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Sauk Prairie has starring role on All-Badger West girls volleyball awards list

Sauk Prairie has starring role on All-Badger West girls volleyball awards list

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The Sauk Prairie and Madison Edgewood prep girls volleyball teams couldn’t settle things over the course of the Badger West Conference schedule this fall, both going 14-1 to share the league championship.

They didn’t really settle things on the postseason awards list, either.

Senior outside hitters Aida Shadewald and Natalie Ring, the former from Sauk Prairie and the latter from Edgewood, were tabbed as the co-Players of the Year and the Eagles had three first-teamers in all compared with two for the Crusaders.

Sauk’s one loss in the regular season was a two-sets-to-one defeat to Edgewood at the conference tournament on Oct. 9 while Edgewood’s defeat was in four sets to Sauk on Sept. 28.

Shadewald and Ring also were the only two players unanimously chosen to the first team.

In addition to Shadewald, who’s headed to NCAA Division I Wright State (Ohio) next season, the Eagles also had senior libero Alia Schlimgen and junior middle hitter Maggie Hartwig tabbed to the first team.

Like Shadewald, Schlimgen also is Div. I-bound, headed to South Dakota State. Shadewald turned another stellar season as she racked up a career-high 467 kills, including a .338 hitting percentage, to finish her career with 1,559 kills.

She added 83 aces, 41 blocks and 330 digs for good measure. Schlimgen meanwhile went over the half-century mark with a team-high 511 digs. Despite missing her sophomore season, Schlimgen, who also had 76 assists and 48 aces, ended her career with 1,203 digs.

Baraboo senior middle hitter McKenzie Gruner and Reedsburg senior outside hitter Macie Wieman were the other two from the area picked as first-teamers, joining the Sauk Prairie trio as well as Edgewood’s Ring and senior middle hitter Ally Barth.

Similar to Shadewald, Gruner, who will play at Div. II Northern Michigan, punished opposing defenders with 496 digs, including a .376 hitting percentage. Gruner also had 102 blocks, 58 aces and 264 digs.

Not to be outdone, Wieman racked up a team-high 421 kills for the Beavers behind a .418 kill percentage. She also led Reedsburg with 37 blocks and 396 digs.

Sauk Prairie had its bid at making it to the state tournament for a second season in a row come to an end in the WIAA Division 2 sectional finals, getting swept by eventual state runner-up McFarland.

Edgewood’s postseason run came to a close with a loss in four sets to Lake Mills in the regional finals.

But the conference didn’t get shutout when it came to the final weekend of the season, as Reedsburg lost a combined two sets in two regional matches, beat River Valley 3-1 in the sectional semifinals and then swept Baldwin-Woodville in the sectional finals to make it to the Resch Center in Green Bay.

How the Reedsburg volleyball team finally punched their ticket to the Div. 2 state tournament

Reedsburg, the No. 4 seed at state, was swept by top-seeded Luxemburg-Casco in the state semifinals before L-C would beat second-seeded McFarland 3-1 in the championship match.

The Beavers had three others lauded on the Badger West awards list, with senior setter/right side Mahra Wieman (356 kills, 279 assists, 30 blocks) making it on the second team, sophomore setter McKenna Oetzman (545 assists, 49 aces, 327 digs) garnering honorable mention and senior libero Ella Halvensleben (369 digs) also receiving honorable mention.

Sauk Prairie’s two second-teamers were junior outside hitter Annika Braund (201 kills, 74 aces, 282 digs) and junior setter/right side Alexis Klemm (468 assists, 172 kills, 57 blocks, 216 digs) while Eagles senior middle hitter Olivia Paukner (153 kills, 81 aces, 54 blocks) and junior setter Jenna Pistono (479 assists, 80 aces) received honorable mention.

Portage, which took seventh in the eight-team league at 2-12, had one award recipient in honorable mention senior libero Emma Colling. Colling had a team-high 257 digs while adding 17 aces for the Warriors.

Baraboo, which finished in the middle of the pack taking fifth at 6-8, landed sophomore middle hitter/setter Jadynn Gruner (469 assists, 265 kills, 59 aces, 53 blocks, 235 digs) on the second team and senior outside hitter Tenley Scott (58 kills, 35 aces, 146 digs) on the honorable mention list.

On the East side of the things, there were no unanimous first team selections, with the league’s Player of the Year award going to Fort Atkinson sophomore right side/setter Andi Spies.

League champion Waunakee was the only team with multiple players on the first team, those two being sophomore outside hitter Summer Grigg and junior outside hitter Ally Saleh — the daughter of former University of Wisconsin football great Tarek Saleh, the Badgers’ all-time sack leader.

Waunakee was 11-1 in league play to outpace runner-up Watertown (8-3).

Beaver Dam, which finished in a tie with Milton for fifth, landed junior middle hitter Kylie Wittnebel on the second team and also had senior setter Leila Ashley and junior middle hitter Ginny Bryant garner honorable mention.

Follow Dan on Twitter @Danny_Larson_8 or contact him at 920-356-6753.


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