Tribune names All-Area Volleyball Team

By Scott Thoma For the fifth time in the last six years, the All-Area Volleyball Team includes the name "Lensing". The latest is Heidi Lensing, a 5-11 junior hitter who helped Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa become the only area team to...

By Scott Thoma

For the fifth time in the last six years, the All-Area Volleyball Team includes the name "Lensing".

The latest is Heidi Lensing, a 5-11 junior hitter who helped Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa become the only area team to qualify for the state tournament this season. She was named to the first team.

Lensings siblings, Tina and Heidi, were also first-team selections. Tina was named to the first team in 2002 and 2003 and Ashley was a first-team pick last year and a third-team selection in 2005.


Heidi pounded down an area-best 361 kills this season, including 34 in two matches in the state tournament, and has 633 for her career. In all, the Lensing siblings have 2,474 kills total (Ashley had 785 and Tina 1,056).

Lensing is joined on the first team by Greta King, a senior setter/hitter from Willmar; Megan Groen, a senior outside hitter from Renville County West; Danelle Loomis, a junior setter/hitter from MACCRAY; Courtney Frank, a senior hitter from Benson; and Livi Jeseritz, a junior outside hitter from Yellow Medicine East.

The All-Area team is selected by the sports editor after consulting with staff members and several area coaches and players.

Those named to the second team are: Cassie Ulferts, a senior setter/outside hitter from Central Minnesota Christian, Taylor Skoglund, a senior middle hitter from Montevideo; Macy McKay, a junior outside hitter from Yellow Medicine East, Kortney Mulder, a senior middle hitter from Renville County West; Megan Lambertson, a junior middle hitter from Litchfield; and Steph Stassen, a senior middle hitter from Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg.

Third-team selections are: Sarah Gruber, a senior setter, and Lindsay Goodwin, a senior middle hitter, both from Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa; Ashley Beseman, a senior middle hitter from MACCRAY, Jamie Wollin, a junior outside hitter from Litchfield, Karie Blommel, a senior outside hitter from Montevideo; and Cassie Ziemer, a sophomore middle hitter from New London-Spicer.

King was also named to the first team last season. Ulferts, Skoglund and Groen were second-team picks a season ago. Frank and Lambertson were on the third team last year.

First Team



BBE junior hitter

Lensing utilized a powerul arm swing and exceptional leaping ability to amass a robust .342 kill percentage this season for the Jaguars. She was selected to the Class A All-Tournament team after pounding down 34 kills in two matches. Besides her 361 kills this season, the two-year starter had 71 ace blocks, 43 ace serves and 252 digs. In her career, Lensing has 633 kills and 119 ace blocks.


Willmar senior hitter/setter

King, a hard-hitting left-hander, battled an injured ankle most of the season that forced her to miss a few matches, yet still managed 247 kills and a .335 kill percentage to lead the Cardinal in both categories. A three-year starter, King also manufactured 37 ace serves while serving 93 percent and also recorded 247 assists. For her career, King ended up with 767 kills, 563 assists, 107 ace blocks and 113 ace serves.


YME junior hitter

Jeseritz, also an All-Area softball selection last spring, was instrumental in the Sting's rise to power this season, sharing the West Central South Conference title and reaching the section championship before falling in five games to eventual Class AA champion Marshall. The agile and hard-hitting Jeseritz had 282 kills this season to go along with 70 ace serves, 35 ace blocksand 196 digs.



MACCRAY junior setter

Loomis, a three-year starter, was considered by many the top setter in the area this season with her ability to turn a bad pass into a good set. She was credited with 550 assists this season for the Wolverines, who finished 18-11. Loomis also was used as a hitter at times this season and had 121 kills to go along with 33 ace serves, 20 ace blocks and 225 digs.


RCW senior hitter

Groen, an outstanding all-around athlete, helped Renville County West win the Camden North Conference title and go 23-6 overall. The senior three-year starter registered 309 kills and an exceptional .451 kill percentage, both team highs. Groen also served 95 percent with 43 aces and notched 243 digs. For her career, Groen finished with a school-record 849 kills and also had 102 ace serves.


