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Area volleyball players earn all-conference honors

Area volleyball players earn all-conference honors

ASHLAND – Ashland-Greenwood senior Saige Craven and Raymond Central senior Grace Mueller were named co-captains on the Capitol Conference Volleyball team after strong seasons on the court.

Craven played all over the court for the Jays, who had a historic year, winning the school’s first ever state tournament game.

The Bluejays finished with a record of 23-6 after getting eliminated in the semifinals by nationally ranked and undefeated Omaha Skutt.

Craven handed out 430 set assists, added 199 kills, 42 ace serves and for good measure finished second on the team in digs with 290.

“Saige is truly a setter, but her court awareness is so good we asked her to do it all and she was tremendous for us all season,” said Ashland-Greenwood Coach Megan Rossell.

Mueller used her superior athleticism to overwhelm opponents all season for the 19-10 Mustangs.

The 5-9 outside hitter led the Mustangs in kills with 273 all while hitting an efficient .349.

She also added 226 digs and piled up 37 aces from behind the service line for RC who improved their win total by 12 over last season. She finished with 725 kills and 751 digs for her career.

AGHS seniors Jess Stander and Carly vonRentzell were also named first team all-conference.

vonRentzell led the Bluejays in kills with 258 and went all the way around for AGHS, adding 188 digs and played an instrumental role in serve receive.

“Carly grew so much mentally this year for us and was a huge threat offensively,” said Rossell.

Stander had a great state tournament and was instrumental in the opening round win over Waverly by doing her part to slow down Nebraska recruit Whitney Lauenstein with a strong block.

The 5-11 Stander led the Jays in blocks with 70 and added 228 kills.

“Jess was out go-to power hitter and blocker this season. She is the most humble kid I have ever coached and is a great teammate,” said Rossell.

Yutan junior Haley Bedlan and Raymond Central senior Halle Heiss were both named to the second team after playing key roles for their teams in 2020.

Bedlan led the 17-11 Chieftains in nearly every statistical category during a phenomenal junior campaign. She led the team in kills with 265 and in digs with 297. She was also strong in serve receive and fielded a number of second balls when setter Heidi Krajicek was in the back row digging up balls.

“Haley is smaller than most outside hitters, she still terminates the ball a lot even against a big block,” said Yutan Coach Jodi Bierman.

Heiss will graduate in May as the school’s all-time leader in set assists with 1,668.

She handed out 682 set assists, added 44 kills, 231 digs and piled up 43 ace serves during a tremendous senior season.

Bluejay netters Alexa Edmisten and Brynn Glock were both named to the honorable mention team as were Mustangs Autumn Haislet, Hannah Kile and Emaree Harris and Chieftain Ellie Lloyd.

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