Following a successful 2019 campaign, a trio of Redwood Valley volleyball players were recently honored by the Big South West Conference.
Juniors Aubree Hicks and Sydney Sommers joined sophomore Kate Ahrens as first-team selections for the Cardinal girls.
Hicks was the Cardinals top setter, surpassing 1,000 career set assists early in the season and taking over much of the workload due to injuries.
Sommers and Ahrens were a formidable pair of outside hitters who led the Cardinals in kills, and, along with Haley Garman and Leah Irlbeck, were part of a strong front line for first year Head Coach Taya Lindahl.
The Cardinals had a solid fall, going 24-6 overall (9-1 during the regular season against Section 3AA opponents) and finishing second to Marshall (30-6) in the Big South West Conference standings.
After starting the season 7-3, the Cardinals went 16-2 the rest of the regular season with its only losses to Marshall and Bloomington Jefferson.
A late season knee injury to standout Sommers proved to be costly, however, as the Cardinals defeated Paynesville Area 3-0 to open up the postseason but would fall to cinderella Minnewaska Area 3-0 in the Sub-Section semifinals.
Minnewaska Area would then upset top seed New London/Spicer 3-0 before falling to defending champion Marshall in the championship.
Marshall would earn the number two seed at state but was upset in its opening round match against Belle Plaine 3-1 and would have to settle for fifth place.
The Cardinals say goodbye to seniors Irlbeck, Keelie Van Hee and Alexa Steffl but have a strong returning squad for next season that should once again challenge Marshall for Section 3AA supremacy.
• Big South West Division First Team - Marshall - Logan Sherman, Mia Schnaible, Paige Andries, Jordan Hilgemann; Redwood Valley - Sydney Sommers, Aubree Hicks, Kate Ahrens; Windom Area - Katelyn Nichols, Autumn Hauge; JCC - Alaina Wolff; Pipestone Area - Kayli Borman; Luverne - Tacey Baustian
• Honorable Mention Selections - Marshall - Rachel Schwarz; Windom Area - Halle Jackson; JCC - Sadie Voss, Jordan Rogotzke; Pipestone Area - April Haupert; Worthington - Payton Sauerbrei
• Big South East Division First Team - St. Peter - Paige Hewitt, Sarah Conlon, Allie McCabe, Brielle Bushaw; Waseca - Rachel Breck, Lexi Herman, Megan Nelson; New Ulm - Nora Windschill, Natalie Yackley; St. James Area - Maddie Brey; Fairmont - Cambrie Anderson; Blue Earth Area - Eloise Blair
• Honorable Mention Selections - St. Peter - Maggi Pierret; Waseca - Breanna Conway; New Ulm - Riley Melby; St. James Area - Korryn Karau, Chloe Mickelson; Fairmont - Sabrina Segar