Weisensel, Pearson, Kottke highlight All-Journal volleyball teams
Mara Weisensel, MH, MVL, Sr.
Weisensel started off the season with a bang, setting the single-match kills record at Minnesota Valley Lutheran with 33 kills against Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s on Aug. 27. This year’s Tomahawk Conference Player of the Year also set the single-match block record on Sept. 24 with 10 against New Ulm Cathedral.
This season, Weisensel finished with an impressive 460 kills and 84 blocks. The 460 kills led the conference this year and passed the MVL single-season kills record that was previously held by Heather Danell at 372. Weisensel’s 460 kills also helped her set the school record in career kills, which she now holds at 917. In addition to those records, Weisensel also finished her career with 241 blocks, which passed Amanda Burk’s previous career record for blocks at MVL of 207.
Maddie Pearson, S, MVL, Sr.
Pearson had an eventful senior year with the Chargers, setting several records on the way to Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s 24-win season. This year, Pearson set the school record for career set assists on Oct. 3 against Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop after wracking up 49 set assists. She now sits at 1,847 career set assists.
She also set the single-season school record for set assists on Oct. 24 in playoff win at home against New Ulm Cathedral. She ended the year with 802 set assists and led the team in set assists, digs (273) and service points (263), with the total service points being an MVL single-season record.
In addition to those milestones, she had 52 ace serves this season and made the Tomahawk All-Conference Team. Pearson also ends her career third on the career digs list at MVL and second in ace serves.
Sarah Kottke, MH,
The Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart middle blocker ended her senior campaign with 305 kills, 47 blocks and 117 digs. She also had a 94% serving percentage and 43 ace serves and was named a Tomahawk All-Conference player this year.
Kottke ends her volleyball career with the Mustangs with 604 kills, 109 total blocks, 92 ace serves and 385 digs. The three-year starter primarily played middle for BLHS but also saw some time at the setter position and right side.
Jill Thompson, OH,
As one of the Raiders’ top passers, servers and hitters in 2019, Thompson ended her final year at Nicollet with 375 kills, 265 digs, 33 ace serves and 25 total blocks. She was named to the Valley All-Conference First Team this season and was moved to outside hitter from the middle hitter position this year, embracing and succeeding in the role along the way.
She now sits at 772 career kills, good for third place in school history.
Eva Mark, S,
Mark ended her final season with the Tigers with 745 set assists, 257 digs, 22 total blocks and 16 ace serves. The leader on and off the court for Springfield also had a 99.2 percent serving percentage and was described by her head coach Tiffany Pierson as someone who continually worked hard to better herself, which in return made the team better.
Mark ends her career at Springfield with 1,463 set assists, 698 digs, 47 total blocks and 36 ace serves.
Kora Wahl, MH,
Wahl was Springfield’s middle blocker this season and had 101 total blocks and 212 kills. The senior Tomahawk All-Conference player also played a big role in the serving game with 48 ace serves while adding 363 digs for the defense.
She was a 95.8 percent server this season and led the conference in blocks. Pierson said that Wahl led the team defensively in both the front and back row and controlled the net with an effective block.
Wahl ends her career with the Tigers’ volleyball team with 425 kills, 86 ace serves, 165 total blocks and 610 digs.
Maggie Fliszar, OH, Cathedral, Sr.
Fliszar capped off a Tomahawk All-Conference season with a team-leading 255 kills and 282 digs. She also collected 31 ace serves on a 93.8% serving percentage. She finished the year in the top 10 in the conference in kills, ace serves and was 11th in digs.
Fliszar finished her career with 418 kills, 623 digs, 60 ace serves and 10 1/2 ace blocks. She is also in the New Ulm Cathedral High School top 10 for both career digs and kills as well as kills and digs in a single season.
Emma Nelson, OH,
Nelson finished the season as an all-around threat for the Chargers with 200 kills, 260 digs and 47 ace serves. In MVL’s second match of the year, Nelson tied the single-match school service point record of 27, a record Beth Wolff set in 1988.
Nelson had season-high totals of 17 kills in two matches this year, one being in a four-set win against Maple River on Sept. 24, and one in the final match of her MVL career in a five-set playoff loss to BOLD at New Ulm High School. The Tomahawk All-Conference player finishes her career with 330 kills, 351 digs and 48 ace serves.
Cylee Graff, OH,
Graff ended the season with 279 kills and a .185 hitting percentage. She also had 23 ace serves, 14 total blocks and 223 digs.
