The Weyauwega-Fremont Lady Indians ended their 2011 volleyball season with a respectable 21-15-2 record.
Highlights of the season ranged from record-setting performances to defeating the No. 1 seed in the regional semifinals.
W-F took third in the CWC 8 under two tough opponents. Wittenberg-Birnamwood claimed the conference title for the second straight year, proving they are the team to beat in 2012. The Indians are all too familiar with having a big target on their back after tallying up six straight conference championships from 2002-08, including a state championship.
When you are in a position to chase after those championships and other teams are taking them, well, that just makes you hungry. Being hungry for victory creates a strong desire to succeed. In that desire, the flames are fueled by goals and dreams of players, parents and coaches.
The following is a list of varsity players in jersey order, some of their accomplishments during the 2011 season with awards earned in 2011:
• No. 3, Teal Tomaszewski: Junior libero Tomaszewski set a new single-season record for total digs, putting up 753 and averaging 7.1 per set. She also set new two- and three-season records for digs as a varsity player with well over 1,300 digs in the stat book as a three-season varsity player.
Teal is an outstanding defensive player, but also puts her talents to use on serve-receive. She had 837 service receptions, 615 being perfect passes to the setter. That’s an average of 7.9 per set. Teal has been known to put on some acrobatic performances on the court and absolutely loves an intense level of play. She has drawn attention of the opposition as they soon find out that they should try and keep the ball away from her due to her passing accuracy.
This is Teal’s third season as a varsity player, so she has also placed herself in an elite category for W-F varsity volleyball athletes. Teal finished the season with her third varsity letter, Best Digger Award, 2012 co-captain and CWC 8 all-conference first team, unanimous selection.
• No. 4, Jordan Krause: Freshman middle blocker Krause pretty much got baptized by fire this season, as she had to step up and take over for injured sophomore middle Morgan Wilson. Jordan wasn’t sure whether she could handle the level of play we expected from her, but her teammates were very supportive of her and encouraged her the entire season.
Jordan can probably go into the record books as the freshman with the most sets played with 105. She never backed down and learned something every day. Jordan is going to become a great player for W-F. She’s got a great attitude, is not afraid of hard work and loves to compete. Jordan earns her first varsity letter and the varsity team’s Most Improved Award.
• No. 5, Miranda Potratz: A freshman setter and defensive specialist, Miranda got to see most of her playing time at the JV level as a setter. At the varsity level, she helped the team out as a server and a defensive specialist. Miranda has great athletic ability and will soon find her spot on the varsity court as a promising young player. She will absolutely be a player to watch out for in the next three years. She is ready to challenge the upperclassmen for positions and like Krause, she loves to compete.
• No. 6, Katie Ponto: Sophomore setter Ponto, like Potratz, saw most of her playing time at the JV level as a setter and right side hitter. At the varsity level, Katie saw time in the early part of the season at the Marshfield tournament. She’s got plenty of potential and we expect her to step up her game her junior and senior years. The team will rely on her to make substantial gains in her off-season so we can count on her as a strong sub and eventually a varsity starter.
• No. 10, Lauren Akey: Junior utility player Akey was probably the most utilized sub at most any position. Lauren never had a problem playing in whatever position we asked her to play. She played both left and right side hitter and came in as a serving specialist. She was always ready, no matter at what point in the game we needed her. There were days that she played every set and days that she didn’t, but she never gave up, never stopped learning and always tried her best to push those ahead of her. Lauren earned her first varsity letter in volleyball.
• No. 11, Megan Young: Freshman middle and right side Young is another one of the freshman that just has a load of potential. Megan spent most of her first season as a middle hitter on JV. She has height, a great vertical jump and fantastic blocking ability. Our focus for her is to keep her healthy and injury free. She struggled in the beginning of the season with injuries to her shoulder and knee and that slowed her down some. Once she got back on the right track, she stepped up to play some outstanding matches as a right side for the varsity team.
Megan is going to be an outstanding player for W-F volleyball her next three years. She will be a player to watch out for as we expect her to be a big threat on the net and she’s not afraid to challenge for a position. Megan earned her first varsity letter.
• No. 13, Maggie Knecht: Junior middle hitter Knecht had a great season as a full-time starter. She earned her stripes by contributing to the block party knocking down 56 of the opponent’s kill attempts. Maggie has also put herself in the record books as lead blocker for the 2011 season, earning 16th place on the single-season record for block kills list, 12th place on the two-season kill list, seventh on the two-season block kill list and ninth on the two-season kill point list.
Maggie is a great game player because she brings good energy to the floor. She earned her second varsity letter, the Best Blocker Award and is a 2012 team captain.
• No. 14, Sydney DeSantis: Junior right side and setter DeSantis has truly developed into a strong asset for the squad. Syd was one of our three setters this season and also played right side. She’s got a decent reach and can put up a nice block that really helps the defense.
Sydney had 155 assists, 103 kills and 21 blocks against the opposition. She and our other two setters, Kelsey Akey and Mariah Hulbert, have also collectively put this year’s team in the record books with 745 assists, placing them in the top 10 for single-season team assists. Sydney is a fantastic player who also brings energy to the team. She earned her second varsity letter for volleyball.
