Every Wednesday during the high school season, VolleyballMag.com recognizes a Dream Team of volleyball players who were standouts the weekend before. Most weeks, the eight-girl Dream Team consists of the following:
Setter, S/RS or RS
This week, because no defensive specialist’s were nominated, we add a third middle blocker. Truthfully, we could have had a Dream Team twice the size and it would not have suffered.
Players will be considered for Dream Team ONLY if they are nominated by their high school coaches using this link: https://volleyballmag.com/hs-player-of-the-week-submissions/.
Nominations will be solicited by email to high school coaches only on our email list. To sign up, follow this link: https://volleyballmag.com/hs-email-sign-up/
Note to coaches and directors: while there is no science to how we choose members of our Dream Team, performing on bigger stages will give players an edge, as will nomination forms that describe with specificity how well a player performed the previous week.
HIGH SCHOOL DREAM TEAM for November 9, 2022
S: Silina Damuni, 5-9 Sr., Timpview (Provo, Utah) – Damuni helped lead the Timberwolves to their second title over the past three years. The BYU recruit managed 100 assists, 12 kills, six blocks and 38 digs over nine sets in wins over Bountiful in the semifinals and Mountain View in the championship match. She set a Utah state record for most career assists at the state tournament.
RS: Autumn Bax, 6-1 Jr., Blair Oaks (Jefferson City, Missouri) – The Falcons swept their way through the Final Four to repeat as Missouri Class 3 champions. Bax led the charge with 33 kills, 25 digs, and 10 blocks across the semifinals and finals, averaging 5.5 kills, 4.17 digs, and 1.67 blocks per set. “She holds her teammates accountable, keeps them focused on and off the court, and brings lots of good energy,” said coach Megan Distler.
OH: Claire Little, 6-3 Sr., Vista Murrieta (Murrieta, California) – Little, who has been committed to BYU since she was in eighth grade (because she has been THAT good for that long), matched her career-high with 35 kills and tacked on 16 digs to lead the Broncos past Aliso Niguel for their first Southern Section title, in Division 2. Little has eclipsed 30 kills four times this season and has 1,343 kills for her career.
OH: Jurnee Robinson, 6-0 Sr., Mauldin (South Carolina) — Robinson stamped herself as one of South Carolina’s best ever by leading Mauldin to its first title in Class AAAAA. Robinson had 25 kills and 13 digs in the three-set sweep over Lexington, including 11 kills in the first set. Mauldin defeated last year’s champion, perennial power Dorman, to reach the title tilt.
MB: Kinley Soiney, 5-11 Fr., Mabel-Canton (Mabel, Minnesota) – The Cougars knocked off state No. 3 Bethlehem Academy on Saturday to qualify for the
Class A state tournament. Over four sets, Soiney set a school record with 38 kills on 71 attempts with only 5 errors (.460). She also added four blocks. Her performance came two days after she amassed 24 kills in a five-set victory over Kenyon-Wanamingo. For the season, Soiney has 389 kills (hitting .375) with 93 total blocks for a 34-2 team.
MB: Grace Wenaas, 5-11 Sr., Notre Dame Prep (Pontiac, Michigan) – A first-year starter, Wenaas carried the Fighting Irish to their 16th straight district title, quite a feat considering that coach Betsy Wroubel’s team graduated nine seniors from the year prior and returned zero six-rotation players. The district crown was achieved by sweeping Detroit Country Day, the state’s top-ranked team in Division 2. NDP won with Wenaas having her career best performance at the net: 19 kills on 30 swings and a career-high nine blocks in the three-set match. She simply could not be stopped, not even by the Miss Volleyball finalist on the other side of the net. Wenaas currently leads the state in hitting percentage at .520.
MB: Elena Pursell, 6-1 Sr. MB, Parkland (Allenton, Pennsylvania) – Playing must-win volleyball in District play to advance to State last week, Pursell helped lead the Trojans to two sweeps. Against Emmaus in the semifinals, she had 10 kills (hitting .421) with two blocks. In the championship match versus a Liberty team ranked fifth in the state, Pursell suffered an ankle sprain early in the match and had to come out. She willed her way back into the match to start the second set and helped Parkland rally from down 19-12 to win. The Trojans closed out their ninth straight District Championship behind Pursell’s 14 kills on 20 swings and two blocks. Coach Mike Krause called it, “One of the best championship performances in our history.” “Cream rises to the top in Championship settings!” he added.
Libero: Paisley Douglas, 5-7 Jr. Skutt Catholic (Omaha, Nebraska) – Douglas had 106 digs over three state tournament matches to hold down the back row and help the SkyHawks survive and thrive for their state-record eighth consecutive state title in Class B. Douglas broke the school record for digs in a match by recording 44 in the semifinal against Norris. She also captained the back row, was Skutt’s primary passer in serve receive and, fittingly, had a key dig on match point in the state championship against Elkhorn North.
Also considered (by position, in order of consideration):
S/RS: Sierra Hale, 5-11 Sr., Damascus Christian (Damascus, Oregon) – Hale had 20 assists, 15 kills, 16 digs and five aces to help the Eagles rally from two sets down to defeat defending champion North Douglas for their first Oregon 1A title.
S: Katie Quick, 5-7 Soph, Ankeny Christian (Ankeny, Iowa) — Quick contributed 52 assists, eight kills and 15 digs in Ankeny Christian’s five-set win in Iowa’s Class 1A over Gladsbrook-Reinbeck. She was named 1A State Tournament MVP.
