Posted On: 07/1/20 5:07 PM
Each team in the state of Michigan will have a new look as we approach a new season in the fall of 2020.
The top contenders from 2019 have some big holes to fill if they hope to hold their positions among the top of the state.
Here’s a look at players from those top teams that could really make their 2020 season a special one.
Kaylin CollinsKaylinCollins5'11" | OHMercy | 2021StateMI – Sr. Mercy OH
With Jess MruzikJessMruzik6'2" | OHMercy | 2020StateMI moving on to college, Mercy certainly losses a lot of production on the court heading into the 2020 season. Collins complimented Mruzik well on the outside before suffering a season-ending knee injury late in the 2019 championship run. Healed and ready to go, Collins will have a chance to really take on a bigger role this year. With a talented setter in Julia BishopJuliaBishop5'10" | SMercy | 2021StateMI, and capable middles like Charli Atiemo and Ellie TiskoEllieTisko6'0" | MHMercy | 2021StateMI, Mercy has a championship run in its sights as long as the outsides can still produce consistently. Collins hit over .350 in 2019 and should be ready to take the lead in 2020.
Aubreigh OswaldAubreighOswald6'0" | MHLowell | 2023StateMI – Soph. MH/OPP Lowell
– Sr. Mercy OH With [player_tooltip player_id="14089" first="Jess" last="Mruzik"] moving on to college, Mercy certainly losses a lot of production on the court heading into the 2020 season. Collins complimented Mruzik well on the outside before suffering a season-ending knee injury late in the 2019 championship run. Healed and ready to go, Collins will have a chance to really take on a bigger role this year. With a talented setter in [player_tooltip player_id="14163" first="Julia" last="Bishop"], and capable middles like Charli Atiemo and [player_tooltip player_id="50293" first="Ellie" last="Tisko"], Mercy has a championship run in its sights as long as the outsides can still produce consistently. Collins hit over .350 in 2019 and should be ready to take the lead in 2020. [player_tooltip player_id="66321" first="Aubreigh" last="Oswald"] – Soph. MH/OPP Lowell [caption id="attachment_100052" align="alignright" width="300"] [player_tooltip player_id="66321" first="Aubreigh" last="Oswald"] Oswald came on strong in the later parts of the 2019 season, giving Lowell a lot of hope for her future. With Meghan MeyerMeghanMeyer5'11" | MHLowell | 2020StateMI graduating, the Red Arrows will have a big hole to fill in the middle. Jenna ReitsmaJennaReitsma5'11" | OHLowell | 2021StateMI is a dynamic outside, but having a steady presence in the middle made her job easier. Emily StruckmeyerEmilyStruckmeyer6'0" | MHLowell | 2022StateMI, a junior, will join Oswald as the go-to middles for Lowell in 2020. If Oswald can take a big step forward as a sophomore, Lowell will certainly be a top contender in the state once again. Lauren StaruchLaurenStaruch6'0" | OHLake Orion | 2021StateMI – Sr. OH/OPP Lake Orion Lake Orion had then-freshman Nina HorningNinaHorning6'2" | OHLake Orion | 2023StateMI take on a six-rotation outside position in 2019 to fill in a void at outside hitter last season. As the year progressed, Horning got some help on the outside from Staruch, who proved to be a top-level finisher herself. With Lake Orion already strong in the middle behind Kendall RobertsonKendallRobertson6'2" | MHLake Orion | 2021StateMI and Reagan GoekeReaganGoeke6'2" | MBLake Orion | 2021StateMI, Staruch becomes a big key heading into her senior season. If she builds on her strong 2019 finish, Lake Orion will be dominant at the net. Lauren LeeLaurenLee5'9" | SSkyline | 2022StateMI – Jr. S Ann Arbor Skyline Lee didn’t get to enjoy much of the 2019 season due to injury, but Skyline was too strong to stop behind Kendall MurrayKendallMurray6'2" | MHAnn Arbor Skyline | 2020StateMI and Harper MurrayHarperMurray6'2" | OHSkyline | 2023StateMI on the outside. Ready to take back the starting setter position with Stacie Warner graduating, it will be important for Lee to be on top of her game to work in new hitters. With Kendall MurrayKendallMurray6'2" | MHAnn Arbor Skyline | 2020StateMI off