Beyond the stats: In quest to achieve her goals, Lohman anchored Spartans
Superior's Lexie Lohman is the Telegram's 2021 All-Area Volleyball Player of the Year.
When the Superior Spartans’ 2020 volleyball season was deferred to the spring, Lexie Lohman, then a junior, knew the season would be shorter.
The Spartans also played teams they don’t typically play, as the rest of the Lake Superior Conference teams played in the fall.
And while they were back to playing as a fall sport in 2021, the Spartans didn’t have the usual slate of tournaments, which meant Lohman had fewer chances to meet goals she set for herself.
She entered her senior season hoping to reach a career total of 650 kills and 1,000 digs. She came close: 620 kills and 957 digs.
“I think we were missing one or two tournaments. I think if we would have had those tournaments, I think I would have got there, so it’s knowing that I am still capable of it, even if the stats don’t show it,” she said.
A first-team all Lake Superior Conference selection, Lohman is the Telegram’s 2021 All-Area Volleyball Player of the Year. She finished the season with a 97.1% serve percentage, 180 kills and 206 digs.
Coach Brenda Pluntz said Lohman has grown over the years as she learned the game. A six-rotation player who started all four years, her court awareness and ability to read defenses grew. She also became a strong leader on the court, which helped particularly during the spring season, Pluntz said.
“We were playing teams we’ve never played before and probably never will again. (Lohman) helped the team stay positive with her leadership,” Pluntz said.
Maintaining that positive attitude didn’t come easy all the time, Lohman said.
“It can be really hard at times trying to get the girls excited after we lose a couple of points or after we lose a close set, but it’s just helping them remember that we’re out there to have fun, and we’re out there to do our best, win or lose,” she said.
Over the course of her high school career, she said she’s grown on both sides of the ball -- her defense has improved and on offense she’s able to read defenses better.
One of Lohman’s favorite memories from her senior season was playing Rice Lake on Sept. 7. The Spartans won 3-2.
“They were a tough team and we took them to five (sets), and we ended up pulling off the win,” she said. “It was a nice boost of confidence going into the season to get that win, especially taking it to five.”
The Rice Lake game was the second in a string of five straight wins the Spartans notched during the season. The team finished the season 7-16 and 3-4 in Lake Superior Conference play. They lost in the first round of regionals in straight sets to Eau Claire Memorial.
With her high school volleyball career behind her, Lohman is looking forward to what’s next. In the offseason, she bowls competitively, and she plays soccer in the spring.
After graduation, she plans to attend college to study athletic training, and she hopes to play volleyball, too.
But what she’s accomplished as an individual would not have been possible without her parents, she said.
“Without them I don’t really think I would be in the spot I am today,” Lohman said. “Their support was really important to me.”
Superior Telegram All-Area Volleyball Team
The 2020-21 season was a change of pace for the volleyball programs in Douglas County.
Northwestern and Solon Springs played in the fall, while Superior deferred to the spring. The season was shorter and the teams saw different opponents compared to years previous.
This season was a bit of a return to normal, although local teams played a few less matches than usual.
The 2021 Superior Telegram All-Area Volleyball Team includes three seniors, three juniors and a sophomore.
Members from Superior High School include seniors Lexie Lohman and Destiny Hering and sophomore Carlie Lohman.
Brynn Hessel and Brinley Tonn represent Northwestern High School.
And Jori Gehl and Kyra Latvala round out the team as members of the Solon Springs squad.
Gehl and Lexie Lohman are returning members of the Telegram's All-Area Volleyball Team. Gehl previously made the list in 2018 and 2019, while Lexie Lohman made the 2019 squad.
Superior Telegram Volleyball Players of the Year
2021 — Lexie Lohman, Sr., Superior
2019 — No individual player named, just a team
2018 — No individual player named, just a team
2017 — No individual player named, just a team
2016 — Caleigh Jensen, So., Superior
2015 — Cheyenne Johnson, Sr., Northwestern
2014 — Nicole Sorenson, Sr., Superior
2013 — Jessica Lindstrom, Sr., Superior
2012 — Jessica Lindstrom, Jr., Superior
2011 — Jessica Lindstrom, So., Superior
2010 — Ally May, Jr., Northwestern
2009 — Anna Morgan, Sr., Northwestern
2008 — Salann Gilbert, Sr., Solon Springs; Lindsay Taipale, Sr., Northwestern
2007 — Nikki Hughes, Sr., Northwestern
2006 — Northwestern team
2005 — Ciara Gilbert, Jr., Solon Springs
2004 — Cayla Rozowski, Sr., Superior
2003 — Kristy Siegner, Sr., Northwestern
2002 — Jenny Carlson, Sr., Northwestern
*A Player of the Year was not named as the prep volleyball season was changed significantly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.