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Cannon Falls senior Jaci Winchell is the volleyball All-Area Player of the Year and is one of six players on the All-Area First Team. Alec Hamilton / Cannon Falls Beacon

Introducing the All-Area volleyball teams from the Cannon Falls Beacon and Republican Eagle. 

Alec Hamilton, sports reporter for the Beacon, and Martin Schlegel, sports editor for the Eagle, cooperated to put together three All-Area volleyball teams from their respective schools: Cannon Falls, Randolph, Red Wing, Lake City, Goodhue and Zumbrota-Mazeppa.

The head coaches were able to nominate up to three players for Player of the Year in addition to their nominations for all-area. Statistics and accomplishments were taken into account when forming all-area teams.

First Team

(Listed in alphabetical order)

Natalie Bremer (Lake City, senior, outside hitter)

HVL All-Conference, 2021 Captain, Offensive Player of the Year, Second all-time for kills in a season

2021 Stats: 395 kills, 239 digs, 48 blocks, 34 aces

From head coach Kirk Thornton: “Natalie is an athlete that coaches dream about. She is a 6-rotation player that can do it all including attacking, passing, serving and she is a great leader and teammate. She only played her senior season at outside hitter and had the second most kills in a season for Lake City.”

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Ava Brunn (Lake City, senior, outside hitter)

HVL All-Conference, Team MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Team Captain, All-time aces leader in single season

2021 Stats: 336 kills, 294 digs, 56 aces, 32 blocks

From head coach Kirk Thornton: “Ava is the most passionate player in our program. She is an extremely skilled 6-rotation player who played every position in our program including setter, middle hitter, libero and outside hitter. She came to practice looking to get better and compete every day.”

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Madison Burr (Cannon Falls, sophomore, middle)

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Class AA All-State, Class AA Showcase All-Tournament Team, HVL All-Conference and over 500 career kills

2021 Stats: 102 sets played, 39 ace serves, 384 kills, 108 ace blocks and 162 digs

Quote from head coach Melissa Huseth: “Madison is an explosive hitter, who can hit a variety of shots because of her athleticism. She jumps well, is quick and can cut the ball well. Madison has good ball control and plays a solid backrow. She continued to grow and improve this season and played with a lot of passion. She often raises the level of play on the team because of her fire."

Rylee Nelson (Zumbrota-Mazeppa, junior, setter/hitter)

HVL All-Conference, 2021 Captain

2021 Stats: 516 set assists, 313 digs, 216 kills, 61 blocks, 50 aces

From head coach Lisa Nelson: “Rylee is a true all around, 6-rotation player. We make her fill many roles on the court and she is always up to the challenge."

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Bailie Roschen (Red Wing, senior, outside hitter)

Big 9 All-Conference, Academic All-State

2021 Stats: 369 kills, .245 hitting percentage, 278 digs, 3.35 digs/set, 31 aces, 97.44 serve percentage, 342 serve receives, 15 blocks, six assists

From head coach Nikki Roschen: “Bailie provided a lot of the offense for us during her high school career, leading our team in overall kills for the past two seasons. This year, she finished with an impressive 4.5 kills/set and an efficient hitting percentage. Not only did she perform well offensively, but she also was second on our team for total digs and was one of our primary serve receivers. She is an excellent all-around player who played a vital role in helping our team enjoy a successful season. Her competitive nature and passion for the sport will be greatly missed next year.”

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Jaci Winchell (Cannon Falls, senior, setter)

All-Area Player of the Year, Class AA All-State, Class AA State All-Tournament Team, Academic All-State, Class AA Showcase All-Tournament Team, HVL All-Conference and set the program record for assists with 2,598

2021 Stats: 101 sets played, 1,017 assists, 16 ace serves, 79 kills, 223 digs and 29 ace blocks

Quote from head coach Melissa Huseth: “If you had the chance to watch Jaci play at all, you would see that she is the glue on the court. She looks her teammates and coaches in the eye and demands (in a "tough love" sort of way) that they give their best. She is a steady and consistent player who gives her best in practice and in matches. She loves to win and makes good decisions on who to give the ball to. Jaci is an excellent role model and teammate. It has been a pleasure being her coach.”

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Second Team

Joslyn Carlson (Goodhue, senior, middle blocker)

HVL All-Conference, 2021 Captain

237 kills, 211 digs, 66 blocks, 25 aces

From head coach Lindsey Bauer: “Joslyn has been on the varsity team for multiple years now and her experience showed. This was her first year playing all the way around, and she did amazing. She is a true leader and competitor.”

