The 2019 West Central Tribune All-Area Volleyball Team is unveiled
Athletes from BBE, BOLD, Litch, Minnewaska NLS, Willmar make 1st team
The seven-person All-Area team was selected by the Tribune’s sports department and was based on nominations from area coaches.
Here is the 2019 West Central Tribune All-Area Volleyball team (in alphabetical order).
Colby Christensen, Litchfield
A 6-foot senior middle blocker, Christensen was the Dragons’ top attacker in 2019, finishing the season with 263 kills and 30-1/2 blocks. She was named an All-Wright County Conference selection while pushing Litchfield to a 19-10 record, which was a seven-win improvement from 2018.
“She is an athletic player (who) can jump out of the gym and hit with incredible power,” said Dragons head coach Darin Swenson. “She will be very difficult to replace next year.”
Ellie Danielson, Minnewaska
The driving force for a Lakers team that made a surprise run to the Section 3AA-North sub-section championship as a six seed, the 5-11 senior middle hitter had 418 kills, 84 blocks (32 solo), 340 digs, 87 set assists and 22 ace serves. A full-rotation player, Danielson averaged 4.8 kills per set with a .259 attack percentage while being named the West Central Conference’s most valuable hitter. She saved her best for the postseason with 80 kills, 42 digs and seven blocks over four postseason matches as Minnewaska finished 16-11 and made a section final for the first time in 21 years.
Karsee Kampsen, BBE
The lone returning player to the All-Area team from 2018, the Jaguars’ 5-6 junior setter helped her team return to St. Paul for the Class A state tournament after a come-from-behind, five-set win against Walker-Hackensack-Akeley in the Section 5A championship. Kampsen led the area with 953 set assists, helping her become Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa’s career set assists record holder at 3,025. An All-Central Minnesota Conference first team selection, Kampsen also had 214 digs, 54 ace serves, 72 kills and 21 blocks as the Jaguars finished 24-10.
“Karsee was certainly the quarterback of our team this year,” said BBE head coach Steve Waddell. “She can do things that other setters just simply cannot do because of her athleticism. She makes defenses think and the blockers had a very difficult time reading where she was setting.”
Ashlyn Olson, NLS
Standing at 6-foot, Olson’s presence as a right-side hitter loomed over opposing teams as the Wildcats went 27-3 this fall, earning the top spot in the Section 3AA-North tournament and staying a regular in the Class AA coaches poll. The University of North Dakota commit was named a Class AA All-State honorable mention selection after wrapping up the season with 283 kills and 86 blocks. She was also named to the All-Wright County Conference team and was picked as New London-Spicer’s offensive player of the year.
Makayla Snow, BOLD
BOLD’s all-time career assists leader with 2,289, Snow moved the Warriors’ offense around with 675 assists this fall. But her skills went beyond passing as the 5-11 senior tallied 292 digs, 197 kills, 42 blocks and 37 ace serves. The Northern State University commit was the conference MVP in 2019.
“Makayla is one of those athletes (who) could be one of the best in any position she plays,” said BOLD head coach Brittany Keltgen. “Makayla plays at a level well beyond her age. She has a high volleyball IQ and makes smart decisions. She is the floor general and makes those around her better. She can take an out-of-system ball and make it in-system. She has the ability to make an impact immediately at the next level.”
Abby Stark, Willmar
A three-time All-Central Lakes Conference pick, Stark battled through injury to remain one of the area’s best back row players. The Cardinals junior finished with 388 digs along with 41 ace serves and 32 kills. A North Dakota State University commit, the 5-8 Stark had 5.2 digs per set this year, third best in school history, and surpassed the school’s career digs mark with 1,283 with a season to go in her prep career.
“Abby is a very consistent passer and passes half of the court for our team,” said Willmar head coach Traci Grussing. “Abby is a complete player, including leading our team in aces per set, being an incredible setter and also finding a way to score when she has the opportunity to attack. Her determination and competitiveness stand out.”
Aleah Zieske, NLS
An All-Wright County Conference pick and the team MVP, Aleah Zieske could do a little of everything for New London-Spicer. The 5-10 junior outside hitter was second on the Wildcats with 262 kills and 309 digs. She was the team leader with 52 ace serves while also helping at the net with 18 blocks. While going 27-3 this fall, Zieske and the rest of the NLS squad opened the year on a 12-game winning streak while going 6-1 in Wright County play.
Brittany Berge (sr. MB, BBE) 385 kills, 76 digs, 45 blocks, 19 ace serves, CMC first team; Karoline Dahl (jr. OH, Dawson-Boyd) 274 kills, 186 digs, 35 ace serves, 14 blocks, All-Camden Conference, team MVP and offensive player of the year; Sara Geiser (sr. S, Minnewaska) 761 set assists, 162 digs, 40 kills, 27 blocks, 24 ace serves, All-West Central Madison Hinz (sr. S, Yellow Medicine East) 432 set assists, 163 digs, 78 kills, 17 blocks, 15 ace serves, All-Camden, team MVP; Haylee Johnson (sr. OH, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg) 235 kills, 193 digs, 33 blocks, 14 ace serves, All-Camden, team co-MVP, team offensive player of the year; Sara Kottke (sr. MB, Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart) 305 kills, 117 digs, 47 blocks, 43 ace serves, All-Tomahawk Conference, team co-MVP; Molly Mulder (so. OH, Central Minnesota Christian) 310 kills, 255 digs, 45 blocks, 22 ace serves, All-Camden; Bailey Olson (jr. OH, Willmar) 288 kills, 264 digs, 27 ace serves, All-CLC; Claire Ricard (sr. RS, Benson) 238 kills, 225 digs, 36 blocks, 20 ace serves, All-West Central, two-time team MVP; Ashley Trongard (sr. MB, BOLD) 210 kills, 220 digs, 43 blocks, 32 set assists, 25 ace serves, All-West Central