• No. 18, Kelsey Gilbert: Sophomore outside hitter Gilbert spent most of her playing time at the JV level. She too saw a good amount of varsity time at a couple of our tournaments that she was able to attend. Kelsey has a strong serve when she’s got it under control. She’s also got a great attack that will have other teams finding it hard to defend.
Toward the end of the varsity season, Kelsey really came on in practices to help push the starters to prepare for the playoffs. Kelsey will be a player to watch the next couple years. She’s got a great deal of potential and she will add to the strength of the team.
• No. 21, Danielle Austreng: Junior outside hitter Austreng owns the most poetic attack approach on the team. She is very enjoyable to watch when she has her game on. Dani is focused and driven to be a great player and a great leader for her team.
She finished her 2011 season higher up in the record books. Her new personal best of 252 kills puts her fifth on the single-season record list. As we track into the two-season varsity records, Dani moved from 15th to second place on the list with 372 kills, fifth for points with 305, sixth for digs with 507, 10th in block kills with 45 and fifth in kill points at 459.
Dani has also established three-season records in kills with 378, sitting at eighth on the list. She is also sixth with 329 service points, ninth in digs with 514 and 10th in kill points with 472. Dani earned her second varsity letter, shared the Best Hitter Award with Bailey Kapitzke, made the CWC 8 all-conference second team and is a 2012 team captain.
• No. 23, Kelsey Akey: Junior setter and right side Akey was a tremendous asset to the varsity line up this season. Although placed in a rotation that she didn’t particularly enjoy or believe to be her best spot, she nevertheless followed through for her team. Kelsey was one of three setters for the squad tallying up 195 assists. She also contributed 42 kills from the right side when we needed them most and scored 105 points in her service rotation. Kelsey is a very determined young lady athlete who will exceed our expectations next season. Kelsey earned her second varsity letter in volleyball.
• No. 24, Bailey Kapitzke: Junior outside hitter Kapitzke had a great season for the lady Indians. She is another of five juniors that placed themselves in the record books. Bailey established personal bests this season in four categories, placing her in the top 10 in the following single-season stats; kills, digs, ace serves and kill points.
She is third for single-season kills at 267, third for single-season aces at 77, 10th at single-season digs with 320 and seventh in kill points with 353. This is Bailey’s third season as a varsity player, so she has also placed herself in an elite category for W-F varsity volleyball athletes establishing records for two- and three-year players.
Her strengths are a rocket serve and her pull-it-out-of-nowhere pancake move that has saved us in several rallies. Bailey finished the 2011 season with co-Best Hitter and co-Best Server awards; is a 2012 cocaptain; and made the CWC 8 all-conference first team. She also earned her third varsity letter.
• No. 25, Anna Forslin: Junior utility player Forslin gained a great deal of experience this season on the varsity court. Her serving skills were a key factor for the Indians in many matches. Anna tallied 135 service points for the team with her highlight matches being against Iola-Scandinavia, as she scored 11 and 12 points against the conference foe.
Her defensive abilities continued to improve through the season and it definitely showed against No. 1 seed Oshkosh Lourdes, as she put up a dig in the fifth set that sealed the victory . Anna finished the season with her first varsity letter in volleyball and the Coaches Award.
• No. 27, Mariah Hulbert: Junior setter Hulbert found new ground to cover this season as she chose to make a new position for herself on the varsity team. In the past, Mariah has been used as a utility player, but over the summer, she was determined to gain ground on her teammates and earn a starting position.
She chose to try setting. We’re very proud of Mariah’s accomplishments this season as a setter. She led the team in set assists with 357, settling her in at ninth for single-season records. Mariah, DeSantis and Akey put the team in the top 10 of all-time assists for a team in a single season. Mariah is also a fantastic server. She can serve with precision and is the first in our rotation because we rely on her to score points for a jump ahead of the opponents.
This was an outstanding season of growth and development for Mariah. She placed herself in the record books tied for ninth with 57 aces and fifth with 266 service points. Mariah earned the Best Setter Award, shared the Best Server Award, is a 2012 cocaptain, received honorable mention to the CWC 8 all-conference team and received her second varsity letter.
• No. 28, Lizzy Abhold: Junior middle hitter Abhold finally came back to the volleyball courts after two years of not playing. The only disappointment we have is that she did not play as a freshman and a sophomore. Lizzy can only be explained in one word: Energy. Her level of commitment to the team through her excitement on and off the court is matched by no other. Lizzy simply refuses to allow anyone to get down at any point during practice or games.
She was a welcome addition to the Lady Indian volleyball program this season and we sincerely wish to see her in the gym again next season. Be sure to watch out for her on the track and field team, as she is going to take the conference by storm and set her own personal bests in the shot and discus.
That wraps up the 2011 Lady Indian varsity volleyball season. Noticeably, there were no seniors on the roster, so that only means they are going to be fired up for next season. Special thanks to coach Lynn Ponto for handling the C-team again this season and coach Stacey Yorkson for taking control of the junior varsity team. These two ladies are absolutely the finest staff to work with. They do innumerable amounts of assistance during games and practices from running drills to taking stats to listening to the kids and teaching them all lessons in life.
It has been a very enjoyable season and, as always, see you in the gym.