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Halle Hustad (Cannon Falls, senior, middle)

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HVL All-Conference and over 500 career kills

2021 Stats: 102 sets played, seven ace serves, 285 kills, 90 ace blocks and 49 digs

Quote from head coach Melissa Huseth: “As a senior, Halle had her best season and finished her career at the top of her game. She was a force at the net and enjoyed playing the game with her teammates. She was a good teammate and often gave them positive feedback. I enjoyed coaching Halle and will miss her dearly.”

Kennedy Knopp (Red Wing, junior, outside hitter)

Big 9 Honorable Mention

172 kills, .149 hitting percentage, 46 aces, 85.07 serve percentage, 333 digs, 4.01 digs/set, 497 serve receives, 17 assists, four blocks

From head coach Nikki Roschen: “Kennedy is an outstanding all-around volleyball player, who has an impressive IQ for the game. An excellent serve receiver and defensive player, she thrives on making great plays in the back row. We relied on her heavily to do a lot of our serve receiving, and she led our team in digs this season, averaging an impressive 4.01 digs/set. In addition, offensively, she finished second on our team in kills. Kennedy loves the sport and works hard to continuously improve her skills and knowledge of the game, and to help her team improve and achieve success.”

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Anna Olsen (Randolph, junior, right-side hitter and setter)

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Third-Team All-Gopher Conference and Team MVP

2021 Stats: 180 kills, 32 ace serves, 201 assists, 105 digs, 10 solo blocks and 14 block assists

Quote from head coach Marie Jacob: “Anna is a left-handed, right-side hitter who is very good at seeing the opponent's court and hitting to the open spots. Anna is a team Captain and was a definitive court leader.”

Hallie Roschen (Red Wing, senior, setter)

Big 9 All-Conference, Academic All-State, achieved 1,000 career assists

739 assists, 213 digs, 2.57 digs/set, 32 aces, 95.48 serve percentage, 41 kills, .300 hitting percentage, 18 blocks

From head coach Nikki Roschen: “As a third-year starting setter, Hallie led our offense averaging 8.9 assists per set and finished with (1,607) career setting assists. This year she worked hard on speeding up the tempo of our offense, which helped our team’s hitting efficiency improve and led to more success for our team. She uses her athleticism to get to some tough balls and make great saves at the net. Defensively, Hallie anticipates well and gets a lot of digs for our team. Her love for the sport and desire to continuously improve helped make her an effective setter during her high school career.”

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Lola Wagner (Zumbrota-Mazeppa, junior, libero)

HVL All-Conference

404 digs

From head coach Lisa Nelson: “Lola has been very steady for us in the back row for this season. She reads the ball very well and has done a nice job on serve receive.”

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Honorable Mention

Elle Brandt (Red Wing, senior, libero)

Big 9 Honorable Mention, Academic All-State

263 digs, 3.76 digs/set, 21 aces, 87.44 serve percentage, 501 serve receives, 15 assists, two kills

From head coach Nikki Roschen: “We relied heavily on Elle to do a lot of our passing for serve receive. In addition, her energy and digging on defense were key factors in helping our team succeed this year. Elle did an outstanding job staying aggressive  and getting to a lot of balls, which allowed our offense to run more efficiently. A four-year varsity player, Elle is a great all-around athlete who plays with a lot of passion; her leadership and enthusiasm will be missed next year.”

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Brooke Buck (Goodhue, senior, middle blocker)

HVL Honorable Mention

147 kills, 65 blocks, 28 digs

From head coach Lindsey Bauer: “Brooke really stepped up this year and showed great confidence. She became someone we leaned on this year and was a great blocker.”

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Paige Ford (Randolph, junior, middle hitter)

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All-Gopher Conference Honorable Mention

2021 Stats: 193 kills, 26 ace serves, 108 digs, 25 solo blocks and seven block assists

Quote from head coach Marie Jacob: “Paige is a three-year starter with this being her second year as a middle. Paige is a Captain who is a great court leader. Paige is dedicated to the weight room and it shows in her speed and strength in the middle.”

Bree Robinson (Cannon Falls, senior, libero)

HVL All-Conference Honorable Mention

2021 Stats: 102 sets played, most service points with 240, 30 ace serves, strongest passer on the team with 2.30 pass rating on 515 receptions and leader in digs with 349

Quote from head coach Melissa Huseth: “Bree has always been a quick and tough defender, but this year she did her best job reading the opponent’s offense and being in the right position to defend on her feet. She worked tirelessly on her platform and grew to be the strongest passer on our team. Bree has been a joy to coach and I will miss her smile and genuine love of playing the game of volleyball.”

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Anika Schafer (Goodhue, senior, setter)

HVL Honorable Mention, 2021 Captain

640 set assists, 222 digs, 52 kills, 44 aces, 25 blocks

From head coach Lindsey Bauer: “Anika had a great season, and truly stepped up as a leader on the court. She is such a hard worker and really led her team to a great season.”

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