Posted On: 08/19/20 7:23 AM
Middles made a great impact in the Division 3 championship race last fall.
Coming into 2020, some teams are really stacked in the middle, while others are looking to have their middles breakout.
Here’s a look at the top middles in Division 3 entering the fall.
Anna Schuppel, Sr. Schoolcraft
Schuppel sometimes would get overshadowed in the Schoolcraft offense due to the impressive play of Andelyn SimkinsAndelynSimkins6'2" | OHSchoolcraft | 2020StateMI, but she was a key part of the offense. In 2019, Schuppel had over 270 kills while hitting over .450. That, along with over 150 blocks, put her on the Second Team All-State squad. Schuppel is going to get a heavy dose of the spotlight this year as the Eagles look to their talented middles for leadership.
Abbie Costlow, Sr. SMCC
Costlow is a player that moves across the net, so you can argue she’s more of a RS/OPP. However, Costlow has been able to produce at the middle as well and her diverse skills makes her a standout talent. Last fall, Costlow was Third Team All-State after putting up over 300 kills and 100 blocks. Finishing at a high rate, Costlow is another great senior leader for a deep SMCC attack this year. She’s got the Kestrels looking to repeat in 2020.
Alisha Leffring, Sr. Western Michigan Christian
Leffring showcased that she has great all-around skills from the middle hitter position in 2019. A Second Team All-State pick last fall, Leffring had 319 kills, 401 digs, 98 blocks and 90 aces. Her ability to be impactful in all phases of the game made her standout. WMC was a regional champion last year and Leffring is set to have the Warriors as a top contender this year.
Kylie Barron, Sr. SMCC
Barron was one of the great options that SMCC had on its attack last year, hitting a high percentage from the middle while being named Second Team All-State. Barron moves very well on the court. While being an unselfish player, she makes herself ready when her number is called.
Maggie Morris, Sr. Schoolcraft
Morris was another key part of the powerful Schoolcraft offense last year. She had 284 kills while hitting over .400 for the Eagles. Defensively, Morris tallied over 110 blocks as well. That earned her a spot on the Second Team All-State list in Division 3. Schoolcraft is going to be very strong in the middle this year and Morris will definitely make an impact.
Syann FairfieldSyannFairfield6'0" | MHNorth Muskegon | 2021MI, Sr. North Muskegon
Fairfield was one of the top junior middles in the state in 2019. She racked up an impressive 577 kills while adding 143 digs, 71 blocks and 57 aces. That earned her Third Team All-State honors. Fairfield was a big-time finisher at the net and took over a number of matches. She is sure to be one of the top middles in Division 3 this year, if not the state.
Brooke BrauherBrookeBrauher5'11" | OHMorley Stanwood | 2021MI, Sr. Morley Stanwood
Brauher guided the Mohawks to a district championship last fall with her play. She was Honorable Mention All-State in 2019. She had 272 kills with 285 digs and 67 aces. Brauher showed a lot of improvement as a junior and will have an even bigger role as a senior. Her leadership via her play will go a long way for the team.
Kyla WiersemaKylaWiersema6'0" | MHWestern Michigan Christian | 2022StateMI, Jr. Western Michigan Christian
Another standout middle for WMC, Wiersma was Third Team All-State in 2019. She had 229 kills and 83 blocks as a sophomore for the regional champion. Wiersema is set for a breakout season in 2020, as she will be given a larger role within the offense. Wiersema looks ready to take on that challenge and establish herself in Division 3.
Honorable Mention: Sage Schumacher, Sr. Beal City; Grace Williamson, Sr. USA; Skye Woodman, Sr. Bronson; Annika VerbeekAnnikaVerbeek6'0" | MHCalvin Christian | 2021MI, Sr. Calvin Christian.