Photo: Twitter

Posted On: 04/14/21 1:40 PM

The class of 2023 is a group that doesn't act their age.  With many players on older teams, we are really starting to see these athletes separate themselves and draw major attention from scouts.  Here are our top four ranked defenders for the class of 2023 including highlights!

Kate Thibault Kate Thibault 5'2" | DS/L Watertown-Mayer | 2023 State MN - (cover photo) The small but purposeful player continues a strong tradition of excellence in the family (older sister Paige Thibault Paige Thibault 5'7" | DS/L Watertown-Mayer | 2021 State MN ; 2021).  She is the youngest athlete on the MN Select 17-1’s team; we have seen her in every position in the back row.  During the high school she was recognized to the All State Honorable mention team with over 200 digs in a short season.  MN Select highlights

Jaynes (21) celebrates bid to nationals with team

Sydney Jaynes Sydney Jaynes 5'10" | DS/L Northfield | 2023 State MN - The 5’10’’ Northfield athlete is used as 6 position player for her high school, but on the Northern Lights 17-1 she is strictly focused on defense.  Her height helps her reach and cover more court, but it’s her instincts and disciplined transition footwork that ensure her passes.

Kate Thibault Kate Thibault 5'2" | DS/L Watertown-Mayer | 2023 State MN - (cover photo) The small but purposeful player continues a strong tradition of excellence in the family (older sister Paige Thibault Paige Thibault 5'7" | DS/L Watertown-Mayer | 2021 State MN ; 2021).  She is the youngest athlete on the MN Select 17-1’s team; we have seen her in every position in the back row.  During the high school she was recognized to the All State Honorable mention team with over 200 digs in a short season.  MN Select highlights Jaynes (21) celebrates bid to nationals with team Sydney Jaynes Sydney Jaynes 5'10" | DS/L Northfield | 2023 State MN - The 5’10’’ Northfield athlete is used as 6 position player for her high school, but on the Northern Lights 17-1 she is strictly focused on defense.  Her height helps her reach and cover more court, but it’s her instincts and disciplined transition footwork that ensure her passes. Rylee Nelson Rylee Nelson 5'6" | DS/L Zumbrota - Mazeppa | 2023 State MN -  When she is not setting for her high school team, Zumbrota Mazeppa, Nelson shows off her versatility playing for Northern Lights as a DS.  Her passing on serve receive makes her stand out among the rest of defenders.  We have seen her grow physically too over the last few years.  This is most evident in her strong serving.  The speed of her jump float has given teams across the country lots of problems. Maggie Lile Maggie Lile 5'5" | DS/L Spring Grove | 2023 State MN - This tenacious defender is not out of the metro but rather from Spring Grove.  We noticed her at MLK Challenge in Omaha and again at the Ascis President's Day Challenge.  She is on the Southern Minnesota Volleyball 16-1's.  Her passes are precise, reactions are quick and style of play in enthusiastic.  Usually she plays middle back and does an excellent job of staying deep allowing her more time to play the ball. Lile Others to watch as they climb their way to the top, one pass at a time: Sophia Johnson Sophia Johnson 5'7" | DS/L Wayzata | 2023 State MN Alexa Melcher Alexa Melcher 5'6" | DS/L Elk River | 2023 State MN Hannah Rich Hannah Rich 5'7" | DS/L Lakeville | 2023 State MN  

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