The Vikings finished runner-up in Division 2 in 2019
Division 1 certainly garners a lot of attention for explosive hitters, but Division 2 has proven it can hold its own in the state of Michigan.
As the 2020 prep season approaches, Division 2 features a lot of powerhouses that will bring the heat at the net.
Here’s a look at eight teams certain to be among the best offensively this year.
Grand Rapids Christian
GRC is the two-time defending D2 champions. The Eagles have a big hole to fill on offense with setter Jordyn GatesJordynGates6'3" | SGR Christian | 2020StateMI graduating. Christian will still have plenty to offer with its attack. The Eagles return a wealth of hitting, led by Addie VanderWeideAddieVanderWeide6'1" | OHGrand Rapids Christian | 2021StateMI, a likely Miss Volleyball finalist. Junior Evelyn DoezemaEvelynDoezema6'2" | OHGrand Rapids Christian | 2022StateMI has a high ceiling for 2020 as she continues to develop her all-around game. Stephanie StewartStephanieStewart6'0" | OHGR Christian | 2021StateMI is an experienced hitter that can play all over the net and provides senior leadership as well. While the Eagles have some work ahead, their hitting will make them a D2 contender again this fall.
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The Vikings finished runner-up in Division 2 in 2019 with a roster of just three seniors. The 2020 season could be the year that Lakewood is able to return to the top. Senior Aubrey O’GormanAubreyO’Gorman6'3" | MBLakewood | 2021StateMI is arguably the top middle in the state and her sister, junior Maradith O’GormanMaradithO’Gorman6'2" | RSLakewood | 2022StateMI, is a dynamic outside that has expanded her game over the last year. Sophie Duits is another returning middle that contributed throughout the big matches last year. Putting the offense together is Skylar BumpSkylarBump5'7" | SLakewood | 2023StateMI, a sophomore setter that proved she was capable of high-level play as a freshman. This offensive package is going to be tough for anyone in D2 to deal with.
Notre Dame Prep
The Fighting Irish made another trip to Battle Creek last fall with a roster comprised heavily of freshmen and sophomores. Defense was the key in 2019, and could be in 2020 as well. However, NDP has the potential to really be a top offense. Alyssa BorellisAlyssaBorellis5'11" | SNotre Dame Prep | 2022StateMI is a do-everything player for the Irish that can set and hit at an elite level. She’s only getting better heading into her junior year. Sophia Sudzina enters his junior season and will be a go-to outside for the Irish. Grace Wenaas and Bianca GiglioBiancaGiglio5'10" | RSNotre Dame Prep | 2022StateMI were two contributing middles as underclassmen last fall as well. Along with Borellis’ skills at setter, Margo Sudzina is a capable setter entering her sophomore season. Another year with these players together should raise the offense to another level.
The Wildcats should be very excited about what they bring to the court in 2020. They return their top six kill leaders from 2019, as well as their setter. Reilly MurphyReillyMurphy5'9" | OHMontague | 2021MI was a big-time finisher last fall, pushing toward 700 kills for Montague as a junior on the outside. Ally Hall approached 500 kills from the middle as a junior while racking up over 100 blocks. Murphy and Hall were both All-State selections in 2019. Taylor Netcott, Leehah Bentz and Janae Koetje are also returning senior hitters to provide depth for the offense. Setter Raegan Murphy is also back for her senior year after smoothly running the offense last fall. Murphy also knows the right time to call her own number. With all the options and senior leaders, Montague is going to be a force this fall.
Detroit Country Day
The Yellowjackets have the potential to be a dominant offense during the 2020 season behind a roster that is still quite young. Middle Serena NyambioSerenaNyambio6'2" | MBCountry Day | 2022StateMI is one of the best in the state and is entering her junior year. Juniors Morgan LockhartMorganLockhart6'2" | OHCountry Day | 2022StateMI and Nyla MuskovinNylaMuskovin6'0" | OHCountry Day | 2022StateMI are solid on the outside and sophomore Laurece AbrahamLaureceAbraham6'1" | MBCountry Day | 2023StateMI is a great compliment to Nyambio in the middle. Paige ElliottPaigeElliott5'6" | SCountry Day | 2023StateMI can put the pieces together as a sophomore setter, along with Muskovin. DCD has a few years to really hit their stride, but the 2020 season could be when they breakout.
The Redhawks claimed a district championship in 2019 with a roster comprised of only three seniors. Included in those three was setter Makenzie Bonnell, but the Redhawks still return some players with setting experience. They should be helped along by a pair of All-State hitters in Abby Welke and Olivia Webber. Welke controls the outside with a powerful swing, while Webber is a dynamic middle. Behind these two, Marshall is sure to be a strong finisher in Division 2.
The Vikings have some questions with their offense entering 2020, but the foundation of that group is still very strong. Macy BrownMacyBrown5'10" | OHCadillac | 2021StateMI was one of the most productive hitters in the state for 2019, posting over 800 kills while hitting .346. While losing a lot of her compadres at the net, she still has a familiar setter to work with in Renee BrinesReneeBrines5'9" | SCadillac | 2022StateMI. Brines was a standout setter in the 2019 season. She has a great connection with Brown and also has an aggressive style of play to score points on her own. It will be up to Brines to develop some new hitters to compliment Brown, but Cadillac is still going to be explosive at the net.
There’s no question that Coopersville was one of the best teams in D2 last season. A dynamic team featured some great senior leadership. Coming into 2020 the loss of Katelynn FritzKatelynnFritzOHCoopersville | 2020StateMI on the outside and Aubrey BatesAubreyBates5'10" | SCoopersville | 2020StateMI at setter will be huge. However, Abby OlinAbbyOlin6'3" | OHCoopersville | 2021StateMI was one of the most improved players in the state as a junior and that improvement has continued heading into her senior campaign this fall. Olin is more than just a 6’2” hitter. She has showcased all the talents necessary to shine at the next level. Sophomore Emily May looks to be on track for a big 2020 as well after turning some heads as a freshman. Behind Olin and May, Coopersville still has the base to be a powerful offense for 2020.