Posted On: 04/15/21 12:10 PM
We’ve made it to the finish line….almost. Tonight will be the semifinals of the Wisconsin Alternate Season with Division 1 taking place in Kettle Moraine and Division 2 in Beaver Dam. This has been quite the journey for these squads from not knowing if and when they would have a volleyball season at all. At Prep Dig we were able to host all four Division 1 team and St Marys Springs in Division 2 at events throughout the summer and fall. Here is a quick look at each time looking to advance one step further to the championships in Kaukauna this Saturday.
Happy to announce our Prep Dig Fall League Player of the Year is Brooke Bolwerk Brooke Bolwerk 5'6" | S Appleton North | 2021 State WI @brookebolwerk a Senior from Appleton North committed to @MinnStateVBall leading her Thunder squad to a 24-4 overall record through all Prep Dig Events https://t.co/U01GUfVa9Z
— Chris Fitzgerald (@PrepDigChris) October 21, 2020
The Lightning come in as the overall favorite. A lineup full of athletes who are six feet plus and plenty of skill and depth to go alongside. Not only is this squad coaches by Steve Scheuerell one of the top teams in the state, but is recognized as one of the top teams in the Midwest. The Lightning are sparked by seniors in Minnesota State commit Brooke Bolwerk Brooke Bolwerk 5'6" | S Appleton North | 2021 State WI at setter and defensive specialist Grace Demetrician Grace Demetrician 5'7" | DS/L Appleton North | 2021 State WI . The frontline consists of three of the top pin hitters in the state in 2022 prospect Brianna Cantrell Brianna Cantrell OH Appleton North | 2022 State WI , 2023 outside/right side Karissa Fortune Karissa Fortune 6'2" | OH Appleton North | 2023 State WI , and 2024 outside Ella Demetrician Ella Demetrician 6'1" | OH Appleton North | 2024 State WI . Ella Demetrician Ella Demetrician 6'1" | OH Appleton North | 2024 State WI will be heading into the summer as one of the top 2024 outsides in the country. In the middle they have athletes who are long and dynamic in Berkley Mischler Berkley Mischler 6'1" | MB Appleton North | 2022 State WI and Division 1 commit Bella Van Lannen Bella Van Lannen 6'0" | RS Appleton North | 2022 State WI who recently announced she will be playing volleyball at Northern Colorado. The captain of the backrow is Madisen Miller Madisen Miller 5'8" | DS/L Appleton North | 2022 State WI , one of the top available liberos in the Class of 2022.
Lauren Borchardt Lauren Borchardt 5'8" | OH Manitowoc Lincoln | 2021 State WI of Manitowoc Lincoln could be a dual sport college prospect. Volleyball and track. So springy! pic.twitter.com/vRtB3FvKum
— Chris Fitzgerald (@PrepDigChris) July 9, 2020
Mary Satori Mary Satori OH Manitowoc Lincoln | 2022 State WI of @MantyVb has been so terminal all summer! pic.twitter.com/tRFTc6a0gr
— Chris Fitzgerald (@PrepDigChris) August 26, 2020
The Ships are sailing into the semifinals after a rugged regional and section with wins over conference rival Sheboygan North, a tough Whitewater squad, and Oshkosh West on their home court. Manty has one of the top outside hitter duos in the state in St. Norbert commit Lauren Borchardt Lauren Borchardt 5'8" | OH Manitowoc Lincoln | 2021 State WI and Minnesota-Duluth commit Mary Satori Mary Satori OH Manitowoc Lincoln | 2022 State WI . The two have combined for nearly nine kills per set. Senior, Claire Swoboda has tallied over 100 kills while another Senior in setter, Lauren Delmore is averaging over ten assists per set.
Sun Prairie taking on Thunder. Lot of classic battles between these programs in the past. pic.twitter.com/Lz0qTckrJ8
— Chris Fitzgerald (@PrepDigChris) August 26, 2020
The road to the state tournament has never been easy for Sun Prairie who is making their third straight state tournament, with multiple five set wins in sectional finals, most recently against DeForest. For Seniors, Payton Addink Payton Addink 6'0" | OH Sun Prairie | 2021 State WI and Maggie Allaman Maggie Allaman 5'10" | MB Sun Prairie | 2021 State WI , they have been go to athletes since their Sophomore year when they upset one of the top teams in the state in Waunakee to get to the state tournament. Addink is an outside hitter who will be heading to Minnesota-Duluth while Allaman is a dynamic middle who will play at St. Thomas as they transition to Division 1. Top newcomer to know who has made a big impact all season is Sienna Roling Sienna Roling 6'1" | OH Sun Prairie | 2022 State WI , a junior outside hitter who is averaging nearly 2.5 kills per set.
The Spartans are coming off a state runner-up finish in Division 2 in 2019. This squad has been hungry for the chance at another post season with a core of their athletes returning from holding the silver ball at the Resch. Their top point scorer is Avery Pennekamp Avery Pennekamp 5'10" | OH McFarland | 2022 State WI who has averaged 3.5 kills per set. Pennekamp is extremely springy and athletic with the ability score from all spots on the court. Another top underclassmen is attacker Gwen Crull Gwen Crull 6'2" | MB McFarland | 2023 State WI who is only a Sophomore, averaging over two kills and one block per set. The spark for this squad is a scrappy setter in Maddy Fortune Maddy Fortune 5'8" | S McFarland | 2022 State WI , averaging nearly nine assists per set and runs the show while also being offensive at the net when needed.
Izzy Coon, rising 2022 setter/RS with the ace for SMSA to take the match in three. pic.twitter.com/UytxKXzo8x
— Chris Fitzgerald (@PrepDigChris) October 12, 2020
St. Marys Springs
The Ledgers were so strong this fall in the Prep Dig Fall League competing with schools that were triple in their size. The Ledgers are led by all around athlete, Izzy Coon. Coon accels in multiple sports for Springs and does it all on the volleyball court where she has collected over 100 kills, assists, and nearly 100 digs. Senior Kendall Ahern is another top attacker where she has 113 kills while Freshman setter, Greta Pleuss has over 100 assists.
The Castle Guards from Washburn are coming to Beaver Dam with an undefeated record and are also making the furthest trip. They are coming from the shore of Lake Michigan and a casual five hour drive from Beaver Dam. Lily Wheeler and Caitlin Wheeler are two 5’10 senior attackers leading the way with nearly 100 kills each. Another Senior leading the way is setter, Riley Johnson averaging nearly 8 assists per set.
The Cardinals come in battle tested with their losses coming to D1 opponents Whitewater, McFarland, and Janesville Craig. They are led by two strong Sophomores in Alexis Kammerer Alexis Kammerer S Brodhead | 2023 State WI and Abbie Dix Abbie Dix 6'1" | MB Brodhead | 2023 State WI . Dix is one of the top dual sport athletes in the state where she also stars on the basketball court on the high school and aau circuit. Dix has nearly 200 kills and averages almost five kills a set. The Kammerer/Dix combo will be key to the success for the Cardinals.
The Panthers will be making their way from Western Wisconsin with a 15-2 record. Molly Cmecky is the maestro to this offense that has three attackers with nearly 150 kills or more. The top attackers are Emma Gruen, Marah Gruen, and Cheyenne Harris. There are four “Gruen” athletes on this team and Emma leads the team with over 200 kills.