Posted On: 02/24/21 1:28 PM

We often use the term long and athletic at Prep Dig, for some athlete’s their length and wingspan combine with what they can do with their jumping ability will send them to new heights. The standard of touching ten feet or higher is something athletes are working towards, but why stop there. There is obviously more to just being able to jump and play high, but here are a few athletes I’ve seen throughout the season that are playing above the net at the 15 and 16s level who will be ones to keep tabs on as they develop throughout their seasons and career.

Sydney Helmers Sydney Helmers OH Assumption | 2023 State KY – KiVA 16 Red – 6’4 – OH
Gabrielle Gerry Gabrielle Gerry MB Assumption | 2023 State KY – KiVA 16 Red – 6’5 – MB
Nya Bunton Nya Bunton MB DuPont Manual | 2023 State KY – KiVA 16 Red – 6’4 – MB
This trio from KiVA not only has the length and the height, but the skill to do some pretty special things on the court. This squad will be dangerous as they continue to develop throughout the season. Helmers is explosive, she is an aggressive attacker from the pin and she has flashes of “WOW”. Gerry and Bunton pose a physical presence at the net where they are more than just height. They can run various tempos and Bunton is extremely dangerous off of one foot. This team is so close to breaking through to being the top in the country.

Kyla Dunaway Kyla Dunaway 6'3" | RS Kimberly | 2023 State WI – Milwaukee Sting 16 Gold – 6’4 – RS
Emily Honzelka Emily Honzelka MB Kettle Moraine Lutheran | 2023 State WI – Milwaukee Sting 16 Gold – 6’3 – MB
Maddy McGath Maddy McGath MB Brookfield East | 2023 State WI – Milwaukee Sting 16 Gold – 6’3 – MB
Milwaukee Sting has a combination of athletes who can do a little bit of everything and can be a mismatch nightmare for most teams. Dunaway is an athletic, strong 6’4 where her block is solid, shutting down an opponent’s outside hitter. Combine her with the likes of Honzelka and McGath in the middle and it is quite a presence to lockdown top hitters with that type of length. They not only are going to get the big stuff blocks, but the fact they will change the mindset of the top attackers to be aware of their block in order to get the roll shots and downballs to get their offense in system is extremely key.

Sydney Schnichels Sydney Schnichels 6'3" | OH Wilmar | 2023 State MN – Northern Lights 16-1 – 6’4 – Pin
Olivia Swenson Olivia Swenson 6'2" | OH Wayzata | 2024 State MN – Northern Lights 16-1 – 6’3 – OH
Stella Swenson Stella Swenson 6'0" | S Wayzata | 2024 State MN – Northern Lights 16-1 – 6’2 – S/RS
Annika Veurink Annika Veurink 6'1" | MB SW Christian | 2023 State MN – Northern Lights 16-1 – 6’2 – MB
This squad is dangerous at the 16s level with their length and height with a roster full of athletes six feet or taller. Schnickels is one of the top 2023 prospects in Minnesota and can score points from either pin. Veurink is an up and coming middle blocker who plays well above the net and can work hard in transition to be available to attack offensively. The Swenson twins are from the Class of 2024, playing up with the 16s. Stella is a 6’2 setter while Olivia is an outside who can play anywhere in the front line. The both bring an athletic and physical game to the court where they can do some damage from any rotation. Northern Lights is always a perennial power among the best clubs in the country and this group is no different.

Aowyn Schrader – Club Ignit Select 15 Blue- 6’2 – MB
Maeve Rehmann – Club Ignit Select 15 Blue – 6’2 – MB
Kenzie Dean – Club Ignit Select 15 Blue – 6’4 – Pin
Club Ignit Select has another team coming through the ranks that will be in the conversation among some of the top national powers at the 15s level. Schrader and Rehmann will take charge in the middle. Schrader was an All Tournament Team selection while winning a state title for Ankeny High School in Iowa’s largest class with her sister Phyona who will be heading to Notre Dame to set in the fall. A long, athletic pin to keep tabs on would be 2024 prospect Kenzie Dean who has a major ceiling of talent and will be a major presence as a point scorer and blocker.

K. Martin
Ella Demetrician Ella Demetrician 6'1" | OH Appleton North | 2024 WI , 2024, OH.

Kennedy Martin Kennedy Martin 6'5" | OH De Pere | 2023 State WI – FC Elite 18 Elite – 6’5 – Pin
Ella Demetrician Ella Demetrician 6'1" | OH Appleton North | 2024 WI – FC Elite 18 Elite – 6’2 – Pin
Martin is from the Class of 2023 and Demetrician is from the Class of 2024, but are playing on the FC Elite 18 Elite squad out of Appleton, WI. This group earned an 18 Open bid most recently at the Northern Lights Qualifier in Omaha. Kennedy Martin Kennedy Martin 6'5" | OH De Pere | 2023 State WI touched 10’6 at our Prep Dig Showcase in November and is the type of athlete who gets better each time she steps on the court. For competing with athletes two age groups above, she has learned quickly what she is capable of from a scoring and blocking perspective at a high level. She most recently played right side and was a lockdown defender for the opposing teams outside hitter. Demetrician is going to be a pure six rotation outside, but has the strength and athleticism to really make her presence known at the net.

 

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