For the second time in her esteemed career, Blue Earth Area senior Krista Hassing's efforts on the volleyball court helped her earn Sentinel All-Area player of the year honors.
This year, however, Hassing will share the honor with Martin County West senior setter Morgan Williamson.
Hassing led the Bucs to the South Central Conference championship with a 9-1 record for the second straight year, while Blue Earth Area closed out its season with a stellar 20-10 overall record after falling to No. 6-ranked Le Sueur-Henderson in the Section 2AA, South Sub-Section semifinals.
ALL-AREA CO-CAPTAINS — Blue Earth Area senior middle hitter Krista Hassing (7) prepares to unleash a spike off of a set from teammate Monica Krieger (8) during regular-season volleyball action at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont. Photo by Leanna Becker
ALL-AREA CO-CAPTAINS — Martin County West senior setter Morgan Williamson (8) delivers a jump set to Kate Thiesse (right) during sub-section playoff action in St. James. Williamson and Hassing have been selected as the 2012 Sentinel All-Area co-volleyball players of the year. Photo by Leanna Becker
Hassing, who earned all-state honorable mention accolades, smoked a team-best 411 kills to set the Blue Earth Area single-season record. Her 810 career kill total also places her third on the Bucs' records list.
Hassing served up a sizzling 43 aces and made 216 digs to earn all-conference individual honors for another season. The senior middle hitter's 115 blocks set another single-season record for Blue Earth Area, while her career mark of 284 also tops the record books.
Hassing also has been selected to play in the Tri-State All-Star game today in Mason City, Iowa.
While Hassing signed to play volleyball at the next level with the Minnesota State University, Mankato Mavericks, Williamson helped guide the Mavericks of Martin County West High School to the Class A state tournament.
Despite a difficult first-round draw against No. 1-ranked and eventual state champion Bethlehem Academy of Faribault at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Williamson played a huge role in guiding the Mavericks to a 23-12 overall record.
The All-Area co-player of the year also helped guide the Mavericks to a 9-1 Valley Conference record and a share of the league title with Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial.
The all-conference senior playmaker ran the MCW offense and distributed 521 set assists. This season's total raised her career total to 1,090 career assists.
In addition to setting the Maverick attackers, Williamson also smacked 31 kills and made 21 blocks.
The two-time All-Area selection also served up 63 aces on the year and made 189 digs to round out her outstanding prep volleyball career.
Now, let's meet the rest of the 2012 Sentinel All-Area volleyball selections.
Janessa Jahnke (Blue Earth Area) - The all-South Central Conference hitter thumped a second-best 273 kills behind Hassing to help place her ninth on the Blue Earth Area career kills list with 478 overall.
The Buc senior hitter also made things difficult for her opponents at the net, blocking 56 attacks on the season.
Jahnke also made 247 digs and scorched 29 ace serves to help guide the Bucs to the SCC team championship this fall.
Jahnke will join teammate Krista Hassing in today's Tri-State All-Star game in Mason City, Iowa.
Jahnke plans to take her volleyball talents to the next level by playing at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter next season.
Monica Krieger (Blue Earth Area) - Krieger was the motor to the Blue Earth Area offense as she distributed the ball to both Jahnke and Hassing to blast past opponents.
Krieger distributed 532 set assists to help her earn all-SCC honors and guided her team to the sub-section finals.
Additionally, Krieger made 113 digs and served up 43 acees for the Bucs.
Krieger will continue her volleyball-playing days at Simpson College next season.
Paige Bearson (Fairmont) - Bearson pounded 203 kills to lead the Cardinals to a 6-4 conference record to garner All-Area and all-South Central Conference honors.
The senior outside hitter received opponents' serves 370 times, passing with a 91 percent success rate.
Defensively, Bearson tallied 15 blocks and made 305 digs for Fairmont in the final season of her prep career.
Kate Thiesse (Martin County West) - Thiesse played a key role in guiding the Mavericks to the Class A state tournament this fall.
The all-Valley Conference honoree drilled a team-leading 305 kills on the season.
The junior also made 94 blocks for the year and recorded 34 ace serves.
Taryn Tumbleson (Martin County West) - Tumbleson made a big name for herself this season on the front line of the Mavericks' state-qualifying offense.
The all-Valley Conference honorable mention hitter belted 219 kills and made 66 blocks during her sophomore season.
Tumbleson's presence also was felt at the service line where she accumulated 53 ace serves.
Kayla Lardy (Fairmont) - Lardy was another attacking option for the Cardinal offense, smacking 167 kills at a .210 hitting average to earn an all-South Central Conference nod.
The 6-foot-1 junior outside spiker also provided a added force to the defense at the net, making 37 blocks.
Libbie Lange (Martin County West) - Lange proved an essential part of the Mavericks' balanced spiking attack that produced a trip to the Class A state tournament.
The senior middle hitter crushed an impressive 143 kills to also help guide Martin County West to a share of the Valley Conference championship with a 9-1 league record.
Coupled with her offensive prowess at the net, Lange also had a hand in a team-best 101 blocks on the season to earn all-conference honors.
Effie Bentz (Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain) - The Knights' senior libero played a major role in their defense this season.
Bentz tallied 342 digs to earn all-Valley Conference honors, along with 24 serving aces.
Hunter Payne (Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain) - With Bentz holding down the back row, Payne was in charge of the Knights' offense.
The all-Valley Conference honorable mention choice doled out 409 set assists and added 153 digs to the defensive effort.
Collete Haag (North Union) - Haag earned all-Corn Belt Conference first-team honors during her final prep volleyball season, guiding the Warriors to a 23-17 overall record.
The senior outside hitter belted 168 kills to go with 12 set assists and 39 ace serves for the Warriors.
Defensively, Haag made 228 digs and recorded 41 blocks on the season.
Madison Bollig (North Union) - Bollig pounded down 203 kills at a .227 hitting pace to lead the Warrior offense and garner all-Corn Belt Conference second-team honors.
In her junior season Bollig also made 99 blocks and served up eight aces.
Bollig also recorded 48 digs for North Union.
Emily Zaharia (Truman) - The lone Bluejay representative, Zaharia made 275 digs, 111 blocks and served up 14 aces to lead Truman this fall.
Zaharia delivered 143 kills on offense to complement her overall court skills to earn all-Valley Conference honorable mention accolades.