Posted On: 05/26/20 11:59 AM

For most in the volleyball world, they cannot remember the last time they went two months without attending a volleyball event.  Our thirst for volleyball is in the danger zone.  We need it.  We miss the game, but more so miss the community.  Even though events are not happening (yet), we will still be talking a look at events that would have been.  Why not honor the athletes and all that are involved in making this happen.  This past weekend would have been the Stars and Stripes Classic that was to be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center, featuring a strong lineup from across the Midwest.  Here are a few names that were sure to standout! 



Brianna Brathol - Kokoro 15-1

Brathol is a high flying pin who can really contribute in all six rotations.  Fundamentally sound, athletic, and just a knack for the game she finds a way to score and gets it done for her team.  This Kokoro 15’s squad is going to be a fun one to watch progress with so much balance, strong defense, a setter in Brathol[/caption] Brianna Brathol - Kokoro 15-1 Brathol is a high flying pin who can really contribute in all six rotations.  Fundamentally sound, athletic, and just a knack for the game she finds a way to score and gets it done for her team.  This Kokoro 15’s squad is going to be a fun one to watch progress with so much balance, strong defense, a setter in Morgan KealyMorganKealySRiver Falls | 2023StateWI who can run the show, and just a spark about them when they take the court.  Avery BollesAveryBolles5'9" | OHAndover | 2023StateMN - MN Select 15-1  Just electric.  Bolles is one of the top six rotation athletes for Minnesota Select and will be one to watch over the summer as she transitions to her Sophomore season at Andover.  She can score points with a variety of angles and shots from the pin, but her all around game in the backrow is what puts her in an elite group of pins in the Class of 2023 out of Minnesota.  Madi Tolzman Madison TolzmanMadisonTolzmanOHArrowhead | 2022StateWI - Milwaukee Sting 16 Gold Tolzman was having quite the Sophomore year starting off with a state championship for Arrowhead where she was a starting outside hitter in Wisconsin’s largest class.  She is long, can fly, and has a high contact point where she knows how to go high hands or just hammer the split when given the opportunity.   Ella ChristEllaChrist6'0" | OHChaska | 2023StateMN - Northern Lights 16-2 Note that Christ is part of the Class of 2023 playing up on the Lights 16-2 which is stacked with some of the best players in the metro.  The 16s age division in Minnesota is really loaded.  Christ is another six rotation player who can score from anywhere.  She’s got a cannon for an arm and brings and element of power and aggressive play to the court, so fun to watch.  Haley GraetzHaleyGraetzOHRiver Falls | 2022StateWI - Kokoro 16-1  Graetz was a key point scorer the past two seasons for River Falls in WI where she’s played in two state tournaments so far as she finishes up her Sophomore season.  This past club season she was transitioning to the pin where you could see the makings of a dynamic and physical attacker.  With a background as a middle she has the blocking, the court vision, the mix of shots, and attacking off one foot which makes her dynamic ability a dangerous weapon on the pin.  Sydney LewellinSydneyLewellinSLake Mills | 2022StateWI - Milwaukee Sting 16 Black  Lewellin is asserting herself as one of the top swiss army knives in the Class of 2022.  As a left handed setter, she can find her open attackers, attack on the second contact, swing as a right side defender, block, defend, she can do it all.  This 16 Black squad for Sting is scrappy with plenty of athletes who are well rounded.  Lewellin is one to keep tabs on though where she can be utilized in a variety of ways.  Britt CarlsonBrittCarlson6'4" | OHEast Ridge | 2022StateMN - Northern Lights 17-2 Carlson is another one who is playing an age group up and she is a 2022 attacker who is strong physical, athletic, has the family genes of top athletes in her family, and is one who should be aon a call with coaches come June 15.  She brings a massive block to the right side or she can blast away from the left side.  An exciting athlete to watch, she is one you have to be aware of because she can attack from any front row position.  Ireland StassenIrelandStassen5'7" | SMinneota | 2023StateMN - Kandi Elite 15-1 Fusion 17 Red Stassen hasn’t even completed her first year of high school, but she has already won a state championship for Minneota for volleyball and was also on their basketball team who advanced to the state semifinals before the rest of the tournament was canceled due to cornavirus.  Stassen is much like the rest of the Minneota and Kandi Elite players where she is dynamic and athletic, a floor general to say where she knows how to make the right play at the right time.  Continue to keep these Kandi Elite athletes on the radar. A ton of grit on their end.    Fusion 17 Red  I know Fusion was at this event last year and assuming they would have been making a return this could have been a really dynamite match up with some of the top Minnesota clubs.  The Borum twins and Lexi Rodriguez have been part of national champion teams with Sports Performance and they also have a rising Class of 2023 athlete Grace Egan who can flat out fly on the outside, they were so fun to watch at the JVA Showcase in the Dells where they took home the title.  VCN 18 Elite Future Nebraska and Big Ten Athletes Friday night would have been a great time to just have an open gym and see what a glimpse would have been with some future Big Ten athletes.  VCN out of Lincoln, Nebraska was a 2019 participant and they always have a loaded team.  Not sure if their 18s would have been in attendance, but if so that would have brought the likes of Bekah Allick, Annika Evans, Whitney LauensteinWhitneyLauenstein6'1" | OHWaverly | 2021StateNE, and Kalynn MeyerKalynnMeyer6'3" | MHSuperior | 2020StateNE.  Throw Northern Lights 17-1 setter Kennedi OrrKennediOrr6'0" | SEagan | 2021StateMN and Fusion 17 Red setter Lexi Rodriguez and you would of had a legit team on the court who will be wearing a lot of red during their college careers.  Minnesota would of had quite a representation with Anna WolfAnnaWolf6'2" | MBRiver Falls | 2021StateWI and Skylar GraySkylarGray5'10" | OHMaple Grove | 2021StateMN of MN Select, Julia HansonJuliaHanson6'0" | OHPrior Lake | 2022StateMN of Northern Lights 16-1, Lauren CrowlLaurenCrowl6'4" | RSEastview | 2021StateMN of Northern Lights 17-1, and even though the Sting 18 Gold team would not have been in, Mckenna WuchererMckennaWuchererOHBrookfield Central | 2022StateWI could have come up as well.

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