The St. Thomas Aquinas Saints defeated the Lansing Lions 25-13, 26-24 to win their second consecutive Kansas State Volleyball Championship on October 31.
With COVID protocols in place, KSHSAA decreased the field at state tournaments from eight teams to four. The tournament felt smaller compared to past tournaments, but here are the players who stepped up big for their teams during postseason play.
Having covered the 6A State Tournament I have put together an All-State team. Players from the four quarterfinal teams that did not earn a trip to Salina are eligible for honorable mention positions.
DS,, 5’11”, St. Thomas Aquinas (’21 Ranked No. 2) – Bien is committed to playing at Kansas University. She can play both front and back rows. Bien had eight kills in the State Final and nine kills in the semifinal. She finished the regular season with 197 kills and 218 digs.
OH,, 6’0”, St. Thomas Aquinas (’22 Ranked No. 1) – Martin has verbally committed to play at Creighton University after graduation. She is an explosive jumper. She dominated the net in the State Championship game with 12 kills and four blocks. Martin was among the Class 5A state leaders in kills with 287 kills. Martin is a tall player with a solid net presence. Martin also had a big semifinal match amassing 11 kills and seven digs.
S,, 6’1”, (’21 Ranked No. 4) –The Maize South senior has verbally committed to play at Marquette University. Jones a tall player with quick hands and an eye for holes in opponents’ defensive set-ups. Jones entered the state tournament with 493 assists, 231 kills, and 48 aces.
MH, Olivia Mae Van der Werff, 5’11”, Lansing – Van der Werff had a huge match in the State Title game. She led the Lions with 13 kills in two blocks in the loss to St. Thomas Aquinas. She is a solid DII recruit and a fringe DI talent. The Lansing junior finished with 396 kills in the regular season for the Lions. She also had 18 blocks in 2020.
MH, Tatum Grimes, 6’1”, St. Thomas Aquinas –Grimes came to play in the Championship Match. She paced the Saints with seven blocks and eight kills. She is tall, has a big reach, and has excellent blocking technique. Grimes, just a freshman, is a varsity starter on a top-ranked team and is a major contributor.
L, 5’11”, Lansing – Farris is tall for a libero, but she has great footwork and gets to hard-hit balls. She has a really nice serve and very well could be a DI college talent. She was all over the court in the Championship Match and help keep Lansing close in the loss.
Honorable Mention: RS, Betsy Goodenew, St. Thomas Aquinas; MH,, Lansing; S, Caitlin Bishop, Lansing; OH, Skylar Weaver, Lansing; S, , Bishop Carroll; OH, Riley Daugherty, Bishop Carroll; L, , Maize South; L, Grace Long; Bishop Carroll; S, Camyrn Turner, Seaman; MB, Valarie Luna, Great Bend; OH, Asha Reiger, Newton; OH, , Newton; MH, , St. James Academy; OH, , St. James Academy.