Wega-Fremont netters had successful season
By Rena Tomaszewski
Congratulations to the 2015 Weyauwega-Fremont volleyball team on a successful season.
We finished with a 16-9 overall record and a tie for second in the Central Wisconsin-8 Conference with a 7-3 record. We have four players that made the all-conference lineup, including the player of the year and nine seniors to say goodbye to.
• No. 1, Courtney Gorges, libero. Courtney has been the varsity starting libero for two seasons. It never ceases to amaze me that she plays through pain and still gives her best, including her heart. It has truly been a pleasure coaching this young lady because she and I have had such a great player/coach relationship. Courtney is such an easy player to coach because she listens well and follows through. Some of you may have seen the two of us having our little chats on the side of the court before a set would begin. Sometimes it would be strategy, sometimes it would be a joke to lighten the load. Courtney was a team captain and carried the team this year with her never-say-die mentality when it came to never letting the ball hit the floor before herself. Courtney achieved over 200 digs this season, as well as over 400 service receptions. She has earned honors of varsity letter, all-conference second team libero, best passer and this year’s MVP.
• No. 3 Caragan Volz, defensive specialist. Cara is our first-ever dual sport athlete at Weyauwega-Fremont. I have always wanted this young lady to give volleyball a try, but always took the backseat to her amazing ability to run like the wind on the cross country team. This year, Cara took on the challenge and competed in cross country and volleyball and always impressed me as to how much energy she had every time she came in to practice after she had been out running three or more miles. Cara earned her first varsity letter in volleyball.
• No. 4 Rabecka Danke, hitter. Rabecka was mostly a practice player who worked incredibly hard this season and it really paid off for her and for the team when we needed her toward the end of the season. This young lady is determined to do well and to work to not only improve herself, but to also help her teammates improve as well. Rabecka hit on the right side and on the left side for us and is equally comfortable on both. She has a wonderful sense of humor and we are very lucky to have had her as part of our roster this season. Rabecka earned her first varsity letter.
• No. 5 Ryanne Benz, hitter. Ryanne is another practice player that we relied on this season to help push the starters. Ryanne has an incredibly calm personality when she knows she needs to focus. She is equally energetic in her enthusiasm and commitment when it comes to supporting her teammates from the bench. I am very proud of Ryanne. Her strength in character is a testament to the type of leader she will be in the future. Ryanne saw enough time on the court this season to earn her first varsity letter.
• No 6 Mikaela Hintz, hitter. Mikaela is another practice player who was very reliable when it came to pushing the starters. I am so proud of this young lady for sticking with her team and becoming such a great player and teammate. Mikaela has certainly come out of her shell and has been a joy to coach. Mikaela earned her first varsity letter.
• No. 7 Alyssa Goode, hitter. I have seen so many great things from this young lady. Alyssa is the definition of competition and has a tremendous desire to see everyone around her to be just as competitive, including her coach. No matter what the situation, Alyssa strives to do better every time she is given the opportunity. It has been a wonderful experience to have been able to coach Alyssa and I am looking forward to watching her on the basketball court this season, since that is the sport she truly loves. I’d like to thank Alyssa for giving me her all and always playing with her heart and for always being competitive. Alyssa was a 2015 team captain and earned her second varsity letter.
• No. 10 Rachel Knorr, blocker. It’s always nice to see the look on the faces of the other team when they see Rachel walk onto the court. She has a presence about her that says she is ready to get down to business. Her height also may have something to do with that as well. Since Rachel was a freshman, I always told her that if she used that height and her powerful jump, she would be able to hit the ball inside the 10-foot line. We finally got to see that in Shiocton in the regional semifinals. I will have that memory in my mind until my last day. The smile and the excitement was priceless. Rachel is priceless. I have never had a player truly dedicate her time and efforts so wholeheartedly as Rachel. She had goals she wanted to see happen and worked harder than anyone in her efforts to see those goals happen. This girl is a class act and a one-in-a-million athlete that always wanted to give her team more, including being a setter and a libero. Rachel has earned her third varsity letter, co-best blocker and the 2015 Coach’s Award.
