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VolleyballMag.com DREAM TEAM for April 13:
S: Stella Swenson, 6-1 Sophomore, MN Select 17-1 (MN) — Swenson was a key in Select’s leaving Kansas City with a 17 Open bid from Show Me. She led the team with 242 set assists (11.52 per set), and added 13 total blocks and 44 digs on the weekend. “Stella led the team from the setting position, making great decisions and showing the leadership it takes to bring her team to the top through thoughtful communication and individual effort,” noted coach George Padjen. “She is a true leader.”
RS: Mesaiya Bettis, 6-0 Freshman, Northern Lights 15-1 (MN) — Bettis took over matches where Lights absolutely needed to win. She hit .425 in the must-win match against MAVS KC to help Lights qualify and was nearly perfect (14/1/16) against PVA in sets 2 and 3 to keep the team in contention.
OH: Anna Jelinek, 5-8 Freshman, Nebraska ONE 15 Synergy (NE) — Jelinek had a phenomenal weekend for the 15 Open champs at Show Me. She led her team with 95 kills and 91 digs. “She brought her offensive game to another level,” said coach Christina Boesiger. “She showed her athleticism and hit many tough shots around a big block.”
, 6-2 Junior, Premier Nebraska 17 Gold (NE) — Ndam-Simpson, a Creighton recruit, was an unstoppable force on the outside for Premier, which went 10-0 (20-0) to top the 17 Open field at the Show Me Qualifier in Kansas City last weekend. She averaged more than four kills per set while hitting over .300.
MB: Faith Young, 6-1 Sophomore, Tri-State Elite 16 Blue (OH) — Young hit an astounding .516 on 93 swings to help TSE to the 16 Open title at the JVA World Challenge this past weekend.
MB: Lizzie Andrew, 6-5 Sophomore, Athena VB 16 Gold (OR) — Andrew made deep impacts for Athena last weekend at the JVA World Challenge. She hit .400 for a team that medaled in 16 Open and averaged a tick more than two blocks per game. “Lizzy is one of the most dominant middles in the gym, and truly loves the game of volleyball and competition,” noted coach Lena Chan.
Libero: Ava Roth, 5-6 Junior, Rockwood Thunder 17 Elite (MO) — Roth was incredible this past weekend, as Rockwood qualified for Junior Nationals in 17 Open at Show Me. She led her team in serve receive and defensive digs. “She made some great reads defensively and kept her team in tons of rallies,” said coach Gretchen Moser. “Ava runs the back court with authority and has earned the respect of all that play with her. She has worked hard to continue to improve on a weekly basis.”
DS: Abby Meister, 5-6 Senior, Kairos 18 Adidas (SD) — Meister did a phenomenal job playing middle back defense all weekend for Kairos, which tied for third in 18 Open at the JVA World Challenge. “In our quarterfinal match, another DS of ours injured her knee and could not continue,” Mitch Lunning explained. “Abby had to play that position for us in the semifinal match, a position she has never really ever played. She did a great job and made some huge plays for us. She had some key aces in big moments as we nearly knocked off Sports Performance in the semis.”
Also considered (by position, in order of consideration):
S: Alexis Haury, 5-10 Sophomore, NPJ 18 Forefront (OR) — The reigning Oregon Gatorade POY was doing her thing this weekend, dishing the rock for NPJ, which captured its second consecutive Platinum Championship at the Columbia Empire/Puget Sound joint power league. She averaged 12.4 assists, 1.2 aces and three digs per set. “She ran a very quick offense, allowing her hitters to hit against a solo block most of the day,” said coach Adam Ellis. “Alexis was a threat from the service line, knocking teams out of system all day, and was a fierce defender, not letting the ball hit the ground.”
S: Maria Drapp, 5-10 Sophomore, Tri-State Elite 16 Blue (OH) — Drapp ran an offense that not only won 16 Open at the JVA World Championships over the weekend; it hit .390 collectively on its way there.
S: Ivy Leuck, 5-9 Junior, Premier Nebraska 17 Gold (NE) — Leuck was pivotal in leading Premier’s potent offense this past weekend at Show Me. Under her care, the team went 10-0 (20-0) to capture its first-ever Open title as a group. “Ivy was steady and consistent in her offense, while coming up with some big defensive plays to keep her team rolling,” noted coach Joe Wessel.
S: Maya Hunt, 5-10 Junior, NKYVC 17 Tsunami (KY) — 17 Tsunami tied for seventh in Open at Show Me and Hunt was in the middle of everything the team did. The finish could have been even higher, but the team drew the short straw on a three-way tie for second in the Gold Pools. “As a 5-1 setter, Maya is a vocal leader and ran a great offense, making good choices,” noted director Jill Hunt. “She averaged 10.8 assists per set over the nine matches adding 10 kills and five aces.”
