Weyauwega-Fremont’s 2012 varsity volleyball season was the best the team has seen in several years.
The varsity team ended with a 31-10 record with 10 strong seniors that have spent a good four years or more together developing skills and personal relationships with one another. We also have a fine group of young ladies in the underclass group that are ready and waiting to set their goals for their 2013 season.
The players are:
• Lizzy Abhold (No. 28), senior, middle hitter. Some of you may know Lizzy for what she can do on the discus circle for the W-F track team. Lizzy played volleyball in middle school, but when she came to high school, she took a two-year break. As a junior and senior, she came back to the volleyball program and the rest of the team welcomed her enthusiasm and athletic ability. Lizzy comes equipped with a great attitude and never stopped pushing everyone around her to give their best. She is going to have a very bright future because of the way she approaches life, with an amazing attitude. I sincerely hope that she leaves some of her positive energy behind and that some of the younger kids paid close attention to her ability to keep everyone motivated. Lizzy receives her first varsity letter in volleyball.
• Mariah Hulbert (No. 27), senior, setter. If you know Mariah, you know that she is a sharp shooter on the basketball court known to sink threes from just about anywhere around the arc. Mariah is one of the most determined players I have had the pleasure to coach. Two years ago, I needed another setter. Mariah stepped in and volunteered to be that player, mostly because she knew that if she worked hard enough, she could earn that starting spot. In just two seasons of setting on varsity, Mariah was just 52 assists shy of reaching the 1,000 career assists mark. She holds second highest with 948 in a two-season varsity career. This season she nearly doubled her assists from last year, reaching 591 assists. She also aced 68 serves, showing how pinpoint accurate she could be, and scored 302 rotation points. Mariah has guts and plays with a passion for competition. She did randomly hurt herself in practices, but it always made for a good laugh in the end. Mariah earns her second varsity letter, as well as best setter, best server, and all-conference second team honors.
• Morgan Wilson (No. 26), junior, middle blocker. Morgan finally got some court time this year. Her freshman and sophomore years were hampered by kneed injuries, so you can imagine how excited we all were to have her finally wearing a uniform. Morgan started off slow, but turned it on by mid-season to step into the lead for block kills. She earned 44.5 block kills this season, earning the team’s Best Blocker Award and her first varsity letter in volleyball. Simply cannot say enough about this girl’s intensity and desire to compete to win. Morgan is a great player and we’re really looking forward to more great play from her next season. Morgan has also been selected as a 2013 team captain.
• Anna Forslin (No. 25), senior, defensive/serve specialist. Anna is certainly one of the most determined of our bench and practice players. She put in the time and effort in practice that mattered the most. When you can get players like Anna to give 100 percent every day and understand that what they are doing is making everyone better for the good of the team so the team can reach their goals, then you know that you have someone special. If a starter struggled at the serving line, Anna would come in and serve bullets, always working for the ace. In practice, she dug her heart out just to keep the ball alive so we could run long rallies and get things accomplished. Thanks, Anna, for being part of a great season and having such a great work ethic and attitude all season long. Anna earned her second varsity letter in volleyball.
• Bailey Kapitzke (No. 24), senior, outside hitter. Bailey accomplished two career highs this season. She achieved her 1,000th career dig and 1,000th career kill point. Kill points are the total kills, block kills and service aces added together. Bailey has made her presence known on the court since her freshman season, when she came in as a reserved and nervous young player. Once she got her feet wet, there was no stopping Bailey from putting the fear into many of our opponents. Bailey attacks with ferocity and plays all the way around the court with the same level of intensity. It never matters to Bailey whether she is in the front row or the back, we still got to see this girl put her best effort into every rotation. Bailey earned her team’s respect by receiving their vote as the team MVP for the second year in a row, Best Hitter Award, first team all-conference and fourth varsity letter.
• Kelsey Akey (No. 23), senior, setter. I believe that Kelsey has got to be one of the most determined and conscientious players I have coached. Kelsey has outstanding work ethic and values respect. I have learned a great deal from this young lady and I hope I do not forget the lessons she has taught me. Her unbelievable work ethic and belief and trust in her team helped lead us to our conference championship and a regional title. Even up to the last week of practice, she was still making a 100-percent effort to improve and lead the underclassmen. Kelsey placed herself as the third highest assist leader for a two-year stint in a starting varsity spot, put in for 191 service points and served at the team’s second highest with a 95-percent efficiency. Kelsey earned her third varsity letter.
• Danielle Austreng (No. 21), senior, outside hitter. I believe that I have described Dani’s attack as poetic in the past. She glides into her approach with a nearly perfect approach every time. That nearly perfect approach earned her 300 kills this season, the team’s second best. Dani also served up 227 service points this season with a 94-percent serving efficiency. Knowing Dani’s older siblings when they were in high school, I often assumed that she would follow in their footsteps and run cross country. One summer, she started coming to open gym and working on her serve and never stopped growing or believing. Dani’s leadership and calming presence during questionable times on and off the court just tells me that this young lady is going to have an exceptional future. Dani earned all-conference second team honors and her third varsity letter.
