TRIMONT — Martin County West sophomore Emily Anderson is enjoying the best of both worlds.
Not only is she a first-team Valley Conference volleyball player, she also has a 4.0 grade point average in the classroom.
Anderson helped the Mavericks win a match in Section 2A, South Sub-Section via Mountain Lake Area/Comfrey in late October before being eliminated in the next round to Cedar Mountain.
“Our season was successful, but a little too short” said Anderson. “It would have been nice to continue playing.”
Anderson did a little bit of everything for the Mavericks under the tutelage of head coach Kayla Zehms.
For all of her contributions to the sport, Anderson was voted Sentinel All-Area Volleyball Player of the Year.
Anderson also made the all-area team as a freshman.
“My parents (Cliff and Marla Anderson) deserve a lot of credit for my success,” said Emily Anderson. “The coaches tell me that I can read the other team when I’m on the pitch.”
Both Cliff and Marla were All-World Athletes, and their older brother, Zach, recently signed a national letter of intent to play basketball at Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb.
“Emily Anderson is a very talented volleyball player,” said Zehms. “Emily is versatile and can play anywhere on the pitch and will succeed. I’m amazed at how she continues to grow and learn. A big advantage for Emily is that she can see the other side of the field and always knows where to put the ball.
“She knows when to hit the ball hard and when to hit the open spot on the pitch. She can spot hits and serve her ball. For example when she serves I can tell her which zone to hit and even which side of the body I want the ball on and she will put it there. Same with attack.
“I can tell her where to go and what distance to go and she attacks there. It’s an incredible talent. I can’t wait to see how she develops further. It has been an honor to watch and coach her over the past year.”
Anderson was the Mavericks’ top hitter this season, amassing 203 kills and second-best 92 set assists.
“Actually, I like the setting” said Anderson.
She did her job defensively as well, ending the game with the best 325 digs before the end with 20 blocks and 25 block assists.
Given the choice, Anderson said she prefers to play defense. The team practiced a lot in switching from defense to offense.
“It’s important to play good defense because you build your offense from your defense.” said Anderson.
She hasn’t thought about which college she wants to attend and is a year too young to talk to college coaches about her future in volleyball or basketball.
Anderson is also a standout basketball player and can play in multiple positions, even up front. She averaged 13 points per game last season.
Basketball practice officially began on November 14, and the Mavericks’ first game is scheduled for Tuesday in Nicollet.
Not only does Anderson have the opportunity to play collegiate sports, but she also has the potential to be Martin County West High School’s senior grad.
Here’s a view of the newspaper’s annual all-star volleyball lineup.
Kynlie Anderson (Fairmont) – The senior setter led the Cardinals by dishing out 219 set assists.
The co-captain was also the team leader on serve, converting 97.1 percent on 297 of 306 serves and hitting 25 aces.
Anderson made the entire Big South Conference honorable mention for the Cardinals.
Eloise Blair (Blue Earth Area) – The libero and five-year-old varsity player has worked her way up to 333 digs this season and finished with 1,213 in her career.
This is her second year on the all-area team. Blair had 24 kills, 208 in her career, and 29 serving aces, 50 in her career.
Grace Bicknase (Martin County West) – The Mavericks’ top setter this fall had two solid hitters to bet on in Emily Anderson and Lucy Larson.
Bicknase finished the season with 74 kills, but her biggest asset was set assists. She had 461 of them, which is about 16.5 assists per game.
Bicknase led the Mavericks with 47 aces and had 203 digs.
Londyn Bowers (Martin Luther/Gran-ada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman) – The freshman was the Jaguars’ first hitter and finished team-high with 180 kills. She received second-team All Valley Conference honors.
Bowers had 259 digs, eight set assists, served 120 of 169 with 24 aces, and finished the season with 432 service receptions.
Jazlyn Geerdes (Fairmont) – The Cardinals co-captain enjoyed a solid senior season and led the team with 154 kills.
She has contributed 57 digs to Fairmont.
Haley Kalis (Blue Earth Area) – The Bucs’ senior setter was a two-year varsity player this fall.
Kalis finished this year with 245 set assists and 467 in her two seasons, plus had 64 digs this year and 148 in her career. She also served 14 aces this season and 12 in 2021.
Lucy Larson (Martin County West) – She is a senior with a large vertical jump.
She finished the season with the second-best 175 kills and had the second-best 273 digs. Her versatility influenced the team’s success.
Alicia Machacek (Blue Earth Area) – The senior middle hitter and four-year-old varsity player had 159 kills this season, 388 in her career, plus 50 blocks with 122 in her four years.
Additionally, Machacek finished eight serve aces, earning her 27 for her career.
Olivia Merrill (North Union) – The junior finished her season as the Warriors’ top hitter with 207 kills. Merrill served 259 of 265 for 97.7 percent with 20 aces.
On defense, she finished as the team’s best with 76 blocks and 63 digs.
Tigges called her an excellent blocker and a strong hitter.
Brylee Miller (Fairmont) – The Cardinals’ all-around solid player leads the team with 292.
Miller also had 142 kills and served 147-to-165 for 89.1 percent with 15 aces.
Ella Nagorske (Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman) – The Senior Setter received the All Valley Conference Honorable Mention. She had 219 set assists, 182 digs, 26 kills and served 242 of 272 (90 percent) with 31 aces. Nagorske had 74 service receptions.
Libby Stevens (North Union) – Stevens put together a solid 2022 volleyball campaign, setting a school record for single-season set assists with 592.
Also on the season, the junior added 66 kills, scored 222 digs and was 323 of 335, serving for the Warriors for 96.4 percent.
Ella Ulrich (North Union) – The Warriors sweeper was solid in the back row, collecting the team’s best 322 digs.
Ulrich also connected on 209 of 232 serves for 90.1 percent with 24 aces.
Olivia Von Bank (North Union) – Von Bank had the second best 202 kills for the Warriors.
North Union head coach Sandy Tigges named the team Von Bank “Swiss Army Knife, because it can do everything.”
Von Bank had 198 digs for the Warriors, plus 147 of 155 that served for a 94.8 percent clip.
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