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Miller’s Kadye Fernholz was the lone repeat first-team selection as the South Dakota Volleyball Coaches Association announced its Class A All-State Team for 2018.

After Fernholz, a 6-foot-1 junior middle hitter, the first team was decidedly smaller, with only one other player taller than 5-9. The other five first-team honorees — seniors McKenna Kranz of McCook Central-Montrose, Grace Leberman of Parker, Faith Tyler of Wagner and Kylee Van Egdom of Sioux Falls Christian, and junior Morgan Hammerbeck of Winner — all play outside hitter.

Tyler and Van Egdom were second-team picks last season, with Van Egdom also earning honorable mention honors as a sophomore. Kranz was an honorable mention pick last season.

The second team included senior setters Sioux Falls Christian Samantha Fykstra and Elk Point-Jefferson setter Karly Marx, senior liberos Beresford Alana Bergland and Groton Area Payton Maine, junior middle hitter Carlie Corder of Elk Point-Jefferson and junior outside hitter VonnaGail Schlechter of Miller.

The honorable mention list included senior setters Hannah Even of Parker, Leslie Fillipi of Lennox and Erika Langloss of Tri-Valley, senior outside hitters Jami Ewart of Aberdeen Roncalli (RH/OH) and Alex Kandolin of St. Thomas More, and junior middle hitter Caitlyn Pruis of Sioux Falls Christian.

Here is a closer look at the first team:

Morgan Hammerbeck, Winner — Jr., 5-11, OH

A three-year starter for the Warriors, Hammerbeck finished with 361 kills, 50 ace serves, 28 blocks and 349 digs in helping Winner to a sixth place finish at state.

“We knew she would be special, and she keeps improving year after year,” said Winner head coach Jaime Keiser. “She led our team in quite a few categories.”

While the Warriors do graduate a couple of key players, Keiser is excited to have Hammerbeck back to help lead the team.

“She’s an all-around great kid: nice, polite and works her butt off,” Keiser said. “She’s a competitor, a great leader.”

Kadye Fernholz, Miller — Jr., 6-1, MH

Fernholz, who was also a second-team pick as a freshman, continued to be a dominant force in the middle for the Rustlers, posting 471 kills and 75 blocks as she helped lead her team to a state runner-up finish.

Fernholz was also a key contributor away from the net, recording 322 digs and 24 ace serves.

“She is so valuable as a six-rotation player because of her high volleyball IQ,” said Miller head coach Linda DeBoer. “We are where we are because of her consistency.”

Kylee Van Egdom, Sioux Falls Christian — Sr., 5-9, OH/Middle Back

Van Egdom proved herself as an all-around weapon, recording 460 kills, 100 ace serves, 42 blocks and 261 digs as she helped lead the Chargers’ title defense. It was Sioux Falls Christian’s seventh title since 2010 and eighth overall.

“She jumps well, has an aggressive arm swing and sees the court really well,” Chargers head coach Darci Wassenaar said of the Northern State recruit. “She’s a great all-around athlete and does a great job of leading our team.”

Faith Tyler, Wagner — Sr., 5-7, OH

Faith Tyler, a second-team pick a season ago, posted 352 kills, 69 ace serves, 27 blocks and 421 digs in her final season playing for her coach and mother, Amy Tyler. The versatile outside will continue her playing career at Dakota Wesleyan next fall.

“Faith has been a really good leader in all aspects, offense to defense,” Coach Tyler said.

McKenna Kranz, McCook Central-Montrose — Sr., 5-8, OH

Kranz played a key role in the Fighting Cougars’ third place finish, the highest-ever placing for the program. A four-year starter, Kranz posted 249 kills, 37 ace serves, 21 blocks and 337 digs this season.

This season coach Tami Bies watched Kranz develop from strictly using her athleticism offensively to doing a better job of placement.

“She started out being a power hitter,” Bies said. “Her senior year she moved to being smarter in how she hit balls and where she hit it, reading the court.”

Grace Leberman, Parker — Sr., 5-7, OH

Leberman, who began her career as a back row player, thrived in the transition to a six-rotation player, recording 349 kills, 25 ace serves, 43 blocks and 427 digs in helping the Pheasants to a consolation title this season.

“Grace has blossomed the last couple of years,” said Parker head coach Jill Christensen. “She’s just as valuable in the front row as she is as a passer.”

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