RS: Grace Heaney, 6-3 Junior, Premier Nebraska 17 Gold (NE) — Heaney contributed in a big way to Premier’s offense and defense as the Nebraska squad went 10-0 (20-0) to win the 17 Open title at Show Me on Monday. “She was the go-to player with the match on the line in the championship and hammered home the kill for this group’s first ever Open Championship,” said coach Joe Wessel.
RS: Ashlyn Paymal, 6-3 Freshman, Nebraska Elite 15 Matrix (NE) — Paymal helped on offense and defense as 15 Matrix qualified at Show Me in 15 Open. She had more than 85 kills, hitting almost .300; and added 13 total blocks.
OH: Ella Wrobel, 6-4 Senior, Sports Performance 18 Elite (IL) — Wrobel is impacting her team arguably greater than any other 18s player in the country this season. Already twice a Dream Teamers, the Wisconsin-bound striker was on her game again this past weekend as 18 Elite won the JVA World Challenge in the 18 Open Division. She led the SPVB offense with 96 kills, attacking at a .385 clip. She also played stellar defense and averaged 3.16 digs per set.
OH: Claire Morrissey, 6-0 Sophomore, Rockwood Thunder 17 Elite (MO) — Morrissey helped Rockwood secure an Open bid to Junior Nationals this past weekend at Show Me. She led her team in kills and contributed from both the outside and right back offensively. “She was a consistent factor all weekend,” noted coach Gretchen Moser.
OH: Addy Nava, 5-10 Senior, Fusion 18 Silver (IL) — Fusion tied for third in the 18 Premier division at the JVA World Challenge over the weekend. Over 21 sets, Nava amassed 62 kills, 46 digs, eight aces, hit .303 and passed 2.12. She played a little middle and was a constant for an undermanned team. “We were ranked 18th in our division going into the tournament and finished third despite all of the adversity the team went through,” noted coach Henry Graack. “The entire team stepped up for us, but Addy had the best weekend she has had all year when we needed her most.”
OH: Alina Hajewski, 5-9 Junior, Colorado Juniors 17Bri (CO) — Hajewski led Juniors to the Gold Medal in the 17 Liberty division at Show Me. The junior excelled in six rotations, passed a 2.0, dug up everything in sight and hit a ridiculous percentage over the three-day event. She even starred in Game 3 of the championship match to seal victory.
OH: Alivia Skidmore, 5-10 Sophomore, NKYVC 16 Tsunami (KY) — A dynamic attacker, Skidmore returned to the court after missing Triple Crown due to injury and propelled 16 Tsunami to second place in 16 Open at Show Me, which was good enough for an Open bid to Junior Nationals. “Alivia Skidmore is such a dynamic player,” noted director Jill Hunt. “She was clutch in important situations and has such a heavy arm and the ability to make different shots that it is hard to stop her. She not only scored points with her hitting but she put up a great block this weekend as well. She is a high flying, versatile player who can score on either pin.”
OH: Jenna McClure, 5-7 Freshman, Dynasty 15 Black (KS) — McClure was outstanding for Dynasty, which placed second in 15 Open on Monday at Show Me. A six-rotation outside, the team relies on her in every phase. “She passed us consistently in system and she did a great job of getting other teams out of system and scoring points,” coach Brian Tate said.
OH: Sydney Scott, 5-9 Senior, Seal Beach 18 Black (CA) — A six-rotation outside, Scott provided rock solid ball control and a consistent sideout game for her team at the 18s PVL Championships this past weekend. “She was a big reason Seal Beach went undefeated in pool play going into bracket playoffs,” said coach Danko Iordanov. A good teammate who plays with a terrific competitive spirit, Scott handled 63 serve receptions, passing at a 2.2, and also averaged two kills and two digs per set.
MB: Ellen Zapp, 6-0 Freshman, Circle City 15 Purple (IN) — Despite a very tough 15 Open field, Circle City was able to double qualify this past weekend at Show Me. Zap really stepped up and was the team’s go-to hitter all day on Monday. “I looked at our setter several times, telling her to set the middle,” coach Jenna Tadros explained. “Ellen has been playing middle this year due to an injury on our team, but previously was a pin. She plays the middle so effortlessly and is always one of the best ones on the court, holding her own with blocking and owning the net with scoring on attacks and overpasses.”
MB: Isa Glover, 6-0 Freshman, Dynasty 15 Black (KS) — Glover is a middle her setters relied on to get kills this weekend in 15 Open at Show Me, where Dynasty placed second overall. “She came up with some big blocks at just the right time,” noted coach Brian Tate. “She went on some big serving runs and played great defense.”
MB: Briana Castro, 6-0 Senior, Seal Beach 18 Black (CA) — A Whittier College recruit, Castro did a great job during the 18s PVL Championships this past weekend. “She was instrumental in helping our team go from being the third seed in our pool to going undefeated in our pool going in to bracket playoffs,” noted coach Danko Iordanov. “Brianna always gives her best effort and wants to do better in everything she does. She hit 0.500 in the tournament with no errors. This was also one of her best blocking tournaments, as she averaged 1.43 blocks per set.”
