Posted On: 11/20/21 10:40 PM

Most of these teams made it all the way to the championship of their respective classes, and they have a lot of youth, so they could very well be back at the Xcel Energy Center again next year.  There were so many non-senior players on rosters who gained tremendous experience that will help them lead next season.   Many will take hold of opportunities to take on larger roles in order to keep their teams among the upper tier of programs in Minnesota.  Here is an analysis of some of the best non-seniors among some of the top teams in Minnesota. 

Top Teams Primed For Return 

East Ridge – Class AAAA Runner-up
The Raptors will return Setter  Macey Spolidoro Macey Spolidoro 5'8" | S Woodbury | 2024 State MN (2024 – 5’11) who did a really solid job leading this team and already has a pretty amazing resume as a sophomore. She will have some stellar swings returning next year including  Hadley Burger Hadley Burger 5'11" | RS East Ridge | 2024 State MN (2024 – 5’11 – Right Side Hitter) who is a lefty that takes a big violent swing.  Middle Blocker  Kelby Opland Kelby Opland 6'0" | MB East Ridge | 2023 State MN (2023 – 6’0) has been a dependable option and could take on a much larger workload in 2022. A lot of pin work will land on  Mikayla McDougall Mikayla McDougall 6'0" | OH East Ridge | 2023 State MN (2023 – 6’0 – Outside Hitter) who does a really nice job of working the edges of the court to score.  Other regular contributors, including  Giselle Thao Giselle Thao 5'0" | DS/L East Ridge | 2024 State MN (2024 – 5’0 – Defensive Specialist) and  Ellenor Crimmons Ellenor Crimmons 5'6" | DS/L East Ridge | 2023 State MN (2023 – 5’6 – Libero), saw a lot of court time during important moments and will likely be needed to provide the solid first contact. This squad will have to find balance among hitters since they will be losing a couple of really big arms to graduation. 

Kasson-Mantorville – Class AAA Runner-up
Even with four seniors in their playing rotation, the KoMets will return the majority of their squad and might have one of the more veteran teams looking to return to the X.  Among those returners, you will find  Aryss McAdams Aryss McAdams DS/L Kasson Mantorville | 2023 State MN (2023 – 5’6 – Defensive Specialist), who served a whopping 7 aces in the championship match.  She made a huge difference at the service line for them.  Pin Hitter Ellie Ask Ellie Ask 5'7" | OH Kasson-Mantorville | 2024 State MN (2024 – 5’7) was also heavily depended on and will bring back a lot of experience in 2022.  Whitney Deno Whitney Deno 5'7" | OH Kasson-Mantorville | 2023 State MN (2023 – 5’7 – Pin Hitter) can terminate, as well as skilled in ball control and defense, so she is quite often keeping her team’s offense in- system.  Middle  Sophia Sutton Sophia Sutton 5'7" | MB Kasson-Mantorville | 2023 State MN (2023) is energetic and adaptable. At 5’7 she gets off the floor quickly and elevates. She can also score from anywhere on the net and shows great versatility.  Other members that should return next season include Defensive Specialist  Jaden Heidt Jaden Heidt 5'7" | DS/L Kasson-Mantorville | 2023 State MN (2023 – 5’7), Pin Hitter  Ella Babcock Ella Babcock 5'8" | OH Kasson-Mantorville | 2023 State MN (2023 – 5’8), and Setter  Abby Distad Abby Distad 5'6" | S Kasson-Mantorville | 2024 State MN (2024 – 5’6). 

