Thursday, November 27, 2008

High School Review 2008

#3 posting 11.27.2008
your daily dose of girls volleyball news & information

Here is the Thanksgiving Year in review for the High School Season 2008. Keep in mind these "awards" are based only on what I saw over the course of the 14 weeks during the fall season. I am sure there are other worthy players, games, teams, coaches....but if I didn't see it, I can't vote on it.

BEST GYM: Bethlehem Academy when Marshall came calling. Permanent theater seating.

MOST "INTO IT" CROWD: Alexandria's student section in the Halloween 8AAA final vs STMA. Costumes galore. In fact I had to move because they kept standing blocking my view of the action.

BEST PROGRAM/YEARBOOK TEAM: I guess this is more in the yearbook category---Andover. The used quality paper, had color photos, and the thing that sealed the deal, historical records/awards celebrating their past.
Honorable mentions go to Hopkins and Champlin Park

BEST PROGRAM SECTION: This is a three way tie---Sections 3AAA, 4AAA, and 5AAA. All three have photos of the teams involved. That is a great resource and great keepsake. It is too bad other sections don't have the same opportunities.

Best 5 match set: St. Michael-Albertville vs Alexandria in the 8AAA finals. When the fifth set goes extra points and the state tournament on the line, it doesn't get any more thrilling.

Best 4 match set: Shakopee vs Eastview in the AAA state finals. The margin that separated these two teams was two points.

Best 3 match set: Lakeville South vs Lakeville North. South's first win over older school North came in the 3AAA semis. Not only was it South's first win, but it was the first time they took a set off North in the school's history.

best 3 match: Woodbury vs Andover in the Eastview tournament.

best 2 match: Eden Prairie vs Alexandria in the finals of the EP tournament. Five points separated the two.

BIGGEST RIP OFF: I showed up early to watch White Bear Lake and Fridley and they were already starting the 4th set. The reason the contest started early---no conflict with the "powder puff" Fridley game during homecoming week.

Apple Valley's Eagle Invitational (Sept 19/20).....Two state champs played in that event. 5 state tourney entrants...10 teams in section finals.


BEST TEAM I DIDN'T SEE: According to the MaxPreps poll---Jackson County Central #11. The next team was #34 Mabel-Canton. In other words 32/33 or .970.

BEST FBSO SEASON: Shakopee .614 (in the games I watched)

BEST FBSO GAME: Eagan .867 vs New Prague

MOST POINTS: STMA 113 vs Alexandria 8AAA Final

MOST POINTS & LOST: Alexandria 108 vs STMA 8AAA Final; STMA 108 vs Andover .


LEAST POINTS GIVEN AWAY: Eagan 7 vs New Prague

MOST BLOCKS: Alexandria 19 vs STMA

MOST ACES: St. Paul Central 18 vs St. Paul Harding

BEST SUB 500 TEAM: Eagan

Here is how the FBSO worked out w-l
If .676+ 11-0
if .660+ 16-1
if .630+ 22-2
if .609+ 29-3

BEST TRANSFER: Molly Kreklow from Blaine to Delano. Kreklow has made the state tournament for three straight seasons.

MOST EXCITED UNCLE: Windom's MaKenzie Lovell's uncle during the State A Final with Bethlehem Academy. (Once upon a time I coached MaKenzie's mother (Shelley) in Ellsworth, MN & Lance Becker sat with me during the Windom contests at the state tournament).

BEST FRESHMAN: Leigh Pudwill of Centennial. A 6-1 rangy OH with pop.

And now...the drum roll please....the big three awards. Team, Coach and Player

TEAM: Shakopee. They were the only repeat champion from 2007. The Sabers needed to replace all state setter Jessica Menden (TCU) and strong OH hitter Maggie Geske (SW MN State). They did that with a modified 6-2 and all players did their jobs. Shakopee is fundamentally sound and know where to be on the floor. Yes Ashley Wittman is a strong player, but the other Sabers got it done. A team is only as strong as their weakest link and there were no weak links on the Sabers.

COACH: Matt Busch, Shakopee. See above. It is hard to repeat. It is hard to maintain focus. Shakopee got the job done.

PLAYER: Ashley Wittman, Shakopee. This is not a surprise. Wittman was player of the week four times this fall (Weeks 1, 4, 12, 13). The Future Gopher can put the ball down. She averaged 8.5 points per set this fall. This makes a clean sweep for the Sabers.

OH Ashley Wittman, Shakopee
OH Amy Braun, Lakeville North
MH Lauren Grant, Eastview
MH Tia Gaffen, Wayzata
RH Katherine Harms, STMA
S Catherine Yager, STMA
L Mollie Geske, Shakopee

OH Brittany Chambers, Jordan
OH Ari Mewhorter, Blaine
MH Heidi Lensing, BBE
MH Tori Dixon, Burnsville
RH Unze, Chaska
S Kayla Wallerich, Marshall

I will do a review of the college volleyball season when they are finished up.

Next up: tomorrow morning