Libero: Elizabeth Tabeling, 5-7 Sophomore, NKYVC 16 Tsunami (KY) — Tabeling not only anchored the serve receive but she also played tremendous defense against some very heavy arms as NKYVC finished second in 16 Open at Show Me to score its bid. “She is a leader on the floor and does a great job controlling the back court,” noted director Jill Hunt. “She was everywhere – digging, covering, picking up tips – she was determined all weekend to not let a ball drop at any point. She is instrumental in the success of her team.”
Libero: Aniya Warren, 5-8 Freshman, Sports Performance 16 Elite (IL) — 16 Elite went 5-3 and tied for fifth in 16 Open at the JVA World Challenge over the weekend. “Warren was a huge part of our first contact and made some great plays in leading our back row and keeping us in matches,” said coach Seth Salmon. Warren passed a 2.23 for the weekend with 112 digs. “The plays that she is able to make are great to watch and, for a freshman in 16 Open, doing some of the things she is doing, it is very impressive,” Salmon said.
Libero: Lauren Patterson, 5-5 Junior, Athena VB 17 Gold (OR) — Patterson averaged 4.8 digs per set and led the defense to a new level, as Athena made the 17 Open championship match at the JVA World Championship. She passed a 2.2 on 97 passes and was aced less than one time per match. “Outside of statistics, she emotionally led each teammate to a new level of confidence by showcasing her ability to be a great teammate,” said coach Chris Osborn. “Without her passing, leadership, and high IQ defensive plays, we would have never made it to the championship.”
Libero: Isabel Junior, 5-8 Freshman, Nebraska Elite 15 Matrix (NE) — Over 10 matches last weekend at Show Me, Junior recorded 78 digs and passed a 2.1 to help 15 Matrix qualify in 15 Open.
Libero: McKenna Garr, 5-7 Freshman, Northern Lights 15-1 (MN) — Garr enjoyed a lock down weekend on defense and was a rock in serve-receive as Lights qualified for Junior Nationals with a strong 15 Open finish at Show Me. “I have rewritten our rotational order to put her in zone 6 in serve reception in every rotation,” said coach Andy Guggisberg. Garr passed a 2.2 and passed over 50% of the balls served all weekend.
Libero: Ava Falduto, 5-7 Sophomore, New WAVE 17 Tsunami (IL) — Playing 17 Open at the JVA World Challenge after a month off, New WAVE went 6-2 and finished in 20th place. Falduto, a top recruit in the 2024 class, was outstanding all tourney long. She passed with precision and consistency — 2.25 versus Upward Stars, 2.36 against FC Elite — and averaged 13 digs per match.
Libero: Elli Breezer, 5-111 1/2 Sophomore, Core Values 16 Red (CO) — The team captain and typically the OH1 for her team, Breezer played libero for her team last weekend after the usual libero got a concussion in the first set of Power league. The move came at Breezer’s suggestion. “We struggled through the rest of that match without our libero, using our middles all the way around,” recalled coach Laura Deluna. “After the match, Elli suggested that she play libero the rest of the day. She was amazing, taking twice as many passes as she normally would, making crazy digs, and running a successful BIC for a kill in the last set of the day. Although our final finish was not what we wanted, we didn’t get slaughtered and Elli’s response to adversity was impressive. She exemplified a true team leader. What more can I ask for?”
DS: Mandi Morioka, 5-7 Senior, Mizuno Long Beach 18 Rockstar (CA) — A Penn State recruit, Morioka had a great weekend for Long Beach at the PVL event. She led her team in aces and was a stud playing middle back and hitting out of the back row. Mizuno finished third in the tournament.
DS: Lucy Cogan, 5-7 Sophomore, VCNebraska 16 Black (NE) — VCNebraska went into Show Me with nine active players. By the end of the first set of the first match, Adam Ybarra’s team was down both setters due to illness and injury. “Cogan stepped up and ran our team’s offense (albeit a high ball offense),” he said. VCNebraska went 5-4 overall and finished runner up in the 16 Open Silver Bracket. “She help our team navigate through a different type of challenge this tournament,” Ybarra added.
Every Wednesday during the club season, VolleyballMag.com recognizes a Dream Team of eight girls volleyball players (15s to 18s age groups) who were standouts the weekend before.
The team will consist of the following:
Setter or S/RS
Setter, S/RS or RS
We include our eight-player Dream Team, as well as others we considered, based exclusively upon nominations received. (Are you a coach/director who may want to nominate someone next week or in future weeks? Just complete this handy-dandy form: https://volleyballmag.wufoo.com/forms/r7ybeg30hedscp/)
Note to coaches and directors: while there is no science to how we choose members of our Dream Team, performing on bigger stages will give players an edge, as will nomination forms that describe with specificity how well a player performed the previous weekend.
Parents: If you’re not seeing your club represented ask your director/coaches to consider nominating deserving candidates.
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