Posted On: 08/26/21 12:47 PM
I may be poking the bees nest by attempting to predict what could happen at the Joust this weekend at Homestead High School in Mequon. The top tournament of opening weekend for the Wisconsin High School Season. In the field are nine teams who have either won a gold ball or have finished state runner up in the past three years. Many of these athletes have seen time on a state tournament court and have played in top club tournaments around the country. Many of these athletes and even coaches have played with or against many of these athletes coming into the weekend. Even though the names may be familiar, the dynamic will be different. How will early lineups look? Who makes the first major statement of the of the 2021 season.
Appleton North will come into the season as the heavy favorite. They have three Division 1 commits in Brianna Cantrell Brianna Cantrell OH Appleton North | 2022 State WI (East Tennessee State), Madison Tolzman Madison Tolzman 5'8" | OH Arrowhead | 2022 State WI [/caption] Appleton North Arrowhead Nicolet East Troy Appleton North will come into the season as the heavy favorite. They have three Division 1 commits in Brianna Cantrell Brianna Cantrell OH Appleton North | 2022 State WI (East Tennessee State), Bella Van Lannen Bella Van Lannen 6'0" | RS Appleton North | 2022 State WI (Northern Colorado), and Berkley Mischeler (Lipscomb). Senior Madisen Miller Madisen Miller 5'8" | DS/L Appleton North | 2022 State WI will return at libero where she earned All State honors along with the top Sophomore in the state in Ella Demetrician Ella Demetrician 6'1" | OH Appleton North | 2024 State WI . The Lightning will also welcome two top Juniors in Kennedy Martin Kennedy Martin 6'6" | OH Appleton North | 2023 State WI and Olivia Lasee Olivia Lasee 6'3" | MB Appleton North | 2023 State WI who previously played at De Pere. Martin is 6’6 and is one of the top attackers in the Class of 2023. Arrowhead always has athletes and solid ball control behind Sophie Illman Sophie Illman DS/L Arrowhead | 2022 State WI (UW-Oshkosh) and Madi Tolzman (Eastern Kentucky). Tolzman will be relied heavily to score points from the outside. I wouldn’t rule out Nicolet, they have a great chance of sneaking into the top two of the pool behind the arm of outside hitter Katie Heidenrich Katie Heidenrich 5'10" | OH Nicolet | 2022 State WI who can take over a match. East Troy has traditionally been strong in D2, but is replacing plenty of top athletes from their state caliber teams, including Katie Winkler Katie Winkler 5'11" | RS East Troy | 2021 State WI who is now at Seton Hall. Who Advances To Power Pools? Appleton North Arrowhead Pool 2 [player_tooltip player_id="81333" first="Stella" last="Zarling"] attacking for KML Hamilton Lake Country Lutheran Kettle Moraine Lutheran Homestead There are going to be a lot of three set matches in this pool. Hamilton is the defending D1 State Champions from the fall and returns some key players from the squad, despite graduating plenty of talent players from last season. Tatum Baldwin Tatum Baldwin S Hamilton | 2022 State WI will pace the team as their go to setter, but watch out for a big arm swing from outside Sylvie Zgonc Sylvie Zgonc 5'10" | OH Sussex Hamilton | 2023 State WI , she is dynamite. Lake Country Lutheran is always solid and will keep the ball in system, especially with Senior libero, Adriana Studer Adriana Studer DS/L Lake Country Lutheran | 2022 State WI (Villanova) and setter, Rachel Rossing Rachel Rossing 5'7" | S Lake Country Lutheran | 2023 State WI . KML is going to be dangerous in D2 this season and I believe a favorite in their section to get to The Resch. Stella Zarling Stella Zarling 5'9" | OH Kettle Moraine Lutheran | 2022 