Posted On: 05/10/19 1:06 PM

Volleyball people are great, they are my people.  Everyone has their people right? What I enjoy most being in a gym, convention center, wherever there is volleyball is the people I get to interact with.  With a lot of college coaches I get to talk about athletes coming up, athletes they currently have in their program, and I ask them a lot of questions about what they are are doing in their gym with training, building culture, and doing whatever they can to make their program a positive experience these student athletes.  Sometimes they’ll ask for my opinion, and I am happy to offer my two cents worth of players that may be a great fit for their program. I focus on the positive, what I’ve seen even if it may be a few plays, and I do my best to help the coach and athlete. I’m not an overly critical or negative person, I just state what I see and hope colleges and athletes find their best fit. Here is our first edition of “Dear Prep Dig”.

Dear Prep Dig,

I am looking for a 2020 six rotation outside who can play all the way around with great energy, positive body language, and will be a great culture fit for my team in the future as soon as she walks in and a solid student athlete.

Sincerely,

Coach Sally Spike

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Coach Spike,

Everyone loves a six rotation outside hitter who can do a little bit of everything from playing solid defense in the backrow to being able to score on the pin.  A culture fit is a need for everyone, no coach says I really don’t care about their character right? I think I may have a few in mind from a couple different states.  

Iowa has a couple athletes that come to mind with Elaina Bohnet from Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln and SWI.  She was an All-State pin and will definitely be back for a big time Senior season. Kate Nelson from Waukee/Central Iowa Select, Malea Daugherty of Ankeny/IPVA, and Jaz Westmoreland of Waverly-Shell Rock/Six Pack might be ones to look at as well.  

The Class of 2020 is committing at a rapid rate in Wisconsin with athletes going to Division 2 schools in Kentucky, Iowa, and Minnesota to name a few.  Two athletes that would be great to take a look at would be Julia Treichel of Wisconsin Lutheran/Milwaukee Sting and Oliva Dir of Union Grove/Wisconsin Juniors.  A big time wild card that I’m excited to see make a comeback is Courtney Pearson from Kimberly. Pearson had a big time state tournament and Junior season for the Papermakers, but should be back for her high school season.  

Good Luck Coach Spike!

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Dear Prep Dig,

I’m wrapping up my Class of 2020 and am starting to look at the Class of 2021 and I need a middle who is an athlete, can really get from pin to pin, and can score points as well.  I have a really great setter coming in and I told her I’d find her a middle who can take care of business.

Sincerely,

Coach Debbie Dig

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Great to hear from you Coach Dig!

I think I have some in mind, athletic and fast middles are definitely ones that can change a game and bring some big time momentum.  Minnesota comes to mind right away with Erin Lamb, who is also a top basketball player. Really athletic, springy, and just makes moving along the net really easy.  She is extremely versatile.

In Wisconsin you might want to take a look at Natalie Johanknecht of Oshkosh West and FC Elite.  She jumps like a deer and she is pretty solid all the way around even playing on the pin a bit. She also knows how to tip to open spots.  Sting 16 Gold has Alexis Boling who is such a force and so strong.

Iowa has two that come to mind right away with Layanna Green from Central Iowa Select who is so fast from coming out of her block to transitioning and terminating.  Whoever lands her will get a great athlete who is also really positive with her team with a big smile and multiple high fives at all times. Oh and there is also Ashlynn Kuhn who plays for Six Pack, I mean if you are into middles who always see the open court, make running a slide look really easy, and is just a workhorse – yea, she’d be great 🙂  I know you may have been looking at Elyse Winter from Iowa Rockets, but she is playing on the pin now instead of the middle, but watch out – she is starting to develop an all around game, is touching extremely high and is going to be a major steal at the next level. 

Maybe you can get these athletes to one of your camps this summer, would be a great way to see how they interact with your current team and would be a fit for your culture.

Sincerely,

Your Convention Center Connection