to Michigan, Harper MurrayHarperMurray6'2" | OHSkyline | 2023StateMI is going to need some help at the net finishing points. The quicker Lee can develop chemistry with those other hitters, the quicker Skyline can take off. Savannah HallSavannahHall5'10" | SMattawan | 2021StateMI – Sr. S Mattawan Hall is a high-profile player as is, but she’s got a lot of weight on her shoulders heading into 2020. The Wildcats lost libero Allie Wiese, outside Taylor RutgersTaylorRutgers5'10" | OHMattawan | 2020StateMI and middle Natalie FosterNatalieFoster5'11" | RSMattawan | 2020StateMI from the 2019 team that was near the top of the D1 rankings throughout the season. Hall will have to really showcase her leadership on the court, and also play at a high level to raise the game of new starting hitters. Hall seems up to the challenge. Tatum CasperTatumCasper6'2" | OHMarian | 2022StateMI – Jr. OH/MH Marian Marian was a young team in 2019, but the Mustangs did graduate Christine AudetteChristineAudette6'1" | OHMarian | 2020StateMI, a fierce competitor at OPP that was a great compliment to Ava BrizardAvaBrizard6'0" | OHMarian | 2022StateMI. The Mustangs will have to find a way to replace that leadership, but Casper seems like someone that will be ready to replace that production. Casper can move around the net and posted over 200 kills as a sophomore. The 2020 season will be a chance for her to help Marian get past Mercy in the heated CHSL rivalry. Alana WatlingtonAlanaWatlington5'9" | MHClarkston | 2021StateMI – Sr. MH Clarkston [player_tooltip player_id="89339" first="Alana" last="Watlington"] Clarkston has been crossing its fingers for quite a while, hoping Watlington can avoid the injury bug for 2020 after missing the last season-and-a-half with two different knee injuries. In 2018, Watlington played 85 sets and had 160 kills while hitting .378 as a sophomore. Already returning strong hitters like Claire NowickiClaireNowicki6'0" | OHClarkston | 2021StateMI and Sydney Hasenfratz, the Wolves are hoping a healthy Watlington can provide them with a fire power they need to make a run deep in Division 1. Mackenzie GrossMackenzieGross6'2" | OHGrand Haven | 2021StateMI – Sr. OH Grand Haven You can’t replace a player like Ashley SlaterAshleySlater5'10" | OHGrand Haven | 2020StateMI, but Gross is going to have to be the go-to hitter for Grand Haven in 2020. Gross approached 400 kills for the 2019 season last fall, which is impressive. She will have to lead by example on the floor with the team also graduating setter Samantha BoeveSamanthaBoeve5'9" | SGrand Haven | 2021MI. It could be a big mountain for Gross to have to climb this season, but she’s a tough competitor that will give it her all. Ella MarkevicsEllaMarkevics5'9" | SRochester Stoney Creek | 2021StateMI – Sr. S Stoney Creek Markevics did a little bit of everything for Stoney Creek last season and the Cougars will need her to do the same in 2020. Already a vocal leader, Markevics had over 100 aces and 60 blocks in 2019 while amassing over 1,450 assists. With Kate StrationKateStration5'7" | OHStoney Creek | 2020StateMI graduating, Markevics will have to work her game to raise the level of her hitters. She has great arms in Ainsley GuseAinsleyGuse6'3" | MHRochester Stoney Creek | 2021StateMI and Sydney TomlakSydneyTomlak5'11" | OHStoney Creek | 2022StateMI, but will have to develop a new star or two as well. Leah RogersLeahRogers6'1" | MHHudsonville | 2022StateMI – Jr. MH/RS Hudsonville Rogers drew a lot of positive reviews from her shortened club season at FaR Out and now she’s hoping it will lead to a breakout prep season in 2020 with Hudsonville. The Eagles were one of the top teams in Division 1 in 2019, falling to Lowell in a competitive regional final. However, Hudsonville graduated its top two hitters in Mallory KellerMalloryKeller5'9" | OHHudsonville | 2020StateMI and Braely HerremaBraelyHerrema6'0" | OHHudsonville | 2020StateMI. Rogers, along with Olivia HowlettOliviaHowlett5'10" | MHHudsonville | 2022StateMI will have to raise their game in the middle, or the outside, for Hudsonville to stay competitive in a tough region.