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VolleyballMag.com DREAM TEAM for May 18:
S: Mallie Blizzard, 5-8 Sophomore, ECJVC 16 National (NC) — ECJVC 16 National played at the South Carolina Grand Prix in Spartanburg. Led by Blizzard, the team earned a second-place finish. “Mallie was outstanding this past weekend, averaging 23 assists, 2 aces, and 5.4 digs per match,” noted ECJVC’s Kelley Kraniak. “Her setting accuracy and defensive/hustle saves during tight games were remarkable and a big reason for team success. Coaches felt the team was able to pull through some very competitive sets because of Mallie’s overall leadership and effort.”
RS: Isabelle Swiercz, 6-0 Sophomore, FaR Out 16 Black(MI) — Swiercz has been playing her best volleyball of the season the past two weeks. “She has really started to feel her approach, and has been a force at the net,” noted coach Valerie Lurye. This past weekend at the final 16’s MEPL, she led the team with 34 kills, four blocks, and three aces. “It has been evident in the way she trains that she is willing to do whatever it takes to make the team their very best,” Lurye said. “She has really focused on blocking and being a responsible defender, and with that confidence her attacking has seen a big uptick as well.”
MB: Elise Marchal, 6-0 Sophomore, Elevation 16 Butcher (OH) — Elevation placed third last weekend at the OVR Regional Championships. Marchal impressed, said coach Ali Butcher. “Elise is a terminal player,” the coach stated. “She is one of the most dynamic middles off one foot that I have seen in a while. Elise is long and lanky, but she is quick to the ball. She gives hitters fits at the net. Elise owns the net and not much passes her. But the best thing about Elise is that she is great on both sides of the ball. Elise also has one of the best serves on our team. Several times this season has she brought us back into a match or won a match for us because she has a mean serve down the line or into a seam. Additionally, she is tenacious on defense, which allows for us to keep long rallies while she is in.”
MB: Isabel Sandstrum, 5-9 Sophomore, NC Coastal 16 Ellen (NC) — Sandstrum led her team to the Gold Bracket in the 16 Open Division at the AAU SC Grand Prix in Spartanburg over the weekend. Playing both six-rotation outside and middle, Sandstrum hit .333, passed 2.3 and served tough with six aces.
OH: Breanna Brewer, 5-11 Freshman, Tstreet 15-Curtis (CA) — Brewer helped lead Tstreet to a PVL Championship this past weekend in SoCal. Brewer played six rotations as an outside hitter. Many teams tried to target her on serve receive, but she stayed strong as a passer the whole tournament. She also led Curtis Yoder’s squad as an offensive option and played tenacious defense, which was a big part of her team’s success.
OH: Olivia Heitkamp, 6-0 Sophomore, Elite 16 Black (OH) — A middle recently moved to the outside, Heitkamp hit over .400 this past weekend to lead Elite to a 5-0 record in the finals of the MEPL Power League. She played great front row and back. “She is improved at her position and the things she is working on in practice are now paying off in games,” said director Randy Cline.
Libero: Kenzie Cogan, 5-5 libero, Elevation 16 Butcher (OH) — Elevation placed third last weekend at the OVR Regional Championships. Coach Ali Butcher loved how fierce Cogan was. “She will run through chairs and brick walls to not let a ball hit the floor,” the coach said. “She is solid in serve receive with a strong platform and balanced feet. Kenzie is a great leader on defense, helping coach the team on positioning and covering coast to coast. Kenzie too has a strong serve for our team. The ball will just sink, throwing those off on serve-receive.”
DS: Savannah Whaley, 5-10 Sophomore, ECJVC 16 National (NC) — ECJVC 16 National played at the South Carolina Grand Prix in Spartanburg. The team finished second overall. Whaley did a fantastic job as a defensive specialist, averaging four digs per set and passing over a 2.0. “She finished with 45 digs on the weekend and kept the team momentum with unbelievable saves and never letting the ball hit the floor,” said the club’s Kelley Kraniak.
Also considered (by position, in order of consideration):
OH: Kaia Herweg, 5-10 Sophomore, Mizuno Long Beach 16 Rockstar (CA) — Herweg helped lead her team to a Premier Volleyball League championship. She displayed great energy all weekend and, attacking on the left, hit .250 for the two-day event.
OH: Mya White, 6-0 Sophomore, Elevation 16 Butcher (OH) — Elevation placed third last weekend at the OVR Regional Championships. Elevation coach Ali Butcher said she saw in White’s play the makings of a future star. “Mya is one of the fiercest athletes that I have ever coached,” she said. “For her size, she can move and she has one of the heaviest attacking arms that I have seen. She has played six rotations for us and come up big for us with her swings in the front and back row. She has been solid for us in serve receive as well. Mya can move side to side in middle back defense. She has a strong volleyball IQ. I don’t know that can be said for many athletes her age. Mya is a competitive kid, giving hitters and blockers struggles with her heavy arm and then, her ability to close in on a block.”
OH: Kayden McKinney, 5-8 Freshman, Elite 15 Black (OH) — “Kayden played a very consistent tournament this weekend,” said coach Gweyn Zechman. “She led her team to a 2nd place finish at the Midwest Power League in the 15 division. She swung hard and mixed up her shots to lead us in kills. Her blocking and court awareness added to our team’s success and it was fun watching her play well.”
OH: Ella Mozeleski, 5-9 Sophomore, , Elevation 16 Butcher (OH) — Elevation placed third last weekend at the OVR Regional Championships. Coach Ali Butcher said she played much bigger than her height over the weekend. “WOW – this kid can jump!” Butcher exclaimed. “A former gymnast and current sand player, she jumps effortlessly on the court. She makes it look easy and makes her appear five inches taller. She also has a heavy arm! Watching Ella, you can see her sand skills play through on an out of system ball that comes tight to the net. She is fearless and will work to go and attack or challenge the ball. Her backrow attack might be better than her front row. She has great pop on the ball. Lots of opportunity for this kid as she continues to develop into a great six-rotation player.”
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.
Coaches and club directors can get on our email list by opting in at these links:
Club coaches — http://eepurl.com/hn9qgr
Club directors and administrators — http://eepurl.com/hn9kab
Parents: If you’re not seeing your club represented ask your director/coaches to consider nominating deserving candidates.
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