Benson senior hitter


Regarded as the hardest hitter in the area by many coaches and players polled, Frank unleashed 299 kills in 719 attempts and had a .302 kill efficiency mark for the Braves this season. Also an All-Area softball selection last spring as a third baseman, Frank utilized her strong arm in volleyball to also record an area-best 92 ace serves, to go along with 47 ace blocks and 236 digs.

Second Team


Montevideo senior hitter

Skoglund was Montevideo's top hitter the past two seasons, helping the Thunder Hawks go 49-6-1, including a 23-2-1 mark this year. She had 192 kills this season in only 389 attacks, finishing with a robust .365 kill percentage, and also had 152 digs. Skoglund also was one of the area's top blockers as evidenced by her 92 aces this year.


YME senior hitter

McKay was a solid all-around performer this season for the Sting, helping the team improve from 12 wins last season to a 22-6 record this year. A strong hitter with excellent court awareness, McKay blasted 236 kills in 620 attacks this season, compiling a .281 kill percentage. She also recorded 38 ace bloxcks and served 90 percent with 51 aces.



CMCS senior setter/hitter

Ulferts became the opposing team's top focus this season, shining as both a hitter and a setter. The two-time All-Area performer recorded 254 kills, a .275 kill percentage, 281 assists, 30 ace blocks and 30 ace serves. Also an excellent defensive player, Ulferts finished with 249 digs.


RCW senior hitter

Mulder has been a starter for three seasons for the Jaguars and has developed into an oustanding intimidator at the net. She had 167 kills in only 371 attacks this season and had 74 ace blocks. She was also third on the team with 42 ace serves and had 152 digs.


KMS senior hitter


Stassen, a three-year starter for the Fighting Saints, amassed 293 kills, averaging 3.22 kills-per-game, this season as KMS posted a 14-13-1 record. Consistent all season and an imposing presence at the net with her height and mobility, Stassen also had 46 ace blocks and 37 ace serves.


Litchfield junior hitter

Lambertson had an outstanding .415 kill efficiency mark this season for the Dragons. Five times this season the three-year starter had 20-or-more kills in a match and finished with 309 in 624 attacks. Also an outstanding blocker, Lambertson recorded 61 aces. In her career, she has 613 kills and 145 ace blocks.

Third Team


BBE senior setterr

Gruber developed into an outstanding setter who read defenses well and distributed the ball accordingly, helping the Jaguars win the Central Minnesota Conference title, as well as a section crown. For the season, she had 814 assists. She was also solid at the service stripe, recording a team-high 46 aces. Gruber also had 147 digs. For her career, she finished with 1,316 assists.


BBE senior hitter

Goodwin, a two-year starter, was mobile for a six-footer and recorded 178 kills this season for the Jaguars. She steadily improved throughout the season and forced opposing teams to alter their offensive plans with her ability to stuff attacks. She finished with 76 ace blocks to go along with 42 ace serves and 175 digs.


Montevideo senior hitter

Although often going against taller blockers this season, Blommel made up for it with her powerful hitting that could penetrate double blocks. She was second to Skoglund with 189 kills and had a .300 kill percentage. Blommel also had 396 digs and 26 ace serves.


MACCRAY senior hitter

Beseman was oustanding at the net, offensively and defensively for the Wolverines this season. Utilizing her height and agility, Beseman recorded 296 kills in 748 attacks and also notched 63 ace blocks. She was also third on the team with 37 ace serves while serving over 90 percent.


Litchfield junior hitter

Wollin possesses a powerful arm swing and exceptional court savvy. For the Dragons this season, she registered 228 kills and a .319 kill percentage. She also led the team in digs with 313 and was second in serve-receive. Wollin was also one of the top servers in the area with 44 aces while serving 96 percent.


NL-Spicer sophomore hitter

Although generally going against taller opponents most of the time, Ziemer utilized excellent timing and leaping ability to pound down 163 kills and help the Wildcats improve from seven wins last season to an 18-10 record this season with the area's youngest lineup. Ziemer also had 39 ace blocks, 194 digs and served 95 percent.

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