State WI is electric on the outside who can impact the game in all rotations. This team is full of ball control. Homestead will be paced by NDSU commit, Nora Raasch Nora Raasch 5'6" | DS/L Homestead | 2022 State WI at libero. Who Advances To Power Pools? It took me a whole cup of coffee to decide this, but I think this comes down to a tie-breaker with Hamilton, LCL, and KML all going 2-1. Hamilton and KML advance on the tiebreaker. Pool 3 [player_tooltip player_id="57252" first="Emma" last="Baierl"] Howards Grove DSHA Neenah Greendale Howards Grove will be itching to play some bigger schools and come out on fire. This team might have a couple athletes at 5’10, but they are essentially a team of liberos who can all pass and serve receive. They have depth and a system that is going to be tough to stop. Saige Damrow Saige Damrow 5'8" | DS/L Howards Grove | 2023 State WI (Wisconsin) and Karissa Kaminski Karissa Kaminski 5'8" | DS/L Howards Grove | 2022 State WI (Dayton) will be the reliable first contact to setter, Emma Baierl Emma Baierl 5'8" | S Howards Grove | 2022 State WI (Truman State) where she can dish to plenty of attackers that include Kaminski. The Tigers play with high tempo as well a high IQ to exploit any weakness on the opposing side. DSHA will be another heavy favorite to come out of this pool. They have plenty of balance and are always well disciplined with great ball control. They will have some young athletes who will be making an impact as well as middles Bella Lipski Bella Lipski MB DSHA | 2023 State WI and Julie Wojciak. Who Advances To Power Pools? Howards Grove and DSHA [player_tooltip player_id="81256" first="Aspen" last="Jankowski"] Pool 4 Brookfield Central Oconomowoc Cedarburg West Bend West The BC Senior Class is on an absolute mission. Mckenna Wucherer Mckenna Wucherer 6'1" | OH Brookfield Central | 2022 State WI and Morgan Daugherty Morgan Daugherty 6'2" | MB Brookfield Central | 2022 State WI are ready to attack their way to a great season with experience setter, Tatum Kebisek Tatum Kebisek 5'9" | S Brookfield Central | 2022 State WI looking to set the table for them. Wucherer is obviously a handful in the front row, but when Daughtery goes for a slide and Wucherer attacks from the backrow - it’s gameover. However in this pool, these teams are accustomed to seeing the power that BC has and will be bringing some of their own Oconomowoc will be one of the top D1 teams this season. Top outside senior is unfortunately out with an injury this year, this squad has plenty of athletes who can step in and contribute. Haley Koch Haley Koch MB Oconomowoc | 2022 State WI (Cedarville) and Cordelia Kearns Cordelia Kearns 6'1" | OH Oconomowoc | 2023 State WI will be the big swings on the pin while also having the top sophomore middle and setter with Anna Bjork Anna Bjork 6'3" | MB Oconomowoc | 2024 State WI and Lilly Wagner Lilly Wagner 6'0" | S Oconomowoc | 2024 State WI . Cedarburg showed flashes of being really dangerous this summer in some of the leagues they competed in. Aspen Jankowski Aspen Jankowski 5'9" | OH Cedarburg | 2022 State WI (Arkansas Tech) will be key as a setter or outside and will have plenty of other options who can score and defend. Who Advances To Power Pools? BC and Ocon [player_tooltip player_id="61819" first="Lily" last="Wagner"] Pool 5 Germantown Menomonee Falls Waukesha West Xavier Germantown is going to have a solid blend of power and ball control led by Lily Wagner Lily Wagner 5'11" | OH Germantown | 2023 State WI , a Class of 2023 commit to Liberty. She’s gritty and aggressive where she can find ways to score from the front and backrow. Madelyn Weyda Madelyn Weyda 5'10" | DS/L Germantown | 2022 State WI is a solid Senior who can play from the libero