Volleyball is officially here, and the AVCTL is loaded with talent. As the push for state rolls on, here are the top spikers in the league.
Keiryn Swenson – Maize
Maize is like a great white shark; it has been an apex predator for the last 400 million years. It seems for the rest of the league, you could say the same thing about Swenson. She has been pounding the ball for the Eagles for a long time and her trophy mantle reflects that. Forget about first-team all-league last year. Swenson was first-team KVA all-state, and all-state tournament team.
Jaylyn Agnew – Andover
Last season Andover had a big season and Agnew’s apparent disdain for the ball was a big reason why. She hits with both power and accuracy, putting defenses in a bad situation every time she elevates. The Trojans finished fourth at the 5A state tournament after losing the consolation game to a Kapaun team they beat in pool play. That provides motivation for Agnew that should scare both volleyballs, and opponents.
Brynn Minor – Goddard Eisenhower
Minor was first-team all-league last season, powering the Tigers to the sub-state finals. Eisenhower fell short to 5A powerhouse Bishop Carroll, but with Minor back for her senior year, the Tigers will have their sights set squarely on Topeka this season.
Julia Joseph – Andover Central
Andover Central made it to the 4A Div. I state tournament last year where it failed to move out of the pool play. The Jaguars will be looking for more this season. With 6-foot senior hitter Julia Joseph, they have good reason to set big goals this year. As a junior last season, Joseph was second-team all-league and powered the Jaguars to an undefeated record at the AVCTL preseason in Hutch.
Jessica Motes – Newton
Newton is one of the many programs in the AVCTL that is always good. In Motes freshman season, the Railers made it to the state championship match, creating a freshman class that is plenty motivated to get back on that stage. If Newton can make another splash in Topeka this season, Motes will be a big reason why. As a junior she earned second-team all-league honors and is ready to finish strong with the Railers.
Nia Bishop – Derby
As a sophomore this year Bishop is the heir to the, she has dominated for so long we lost track of what grade she is in, Keiryn Swenson crown. What she lacks in age she makes up for in talent. When she gets the ball, there is going to be violence. Derby is always in the mix for a league title and with a young player like Bishop, it doesn’t look like that trend is going to change any time soon.
Andrea Alstatt – Salina South
Salina South had kind of a rough season last year, but is looking for improvement with a senior like Alstatt hitting the ball. This summer, Alstatt made a trip to Australia to play volleyball on an all-star team. This season at the AVCTL preseason tournament, the Cougars nearly picked up half of the wins the team got all of last season.
Megan Pedersen – McPherson
Pedersen is another one of the younger, but incredibly talented players in the league. McPherson lost a big senior class last year that included a lot of three-year starters. But last season, Pedersen stepped up as a sophomore, earning all-league honors and set the table for another long varsity career for the Bullpups. Pedersen is a big reason why McPherson is confident they will continue to be strong without the five seniors from last season.
Haley Slade – Rose Hill
Last season, Rose Hill took advantage of league MVP Kylie Pfaff to get to Saturday at the state tournament and finish fourth. But while Pfaff had her moment in the spotlight, Slade was a solid contributor as well. Now that she is a senior, Slade is ready for her time to lead this team.