MCW’s Anderson tabbed All-Area volleyball captain

MID-AIR SPIKE — Martin County West’s Emily Anderson (9) elevates and drills a spike over a Cleveland blocker during regular-season volleyball action in Trimont. Anderson has been selected as the Sentinel’s 2022 All-Area volleyball player of the year. (Photo by Greg Abel)

TRIMONT — Martin County West sophomore Emily Anderson enjoys the best of both worlds.

Not only is she a first-team all-Valley Conference volleyball player and carries a 4.0 grade point average in the classroom, as well.

Anderson helped the Mavericks win a Section 2A, South Sub-Section match in late October over Mountain Lake Area/ Comfrey before exiting in the next round to Cedar Mountain.

“Our season was succesful, but it was a little too short,” Anderson said. “It would have been nice to play on.”

Anderson did a little bit of everything for the Mavericks under head coach Kayla Zehms’ tutelage.

For all of her contributions in the sport, Anderson has been selected as the Sentinel All-Area volleyball player of the year.

Anderson also made the All-Area team as a freshman.

“A lot of credit to my success goes to my parents (Cliff and Marla Anderson),” Emily Anderson said. “The coaches tell me I can read the other team when I’m on the court.”

Both Cliff and Marla were all-world athletes and her older brother, Zach, recently signed a national letter of intent to play basketball at Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb.

“Emily Anderson is a very talented volleyball player,” Zehms said. “Emily is versatile and can play anywhere on the court and will find success. I’m amazed how she continues to grow and learn. One thing that is a big benefit for Emily is she can see the other side of the court well and always knows where to put the ball.

“She knows when to hit the ball hard and when to hit the open spot on the court. She can spot hit and serve her ball. For example, when she serves I can tell her what zone to hit and even what side of the body I want the ball to go to and she will put it there. Same with attacking.

“I can tell her where to go and distance and she attacks there. It’s incredible talent. I can’t wait to see her continue to develop. It has been an honor watching her and coaching her for the last year.”

Anderson was the Mavericks’ top hitter this season, collecting 203 kills to go with a second-best 92 set assists.

“I actually like setting,” Anderson said.

She got the job done on the defensive end, too, finishing with a team-best 325 digs to go with 20 blocks and 25 block assists.

If she had the choice, Anderson said she likes playing defense more. The team practiced a lot of transitioning from defense to offense.

“It’s important to play good defense since you set up your offense from your defense,” Anderson said.

She hasn’t thought about what college she wants to attend and is a year too young to start talking to college coaches about her future in volleyball or basketball.

Anderson also is a basketball standout and can play multiple positions, even point-forward. She scored 13 points per game last season.

Basketball practice officially started Nov. 14, and the Mavericks’ first game is scheduled for Tuesday at Nicollet.

Not only does Anderson have the distinct possibility of playing college sports, but she has the potential to be Martin County West High School’s valedictorian.

Here is a view of the newpaper’s annual all-star volleyball lineup.

Kynlie Anderson (Fairmont) — The senior setter led the Cardinals by dishing out 219 set assists.

The co-captain also was the team leader in serving, converting on 297 of 306 serves for 97.1 percent, plus she blistered 25 aces.

Anderson made all- Big South Conference honorable mention for the Cardinals.

Eloise Blair (Blue Earth Area) — The libero and five-year varsity player powered her way to 333 digs this season and finished with 1,213 in her career.

This is her second year on the All-Area team. Blair had 24 kills, 208 in her career, and 29 serving aces, 50 for her career.

Grace Bicknase (Martin County West) — The Mavericks’ top setter this fall had two solid hitters in Emily Anderson and Lucy Larson to set to.

Bicknase ended the season with 74 kills, but her biggest asset was set assists. She had 461 of those, which is about 16.5 assists per match.

Bicknase led the Mavericks with 47 serving aces and had 203 digs.

Londyn Bowers (Martin Luther/Gran-ada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman) — The freshman was the Jaguars’ go-to hitter and finished with a team-high 180 kills. She earned second-team all-Valley Conference honors.

Bowers had 259 digs, eight set assists, was 120 of 169 serving with 24 aces, plus ended the season with 432 serve receptions.

Jazlyn Geerdes (Fairmont) — The Cardinals’ co-captain enjoyed a solid senior season, leading the team with 154 kills.

She chipped in with 57 digs for Fairmont.

Haley Kalis (Blue Earth Area) — The Bucs’ senior setter was a two-year varsity player this fall.

Kalis finished with 245 set assists this year and 467 in her two seasons, plus had 64 digs this year and 148 in her career. She also served 14 aces this season and 12 in 2021.

Lucy Larson (Martin County West) — She is a senior hitter with a big vertical leap.

She finished the season with a second-best 175 kills and had a second-best 273 digs. Her versatility made an impact on the team’s success.

Alicia Machacek (Blue Earth Area) — The senior middle hitter and four-year varsity player had 159 kills this season, 388 in her career, plus had 50 blocks with 122 during her four years.

In addition, Machacek finished with eight service aces, giving her 27 for her career.

Olivia Merrill (North Union) — The junior finished her season as the Warriors’ top hitter, finishing with 207 kills. Merrill served 259 of 265 for 97.7 percent with 20 aces.

On defense, she finished with a team-best 76 blocks and 63 digs.

Tigges called her an excellent blocker and a powerful hitter.

Brylee Miller (Fairmont) — The Cardinals’ all-around solid player lead the team in digs with 292.

Miller also had 142 kills, as well as served 147-for-165 for 89.1 percent with 15 aces.

Ella Nagorske (Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain/ Truman) — The senior setter was honorable mention all-Valley Conference. She had 219 set assists, 182 digs, 26 kills and was 242 of 272 serving (90 percent) with 31 aces. Nagorske had 74 serve receptions.

Libby Stevens (North Union) –Stevens put together a solid 2022 volleyball campaign, setting a single-season set assist school record of 592.

Plus, the junior added 66 kills on the season, chipped in with 222 digs and was 323 of 335 serving for 96.4 percent for the Warriors.

Ella Ulrich (North Union) –The Warriors’ libero was solid in the backrow, collecting a team-best 322 digs.

Ulrich also connected on 209 of 232 serves for 90.1 percent with 24 aces.

Olivia Von Bank (North Union) — Von Bank had a second-best 202 kills for the Warriors.

North Union head coach Sandy Tigges called Von Bank the team’s “Swiss Army Knife because she can do it all.”

Von Bank had 198 digs for the Warriors, plus was 147 of 155 serving for a 94.8 percent clip.


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