• Kelsey Gilbert (No. 18), junior, outside hitter. The majority of Kelsey’s season was spent on the junior varsity roster, where she developed her leadership and volleyball skills. Kelsey finished her season by continuing on the varsity roster and received some playing time during the regional playoffs. Kelsey did an outstanding job as a practice player and always motivated players during matches with her positive energy and constant smile. We are really looking forward to Kelsey taking on a leadership role next season on her 2013 varsity team. Kelsey earned her first varsity letter and was also selected by her team as a 2013 team captain.
• Jordan Krause (No. 16), sophomore, middle/right side. After getting baptized by fire last season, Jordan came into this season with more confidence and prepared to do whatever was asked of her for the good of the team. Jordan really turned up the heat on the net from about mid-season on, becoming a very reliable blocker on the right side. When a player like Jordan can put another team out of their usual system, then you’ve got something special. Jordan has two more years to hit her peak level of play and we know that she is going to be a most promising player. In the next two seasons, we may see Jordan in an even bigger role as a possible setter/hitter in our 6-2 offense. Jordan earned her second varsity letter and has also been voted as a 2013 team captain.
• Sydney DeSantis (No. 14), senior, right side/setter. Sydney developed into an outstanding volleyball player. She not only helped in our march to an awesome season, but came into this season as the player that we needed in her position. She accepted her role and challenged herself continually every day. Syd has a never-say-die attitude and never gives up on what she really wants. It has been a pleasure to have worked with Sydney these four years and I will miss her intensity and determination. Sydney earned her third varsity letter as she tallied up 157 kills and 22 block kills. Syd was never afraid to get her feet dirty.
• Maggie Knecht (No. 13), senior, middle/right side. Maggie continually gave the team her best every day in practices and in matches. Her personality, which remained positive and motivating all the time, was contagious and honestly kept the team going when they needed it most. I have said it before and I will say it again, every team needs someone like Maggie. She approached everything with the right attitude and knew what had to be done for the good of the team. Maggie put down 130 kills this season, but her most effective position was blocking and being sure to keep the opponent’s blockers honest, often holding them in position with a fake so we had a better chance to get the kill on the outside or the right side. Maggie’s attitude and play-hard spirit will absolutely be missed for many years to come. Maggie earned her third varsity letter and all-conference honorable mention.
• Lauren Akey (No. 10), senior, utility/serving specialist. Lauren was another of our outstanding practice players that put in her best effort in order to help develop her team into a championship team. If a server was struggling, Lauren would come in and serve bullets. Lauren’s work ethic and desire to be part of the team and play alongside the girls that she has been with for so many years kept her motivated. I think my favorite memory of Lauren was her coming off the court with the biggest smile on her face after digging a hard hit in the Pacelli match. Lauren didn’t see as much playing time as the starters, but never gave anything less than anyone else in practices. She earned her second varsity letter.
• Megan Young (No. 6), sophomore, right side/middle. Megan really came into her own this season, finally finding her place. She will actually be able to play any position across the front line in her next two seasons. This season, we focused on Megan’s right side position. We definitely added a big threat with her on the net as a blocker and hitter. Megan finished with a .320 kill average and put down 28 block kills this season. Megan is beginning to have aspirations of continuing her volleyball career at the collegiate level, so we are certain that you will be seeing some outstanding play from this young lady in the future. Megan earns the Most Improved Award this season as voted by her teammates and her second varsity letter and has been selected to be a 2013 team captain.
• Teal Tomaszewski (No. 3), senior, libero. Teal has got to be one of my favorite players. Yes, I said it and I mean it with my whole heart. When I watch her play, I am sometimes in awe of what she does with her ball control. Teal has made some amazing strides in the last couple years to become a better player and a better teammate. It has only been because of her personal goals that she has been able to become that better player. Those efforts helped lead our team to a great 2012 season. This season, Teal reached her 2,000th career dig, establishing a W-F record that will be very difficult to surpass. She put up 756 digs, averaged 6.5 digs per set and served a 95.5-percent efficiency. Teal also put up 868 receives for a 93-percent efficiency, averaging 7.5 receives per set. When it comes to ball control, there aren’t many that can match her efficiency. Teal was named to the Post Crescent Sensational Six and Player of the Week for 2012; earned the team’s Best Digger and Best Passer awards; was named to the all-conference first team and player of the year; and earned her fourth varsity letter.
There are so many stories I can tell of moments of all-out laughter during a practice, of being on the sidelines or watching a drill and seeing the most amazing performances from these kids. For our true big red fans, we all wish we could have made it a couple more games. Mariah could have reached 1,000 assists, Bailey could have reached 1,000 kills and we could have carried our duffle bags into the Resch Center instead of our purses.
It is always difficult to say good bye. I am taking one of those moments, remember one of those “tie a knot in your rope and hang on” moments. Farewell to a group of beautiful seniors who have been undoubtedly 10 of W-F’s best. I’m very proud to have had the opportunity to have coached you, learned from you, cried with you, laughed with you and celebrated with you and will forever love you.