Eight local players were honored with all-conference first team honors on the volleyball court this fall, including three each from Whitehall and Montague, who tied for second place in the West Michigan Conference Lakes Division.
The Wildcats, district finalists and winners over Whitehall in the regular season, saw Ana Trevino, Jaelyn Sundberg and Alissa Wynn named to the WMC Lakes team. Trevino was the Wildcats’ top hitter much of the season and consistently put up high attack percentages despite opponents knowing she would get set the ball. Trevino had perhaps her best day at the WMC Lakes tournament, hitting an impressive .434 in four matches.
Sundberg starred as the sophomore setter, keeping the Montague offense on course throughout the season and adjusting to the preseason arrival of foreign exchange student Laura Borras as outside hitter. She helped deliver Trevino, Borras and Britta Johnson good opportunities to spike the ball all year, and had 52 assists in the team’s district finals defeat at Fruitport.
Wynn picked up all-league honors due to her impressive work at libero, but also at the service line, where she was the Wildcats’ most consistent and most dangerous server. In her highlight performance, she delivered 20 aces at the Montague Quad in September. She was also consistently tops on the team in digs.
Whitehall honorees were Arianna Black, Sidney Shepherd and Kayla Mulder. Like Sundberg, Shepherd was honored as the Vikings’ setter. Making the unorthodox move from middle hitter to setter and being tasked with an unfamiliar lineup to start the season and several changes during it, Shepherd nevertheless shone, putting up big assist numbers and helping the Vikings play their best towards the end of the season. She racked up 48 assists in the team’s five-game loss to Fruitport in the district semifinals.
Black and Mulder were Whitehall’s top two attackers. Mulder, playing her first season of varsity volleyball, was a force at the net and led the team in kills with 22 at the WMC Lakes tournament, where Whitehall reached the finals. Black led Whitehall in kills in most of her matches and was the lynchpin of the Vikings’ attack. She had 20 kills in the team’s final match.
Reeths-Puffer had top hitters Madisyn Dykema and Sophia Hekkema on the O-K Green Conference team. The Rocket duo spearheaded the team’s offense all season long and were not easy to stop for opponents. Dykema racked up 27 kills in an October home quad, and Hekkema was not only a key facet of the offense but also one of the Rockets’ best defensive players. In addition to Dykema and Hekkema, Lauren Nelson received honorable mention in the O-K Green.