Note: Season statistics for Faribault players are missing six matches.

FIRST TEAM

Olivia Bauer, senior, outside hitter, Faribault

2021 statistics: 241 kills, .241 hitting percentage, 13 total blocks, 292 digs, 18 aces.

When the Faribault offense was rolling, it was often through Bauer’s powerful swing. The senior held a sizable led over the rest of the Falcons in terms of kills, while also managing to maintain a team-high hitting percentage. Bauer’s ability to also drop back onto the back row and provide reliable defense and serve-receive made her a vital cog in Faribault’s success this season.

Ellie Cohen, senior, outside hitter, Bethlehem Academy

2021 statistics: 277 kills, .174 hitting percentage, 17 solo blocks, 21 block assists, 46 aces, 373 digs.

Cohen was Bethlehem Academy’s utility knife, which moved all over the court and did just about everything. That goes from being a primary hitting option to bouncing around the back row to keep points alive. Combine all that with the defensive ability at the net and the pinpoint accuracy from the service line, and the five-year varsity contributor will leave a massive hole next season.

Tessa Erlandson, junior, outside hitter, Kenyon-Wanamingo

2021 statistics: 215 kills, .125 hitting percentage, 3 solo blocks, 12 block assists, 345 digs, 19 aces.

The pairing of offensive power and defensive flexibility elevates Erlandson onto the first team. She led the Knights in digs and was just off the team lead in kills while never leaving the court. Add in a consistent serve, an ability to help out on the block and serve-receive, and Erlandson enjoyed one of the best all-around seasons in the area.

Alex Heuss, senior, middle hitter, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown

2021 statistics: 294 kills, .219 hitting percentage, 19 solo blocks, 16 block assists, 76 digs.

Huess was partially tasked with stepping into a sizable void in terms of leadership and production for the Buccaneers. She did just that, operating as the primary offensive option for WEM from the middle, and still finishing the year with the best hitting percentage on the team. Add in her defensive presence at the net, and Heuss was a big reason why the Buccaneers stayed near the top of the Gopher Conference and challenged for a Section 2AA title.

Maggie Leichtnam, senior, middle hitter, Faribault

2021 statistics: 110 kills, .230 hitting percentage, 27 total blocks, 45 digs, 22 aces.

Leichtnam was utilized as a dual-force in the middle of the court for the Falcons, leading the team in blocks while finishing with the team’s second-highest hitting percentage and kills total. The senior also led the team in aces to go along with a serve percentage north of 90%.

Mia Potter, senior, libero, Bethlehem Academy

2021 statistics: 816 digs, 37 aces, 26 assists.

Bethlehem Academy entered this season with sky-high expectations thanks to a wealth of returning experience. One of the only spots on the floor without a returning starter for the Cardinals was at libero, which Potter was tasked to slot into. She did an admirable job to captain the back row and rack up an eye-popping 816 digs in her senior season, in addition to her reliable serve-receive. The only problem is the Cardinals are now in the market for another libero next fall.

SECOND TEAM

Leah Berg, senior, outside hitter, Kenyon-Wanamingo

2021 statistics: 230 kills, .256 hitting percentage, 9 solo blocks, 64 block assists.

Berg emerged in her senior season as one of the most powerful hitters in the area. As the season progressed and the points developed more drama, the Knights were more than comfortable to set up Berg for the attack, and the senior was more than happy to finish points and matches with kills down the line and across the court.

Reagan Kangas, junior, setter, Bethlehem Academy

2021 statistics: 978 assists, 209 digs, 48 kills, 16 aces, 5 solo blocks, 14 block assists.

Playing as the lone setter for a high-powered attack typically produces some gaudy assist numbers. Still, Kangas racking up 978 helpers this fall is impressive even after that caveat, since that total would be impressive over an entire career. Her 48 kills from only surprising the defense with a set over the net, and her defensive help helped make Kangas irreplaceable.

Clara Malecha, senior, libero, Faribault

2021 statistics: 408 digs, 42 assists, 12 aces.