• No. 11 Karissa Akey, hitter. If there is one thing a coach admires the most, it is having a player that will accept challenges and respect the needs of the team. Last year, Karissa was a left-side hitter for us and earned first-team all-conference honors. This season as a team captain, Karissa knew the team needed a middle hitter and stepped up to the challenge. She made a personal sacrifice for the good of the team. Karissa is an exceptional young lady because she is always one that puts the needs of the team first. She can also at times put too much on her own shoulders to try and be everything the team needs all the time. A leader. A communicator. A player. A competitor. Karissa has gifts she has yet to discover because things come genuinely easy for her in athletics. She always wants one more. What coach wouldn’t want to have a dozen of those players? Karissa was a 2015 team captain; earned co-best blocker and co-best hitter awards; made the all-conference second team; and earned her third varsity letter.
• No. 13 Jordan Rucks, setter. Like Rachel, Jordan put in a tremendous amount of time in her offseason to become the setter that the team needed this season. She led in assists, service aces and service points. Jordan would be the first to tell you she is not the most skilled athlete, but I would be the first to tell you if the most skilled athletes worked as hard as this young lady, you would have championship banners on your walls every year. Jordan’s work ethic puts her above all else. If her sweat equity could be measured in gold, we’d be wealthy beyond our wildest dreams. Jordan was a 2015 team captain, this year’s co-best setter, co-best server, all-conference honorable mention and earned her first varsity letter.
• No. 8 Andi Ponto, hitter. To be honest, I was a little tentative about giving Andi a spot on the varsity roster this season. However, when she went through tryouts at the beginning of the season, we all saw that she had definitely earned the spot. Andi proceeded through the first week or two of practices and sunk her teeth into a starting position as a right-side hitter. Through the season, she has been such a pleasure to coach, always listening and learning everything to make herself and her team better. Andi will be a very strong player for the Indians next fall. Andi has been voted as this year’s most improved player and earned her first varsity letter.
• No. 12 Hailey Krause, hitter. When you want to see what true grit in a competitive situation is, you look at Hailey. I cannot begin to explain what a great time I have coaching Hailey. I have said it before and I will say it again, this girl will make a fantastic coach someday. I truly hope she shares her talents with young people in the future. Hailey achieved many personal bests this season, including hitting double digits in kills in our match against Amherst. The most important attribute Hailey has is her serving ability. More than once this season, she pulled the team out of a hole with a string of aces that would eventually help us to win a match. I look forward to watching Hailey in her senior season because I know she will be a great player and leader for the Indians. Hailey is a 2016 team captain and earned her second varsity letter.
• No. 16 Becky Schroeder, hitter. Becky is truly a treasure. Athletic ability and a fantastic attitude make her another incredibly coachable player. Becky has been turning heads since last season and has been gaining interest from coaches at the collegiate level. I am looking forward to the possibility of another W-F volleyball player continuing their career at the next level. Becky led the team this season in kills per set even after we lost her for five matches at the end of regular season due to a case of mono. Becky is always eager to learn more and doesn’t want to stop learning until she gets it right. As a hitter, Becky is second to none, proving she was the go-to hitter and wowing the crowd with her laser-like kills. Becky will no doubt have a great (complete) senior season. Becky was named the CWC-8 player of the year, was a unanimous first-team all-conference selection and received the team’s co-best hitter award. She earned her third varsity letter and is a 2016 team captain.
• No. 18 Genna Knorr, setter. Genna worked along side Jordan this season as the other setter for our 6-2 offense. Genna certainly grew as a player and as a leader this season. Her hitters began to work really well with her and it began to be obvious she is going to be the lead setter on next year’s varsity roster. Genna was another player that spent a lot of time in the gym and the weight room over the summer to improve on her skills. It paid off, as she came in just behind Jordan in assists, earning the co-best setter award. Genna also improved on her mental and emotional skills, becoming a very receptive and coachable player. Genna had earned 2016 team captain honors as well as her first varsity letter.
• No. 21 Hannah Sroka, defensive specialist. Hannah is one of our little bits of spark in the back row. She has great passing platform and is quick to the ball. We can count on a high percentage of her passes getting to the setter so that we can run an offense. Hannah will likely become a lead contender for the libero position next fall. Hannah also improved a great deal on her serve this season, so we were able to utilize her right away as a defensive specialist. She will be a player to watch next fall, as I am sure she will be a great leader and pace her team to a top finish in the conference with her passing skills. Hannah earned her second varsity letter and is a 2016 team captain.
• Rena Tomaszewski coaches the Weyauwega-Fremont volleyball team.