Springfield head coach Tiffany Pierson said that Graff had been a very consistent player for the Tigers the past two years that consistently made big plays on the offensive side of the game. A unanimous Tomahawk All-Conference pick, Graff was looked to as the player to start a push when Springfield needed it this season.
Madison Mathiowetz, MH, St. Mary’s, So.
Mathiowetz finished the year with 307 digs, 152 kills, 28 ace serves and 20 set assists. The Tomahawk All-Conference player also had a 94% serving percentage and was one of the Knights’ top all-around players.
Mathiowetz began the season as a setter but was switched to middle and all around the court when the team realized they needed her digging the ball in a larger capacity. Knights head coach Jen Walter said that Mathiowetz excelled in the back row and made unbelievable digs and serve-receive passes for the team.
Cora Eichten, MH, Wabasso, Sr.
Eichten, a unanimous Tomahawk All-Conference player this year, finished her senior year with the Rabbits with 213 kills, 167 digs and 34 total blocks. She also had 25 ace serves on a 90% serving percentage in 79 sets.
The versatile player had to make many adjustments with the Rabbits, being a front-row middle only to becoming a six-rotation player and occasionally switching to the outside. She finished her career with the Rabbits with 332 kills, 230 digs, 115 total blocks and 40 ace serves in 162 sets.
Hannah Panitzke, OH, GFW, Sr.
Panitzke, a Tomahawk All-Conference selection this year, had 160 kills, 36 blocks, 359 digs and 20 ace serves her senior year with the Thunderbirds. Panitzke also was 278-of-280 serving this year and finished the season ranking third in school history in serving percentage at 99.3%.
For her career, she finished with a 98.2% serving percentage, tied for fifth in school history with Kaity Lee.
The two-year varsity starter was an All-Conference player both years and was recognized as the go-to person and vocal leader on the court.
Sarah Mohr, MH,
While playing in only 44 sets, 15 matches, this year due to injury, Mohr managed to hit a team-high .301. She averaged 3.4 kills per set, which also led the team. She finished the year with 145 kills, which was fifth in the conference for kills per set, playing in only three conference matched.
Mohr also was a Tomahawk All-Conference player this year and led the team in passing with a 2.23 passing average and was second on the team in ace blocks with 21. She served 93.9%, had 22 ace serves and had 97 digs. Without Mohr in the lineup, the Greyhounds went 3-9. When Mohr played, they were 12-3.
For her career so far, Mohr has 585 kills, 635 digs, a 92.6% serving percentage and 11 ace blocks, all on the top-10 list in school history.
Nora Windschill, OH,
New Ulm, Sr.
The three-year varsity starter had her best season this year, leading the team in ace serves with 26, kills with 188 and adding 188 digs, good for second on the team. She was also named an All-Conference player this year in the Big South Conference and had 22 total blocks.
Windschill ends her career with 414 kills, 59 ace serves and 393 digs.
Brittney Dittbenner, OH/MH, Sleepy Eye, Sr.
Dittbenner finished her senior year as a Tomahawk All-Conference player, giving her team 196 kills, 265 digs, 22 blocks and 22 ace serves. She changed from an all-around outside hitter to a middle hitter midseason and performed well for the Indians once she made the adjustment.
She finished the season in the conference’s top 20 list in blocks, digs and kills.
Shelby Ramirez, MH, GFW, Sr.
Ramirez ended her final season at GFW as a Tomahawk All-Conference selection, wracking up 231 kills, 32 blocks, 141 digs and 66 set assists. Ramirez also had 26 ace serves and a 95.9% serving percentage.
She ends her career with 389 kills, 59 bocks, 209 digs, 83 set assists and a 94.8% serving percentage.
Sandy Flores, S,
Sleepy Eye, Sr.
Flores finished up her senior year with the Indians with 440 set assists and 259 digs, good enough to finish in the Tomahawk Conference’s top 5 list in assists and top 15 list in digs. After switching from a 6-2 offense to a 5-1 this year, Flores took on the change and managed the game well for the Indians.
Kaity Lee, Libero,
Lee finished the year with 484 digs and 10 ace serves on 292-of-292 serving. She is just the second player in school history to finish a season with a 100% serving percentage.
She finishes her career at Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop with 680 digs, 40 ace serves and is tied for fifth on the school career serving percentage record list at 98.2 percent. She was an honorable mention in the Tomahawk Conference this year.