."