The backbone of the defense for the Falcons, Malecha started the offense with her serve-receive and extended points with her range on the back row. The senior finished the year with a sterling serve-receive rating of 2.02, while also posting more than 100 digs than any other Faribault player.

Josi Quam, junior, setter/outside hitter, Kenyon-Wanamingo

2021 statistics: 117 kills, .171 hitting percentage, 430 assists, 50 aces, 5 solo blocks, 18 block assists, 221 digs.

Another all-rotation player for the Knights, Quam had her hands in just about every bucket this season. She led the team in assists while also managing to operate as a secondary hitting option for the team. Add in a team high in aces, plus some more than respectable digs and block numbers and there’s more than enough evidence of a breakout junior season for Quam.

Riley Sammon, senior, middle hitter, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown

2021 statistics: 249 kills, .159 hitting percentage, 21 solo blocks, 31 block assists, 76 digs.

In conjunction with Alex Heuss, Sammon helped form a dangerous 1-2 option in the middle of the court of the Buccaneers. She finished second on the team in kills, and spearheaded the block for WEM with team highs in solo blocks and block assists.

Kate Trump, junior, outside hitter, Bethlehem Academy

2021 statistics: 282 kills, .146 hitting percentage, 17 solo blocks, 23 block assists, 41 aces, 507 digs.

Trump took a big step forward as a junior and led the Cardinals in kills, in addition to finishing second on the team in digs. That well-rounded skill set will be counted on again next year for a Bethlehem Academy program that loses a fair amount of production to graduation.

HONRABLE MENTIONS

Claire Bohlen, sophomore, outside hitter, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown

2021 statistics: 182 kills, .121 hitting percentage, 356 digs, 33 aces, 9 solo blocks, 12 block assists.

In her first year as a starter, Bohlen developed into a reliable offensive option on the outside and a solid defensive cog all over the back row. Add in her ability at the service line and defensively at the net, and the Buccaneers can look forward to two more years of Bohlen.

Lindsay Hanson, junior, middle hitter, Bethlehem Academy

2021 statistics: 250 kills, .232 hitting percentage, 68 solo blocks, 43 block assists, 35 aces, 127 digs.

Middle hitters typically don’t contribute throughout the entire box score. Hanson isn’t like most middle hitters, as the junior helped the Cardinals with 35 aces and 127 digs in addition to her work at the net. That work shouldn’t be overlooked, as Hanson racked up impressive kill totals and served as one of the most feared blockers in Class A this season.

Isabel Herda, junior, setter/outside hitter, Faribault

2021 statistics: 94 kills, .148 hitting percentage, 287 assists, 221 digs, 10 total blocks, 9 aces.

Herda did some of everything for the Falcons, whether that was setting up attackers, slamming kills or keeping points alive on the back row. For a Faribault program graduating a host of seniors from this year’s team, that diverse skill set will be in high demand next fall.

Stella Rechtzigel, senior, middle hitter, Kenyon-Wanamingo

2021 statistics: 122 kills, .254 hitting percentage, 41 aces, 21 solo blocks, 77 block assists, 60 digs.

Whenever Rechtzigel touched the ball this season, chances are something good happened for the Knights. Her hitting percentage was a hair off the team lead, while her powerful defensive presence at the net was a nightmare for opposing offenses to try and navigate around.

Josie Volkmann, sophomore, outside hitter, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown

2021 statistics: 100 kills, .086 hitting percentage, 444 digs, 45 aces, 4 solo blocks, 9 block assists.

In the same vein as Bohlen, Volkmann shined in her first full-time varsity opportunity. Her listed position is outside hitter, but that doesn’t full explain the sophomore’s defensive impact, where she finished just off the team lead in digs. Her 45 aces also led the Buccaneers.

Reach Regional Sports Editor Michael Hughes at 645-1106 or follow him on Twitter @APGSoMnHughes. © Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

Sports Editor for the Northfield News. Also a California native looking for tips on surviving the winter and an Indiana University grad on the quest for a good breaded pork tenderloin.

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