LSC champs dominate Telegram All-Area Volleyball TeamFour Spartans and two Tigers honored
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
The Superior High School volleyball team put together one of its best seasons in recent memory this year, finishing with an overall record of 26-7-1.
The Spartan girls won their first Lake Superior Conference volleyball title in school history and advanced to the second round of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 1 playoffs.
At Northwestern High School, the Tigers fell short of their hopes for the season, but a few seniors still managed to finished out their high school careers in dazzling fashion.
Joining Jessica Lindstrom on the 2011 Superior Telegram All-Area Volleyball Team are four seniors and one freshman.
Also nominated were junior Alison Wainionpaa of Superior and juniors Aliex Friend and Alie Larson of Northwestern.
In her first five years as a volleyball player, Ally Keute was a defensive specialist. She earned first team Lake Superior Conference honors as a libero in her junior year and honorable mention as a sophomore.
But despite the senior’s success in the back row, she was asked this year to shift to a new position.
“She has stepped up and filled a position as outside hitter and has done it with enthusiasm,” said Lori Keute, SHS head coach. “She has accepted and adapted to this new position with relish and has done a great job.”
Ally Keute earned second-team LSC honors this year in her new role. The two-year captain finished with 82 kills, 35 ace serves and 151 digs in her senior season. For her high school career, Keute totaled 747 digs, 106 ace serves and 129 kills.
“She is a smart player who is a force on the court with her leadership and finesse with the ball,” Lori Keute said.
Maddie Keute is a freshman with ice in her veins. The first-year varsity player had one of the most dangerous serves on the team and a natural talent for digging up the ball.
“Although just a freshman, she was confident on the court and did a great job keeping the ball in play as our libero,” Lori Keute said. “She started the season as a starting setter and later in the season switched to libero. I felt, because of her strong defensive skills, it was better for the team to have her in the back row for five rotations.”
Maddie Keute had 174 digs, 72 assists and 45 serving aces for the season.
“She is a wonderful serve receive passer and a consistent server who could challenge the opposing teams with her jump serve,” Lori Keute said.
Senior Dani Magdzas formed the second half of Superior’s powerful front-row attack this season.
The right-side hitter averaged 2.8 kills per game with a .304 hitting percentage and a .455 kill percentage. She finished the season with 256 kills, 34 total blocks and 49 serving aces.
“She is a strong blocker and smart player who can hit the ball with tremendous power,” Coach Keute said.
Magdzas also added 96 digs and 60 set assists playing as both a right-side hitter and setter this season.
In her four years playing for the Spartans, three as a varsity starter, Magdzas amassed 251 assists, 112 serving aces and 845 kills. Her career stats on defense include 277 digs and 95 total blocks.
After high school, Magdzas is headed to Division II Augustana on a volleyball scholarship.
The senior served as a captain for a second year this season and was named to the 2011 LSC All-Conference first team.
Ally May hammered away at the competition again this season as the Tigers’ top hitter, finishing with 343 kills to secure a place among Northwestern High School’s all-time great hitters.
“Ally took a lot of swings and was a huge offensive threat for us,” said NHS coach Tanya Amys. “Ally learned to adjust to the ball and became more aggressive with her placement as the season progressed. She was someone that we could count on as a team to kill the ball.”
May, a senior, is now third on Northwestern’s single season kills chart, totaling more than 300 kills in her past two seasons. Her kill efficiency skyrocketed from .195 last year to .374 this year, and May’s 703 career kills mark puts her near the top of the all-time career kills list.
“Ally is very athletic and has shown her abilities in all areas of the court,” Amys said. “She is not only a strong offensive player and hitter, but Ally was second on the team for number of digs and passing efficiency.”
May received Heart O’ North All-Conference first team honors this season and was named the Tigers’ most valuable offensive player and the most valuable overall player.
“Ally was a captain on the team last year but stepped it up a level this year,” Amys said. “She was a great example for all of her teammates on the court, in the classroom and in life in general.”
Amys said May has shown great dedication and passion for the game of volleyball, and the senior hopes to continue playing the sport after high school.
As one of the few Tiger players returning with significant game experience, Sarah Miller acted as a mentor for younger teammates this year.
“Sarah is a consistent passer and is able to read a number of hits as a defensive specialist,” Amys said. “She adjusts to where she needs to be in the back row digging up a number of balls off some hard hitters.
“Sarah is also an aggressive server. We knew we could count on her for some points when she was in the serving position.”
Amys said the senior was a “go-getter” who worked hard to get to every ball. Miller finished the season with 174 digs and a 2.13 serve receive average pass.
Miller also served as one of Northwestern’s captains this season and was selected as the team’s most valuable defensive player.
“Sarah did a great job of stepping up to the captain’s position,” Amys said. “She encouraged her teammates to work hard and put their efforts into the team rather than themselves individually.”