S: Libby Juergensmeyer, 5-4 Jr., Blair Oaks (Jefferson City, Missouri) – Small in stature, but a big-time player, Juergensmeyer over the past week guided the Falcons to a second consecutive Missouri Class 3 title. She finished with 33 and 34 assists, respectively, in sweeps over Eldon and Pleasant Hill. In the state championship match, Blair Oaks orchestrated an offense that hit .272.
OH: Kiki Horne, 6-1 Jr., Millbrook (Raleigh) – Horne had 26 kills as the 29-1 Wildcats swept to the 4A title. She was named State Tournament MVP.
OH: Stella Winterfield, 5-9 Sr., Western Christian (Hull, Iowa) – Winterfield had 24 digs and 15 kills to help the Wolfpack snap a six-match 2A state-championship losing streak to Dike-New Hartford. She was named State Tournament MVP.
OH: Saige Damrow, 5-9 Sr., Howards Grove (Wisconsin) – Damrow, a Wisconsin libero recruit, had 15 kills and 20 digs to lead the Tigers to their fourth straight Wisconsin Division 3 title.
OH: London Wijay, 5-11 Jr., Alemany (Mission Hills, California) – Wijay had 20 kills, 11 digs, five aces and six blocks to help the Warriors topple state-ranked Oaks Christian for the second straight year in a Southern Section final.
OH: Taylor Williams, 6-1 Jr., Saint Francis (Mountain View, California) – Williams recorded 29 kills and five blocks to help the undefeated Lancers rally from behind to win the Central Coast Section Open Division title over Archbishop Mitty, the fifth time they have defeated their archrivals this year.
OH: Jalynn Brown, 6-0 Sr. OH, New Smyrna Beach (Florida) – Brown, a South Florida recruit, continues to dominate throughout Florida’s post-season. She authored big-time performances against Gulf Breeze (22 kills;.304 hitting efficiency; 14 digs) and Land O’Lakes (12 kills; .348 hitting efficiency; 11 digs) to send the Barracudas to their first-ever indoor volleyball state championship match on Saturday in Class 6A.
OH: Avery Hobson, 6-1 Sr., Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Indiana) – Hobson, the team’s only senior, delivered a match-high 17 kills to lead the Royals past Yorktown for the 4A state title, the first in the history of the school.
OH: Allison Risley, 5-10 Jr., Lafayette (Wildwood, Missouri) – Risley had 17 kills and 21 digs to lead the Lancers to their first state title, in Class 5, since winning six straight in Class 4 between 2011 and 2016.
OH: Payton Petersen, 5-11 Jr., Dike-New Hartford (Dike, Iowa) — Petersen had 26 kills, 11 digs and three aces to lead the Wolverines to the precipice of a 2A championship threepeat. DNH fell to West Christian, 16-14 in the fifth, in an epic state final.
OH: Tatum Montiel, 5-11 Soph., Marshfield (Coos Bay, Idaho) – Montiel was named Player of the Match and to the All-State Tournament Team after leading the Pirates to their first 4A title on Saturday, in a dominating sweep of defending champion Cascade. Montiel finished with 11 kills, five aces and four digs in the championship match and amassed 26 kills, 25 digs and 22 aces over the tournament’s three matches.
OH: Morgan Burke, 6-0 Sr., Skutt Catholic (Omaha, Nebraska) – Burke, a Michigan recruit as a setter, amassed 57 kills, 59 digs, and seven blocks over three state matches to help the SkyHawks win their state-record eighth consecutive Class B title.
OH: Caleigh Ponn, 5-7 Soph., Hidden Valley (Roanoke, Virginia) – Ponn accumulated 22, 19 and 29 kills over her last three matches for a 28-0 team heading to the state tournament on Saturday. The sophomore has 606 kills on the season and should top 1,000 career kills by the weekend.
MB: Kait Wood, 5-11 Sr., Sheldon (Eugene, Oregon) – Wood was unstoppable – 18 kills on 26 swings with zero errors – as Sheldon knocked off previously-undefeated Jesuit to win the Oregon 6A title, avenging three regular-season sweeps at the hands of the Crusaders.
MB: Jenna Hanes, 6-3 Jr., Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, California) – Hanes, a Michigan recruit, had 10 kills and 10 blocks on Friday as the undefeated Dons, ranked No. 1 nationally, swept past state-ranked Torrey Pines for the San Diego Section Open Division title.
MB: Bella Gamache, 5-11 Sr. MB, Monroe (Oregon) – Gamache had a state-record 41 kills for a championship match and added 17 digs and five aces as Monroe, seeking its first state title ever, pushed defending champion Salem Academy to the limit before losing, 15-12 in the fifth.
MB: Cassidy Hartman, 6-1 Sr., Liberty (Iowa City, Iowa) – One of the top players in Iowa, the Northern Iowa recruit delivered 24 kills and 15 digs to help Liberty past Pleasant Valley for the Iowa state title in Class 5A.
MB: Sydney Nolan, 6-3 Sr., Notre Dame (Park Hills, Kentucky) – Notre Dame defeated Dunbar over the weekend to claim its second title in three years. Nolan, who had 19 kills in the championship match, was named tournament MVP.
Libero: Kamden Schrand, 5-8 Sr., Notre Dame (Park Hills, Kentucky) – The Louisville commit is a Kentucky state champion for the second time in three years. Schrand had 19 kills in the state final and was instrumental as the Pandas overcame Assumption in the semifinal.
Libero: Kya Johnson, 5-7 Jr., Kickapoo (Springfield, Missouri) – Johnson had 33 digs to keep Kickapoo in the Missouri Class 5 championship match with Lafayette. On the season, Johnson amassed more than 500 digs, had 34 aces and over 100 assists.
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