Marshall – Class AAA Champion
Marshall was an experienced group with great success because of their super gritty defense, leadership, and pure competitiveness. The 2022 version of the squad will have some different faces in big roles, but current junior  Leah Jones Leah Jones 6'0" | OH Marshall | 2023 State MN (2023 – 6’2 – Outside Hitter) will be one of the Tiger’s top returners.  Brooke Andries Brooke Andries 6'0" | OH Marshall | 2023 State MN (2023 – 6’0 – Right Side Hitter) is strong, tough, and adaptable in her ability to score in a range of ways as a lefty. She brings a lot of energy and a heavy lefty swing.  Andries and Jones will look for support from returning players who include  Randi Wendorff Randi Wendorff 6'0" | MB Marshall | 2023 State MN (2023 – 6’0 – Middle Blocker).   Caitlyn Christenson Caitlyn Christenson 5'5" | DS/L Marshall | 2023 State MN (2023 – 5’5 – Defensive Specialist) will look to take on the defensive and ball control duties to continue an incredible tradition at Marshall.  

Mayer Lutheran – Class A Champion  

The Crusaders have been a team to watch all season and considering their state championship run, the hype was warranted.  However, when the 2022 team begins their journey to get back to the X, they will have to rely on the experience of this year to keep them relevant after losing some key pieces to graduation.  They do have a potential distributor in Madeline Guetzkow Madeline Guetzkow 5'11" | RS Mayer Lutheran | 2023 State MN (2023 – 5’11 – Right Side Hitter).  She’s been the primary 2nd contact if their setter takes the ball, and as a tall lefty with decent hands, I could see her making a pretty smooth transition.  The toughest job will be to find the balance and distribute the scoring after graduating their go-to middles.  Outside Hitter,  Gabby Wachholz Gabby Wachholz 5'8" | OH Mayer Lutheran | 2023 State MN (2023 – 5’8), will continue to be one of the most efficient attackers, and rightfully so, as Wachholz always seems to be available as an offensive option. She makes smooth transitions and has really good vision of the court in front of her. The other Outside Hitter  Stella Maass Stella Maass 5'8" | OH Mayer Lutheran | 2023 State MN (2023 – 5’8) will also have to take on a bigger workload next season. Maass provided some really great moments for Mayer Lutheran when she transitioned from defense to bring some heat and power through the opposing blockers. Other returners that may be competing for the Libero position are  Avery Studer Avery Studer 5'5" | DS/L Mayer Lutheran | 2024 State MN (2024 – 5’5 – Defensive Specialist) and  Julia Maetzold Julia Maetzold 5'5" | DS/L Mayer Lutheran | 2023 State MN (2023 – 5’5 – Defensive Specialist). 

Sauk Centre – Class AA Champion
The Mainstreeters took the Class AA Championship with an extremely energetic and gifted group, which includes three studs who will return for more in the 2022 season.   Victoria Jennissen Victoria Jennissen 6'2" | MB Sauk Centre | 2025 MN (2025 – 6’2 – Middle Blocker) was one of the most physical athletes at the X regardless of classification. She is productive on offense and can interrupt opponents planning on attacking.  I can’t wait to see how her skill improves over the club season, which would make this team even more dangerous next year.  Cierra Kortan Cierra Kortan 5'8" | OH Sauk Centre | 2025 MN (2025 – 5’8 – Outside Hitter) is a freshman and possesses similar strengths as Jennissen and really solidified her place in the Mainstreeters lineup. Her ability to power through the block and find ways to score make her the potential x-factor for years to come.   Jenna Gapinski-Vogt Jenna Gapinski-Vogt 6'0" | RS Sauk Centre | 2023 State MN (2023 – 6’0 – Right Side Hitter) has been a leader for this powerful offense and will be trusted to lead and create balance after the graduation of some key components from this year’s state championship team. Other returning pieces include  Kate McKeown Kate McKeown 5'5" | DS/L Sauk Centre | 2023 State MN (2023 – 5’5 – Defensive Specialist) and  Heidi Lieser Heidi Lieser 5'8" | OH Sauk Centre | 2023 State MN (2023 – 5’8 – Outside Hitter) 

 

OTHERS TO WATCH 

Class AAAA 3rd Place Finisher – Eden Prairie 

 

Class AA Runner-up – Jackson County Central

 

Class A Runner-up – Minneota 

 

Class AAA 3rd Place Finisher – New Prague 

 

Class AAAA Champion – Wayzata