position or outside. The setter running the show is Viterbo commit, Maddie Connor Maddie Connor S Germantown | 2022 State WI . Falls will bring a really scrappy group led by outside hitter Katherine Lockwood Katherine Lockwood 5'10" | OH Menomonee Falls | 2023 State WI , she has a huge swing that can score from the front and backrow. Waukesha West lost some key pieces to their team due to graduation including Alexis Boling Alexis Boling 6'0" | OH Waukesha West | 2021 State WI (NDSU), Anna Holland Anna Holland 5'6" | DS/L Waukesha West | 2021 State WI (Seton Hall), and Abby Fregein (UW-Oshkosh). Brylee Leverenz Brylee Leverenz 5'10" | OH Waukesha West | 2024 State WI will be a key piece for West where she can attack from the pin or she can even step in and set. Xavier, out of Appleton has a young roster, but plenty of talent. An outside hitter to keep an eye on will be Halle Vande Hay who is an electric athlete. Who Advances To Power Pools? Germantown and Menomonee Falls Pool 6 [player_tooltip player_id="91880" first="Kyla" last="Dunaway"], 2023, RS. Kimberly Burlington Kettle Moraine Thomas More Yikes, this is going to be a gauntlet of teams who are accustomed to success and will be looking to have a big season. Kimberly comes in as the top seed and will feature a big lineup with 6’3 Kyla Dunaway Kyla Dunaway 6'4" | RS Kimberly | 2023 State WI on the right side and electric pins in Ella Buddenhagen Ella Buddenhagen 5'11" | OH Kimberly | 2022 State WI and Kaitlin Schulz Kaitlin Schulz 6'1" | OH Kimberly | 2023 State WI . They have the size and experience to have a successful season. Burlington has more than their tradition going for them. Plenty of all around athletes and ball control with the likes of Abby Alan Abby Alan 6'0" | MB Burlington | 2023 State WI , Lydia Biggin Lydia Biggin 5'10" | RS Burlington | 2022 State WI , Sophia Chase, and Morgan Klein Morgan Klein OH Burlington | 2022 State WI . Molly Berezowitz Molly Berezowitz DS/L Burlington | 2023 State WI is always solid as a defender who takes command of the backrow. Kettle Moraine has all the pieces. They have ball control, a solid setter, and really dynamic athletes who can attack. Libero, Kyleigh Coughlin will pace the pay to setter, Rebecca Siedenburg Rebecca Siedenburg S Kettle Moraine | 2022 State WI to the likes of Sophie McCormack Sophie McCormack 6'0" | OH Kettle Moraine | 2022 State WI , Grace Grocholski Grace Grocholski 5'10" | OH Kettle Moraine | 2023 State WI , and Myla Glaser Myla Glaser MB Kettle Moraine | 2023 State WI . This team is loaded. Who Advances To Power Pools? Burlington and Kettle Moraine What Happens On Saturday? I’m not going to dive too deep into if then scenarios, but I will say who I think the top four teams could be heading into the Gold Bracket (Yes, some of them might knock each other out prior to the Gold Bracket). Good Luck to @mckennawucherer and @DamrowSaige as they head to train with @usavolleyball and the U18 National Team. Great representatives of @BadgerRegionVB - go get it! 🇺🇸🏐🥇 - Great to have you in our event! pic.twitter.com/SOZpIXEMI6 — Chris Fitzgerald (@PrepDigChris) July 14, 2021 Gold Bracket Brookfield Central Howards Grove Kettle Moraine Burlington Who Gets To The Finals? Howards Grove and Brookfield Central Who Wins? Howards Grove Tournament MVP Mckenna Wucherer Mckenna Wucherer 6'1" | OH Brookfield Central | 2022 State WI - Brookfield Central Starting the @mckennawucherer mix tape. Future @GopherVBall will train with the U18 @usavolleyball squad next week in Anaheim! pic.twitter.com/QZpeCHrCzO — Chris Fitzgerald (@PrepDigChris) July 14, 2021 May the bulletin board material be plentiful this season, good luck to all heading into the weekend. See you at Homestead High School on Saturday!