From Class B volleyball rivals to University of Jamestown teammates.
The North Dakota High School Coaches Association released the 2019 Class B all-state volleyball team on Tuesday. Among the 16 athletes named to the team, two from Region 3 will take the floor at Harold Newman Arena next August.
The NDHSCA recognized LaMoure/Litchville-Marion senior Ellie Holen. Holen was a starter on two Loboes state champion teams. Head coach Karyn Holen said the honor is a testament to the talent in the LLM gym.
"It means a lot," coach Holen said. "It says the caliber of player that we have and those kinds of players just bring the program up in stature. It makes everybody better to have that kind of caliber of player ... it's a nice honor. It takes a team -- we all know that, but it's really nice to see individual girls get recognized like that."
Holen is following in her sister and standout UJ outside Anna Holen's footsteps. A sophomore for the Jimmies, Anna Holen earned All-State volleyball honors for four consecutive seasons (2014-2017) and the Class B senior athlete award in 2017. Coach Holen said UJ head coach Jon Hegerle should expect another Holen with the same skills and work ethic.
"She's going to bring a good defensive presence," coach Holen said. "Ellie's a very very good defensive player. I know (Hegerle) thinks of her as a good DS and I am sure that is what he is looking for. You can never have too good of a defense so hopefully, she'll bring something to the program that way."
Holen led LLM in kills this season with 391 at the net while also exercising her arm from the service line with 45 aces. The outside was also the team's second-leading passer popping up 371 balls.
"She loves volleyball," coach Holen said. "She's committed to it, she plays all the time and if she's not playing it she's watching it on TV. I think it is a game she loves and it's going to be fun to see where her future goes at Jamestown."
Moser leaves impression at MPB
The All-State honor was the last award senior Megan Moser would receive as a Medina-Pingree-Buchanan volleyball player.
Moser helped to lead MPB to an 18-16 overall and a 5-3 District 6 record this season. An ankle sprain took Moser out of playing contention but the outside roared back. MPB's season concluded with a 3-1 loss to Carrington in the Region 3 semifinals.
"Megan has given it her all to be the best player she can be for her team her whole varsity career," MPB head coach Jacie Connell said. "I remember watching her play in elementary volleyball and thinking to myself, 'this girl is going to be one of the best volleyball players to ever come out of MPB.'
The five-year varsity player put up the numbers to compete with the best of the best in program history. In her final season, Moser hammered 403 balls at the net and popped up 457 balls from the back row. Moser stopped 15 balls at the net and served up 32 aces against the competition.
"She has completely crushed the school record in digs and is second or third in most kills in the history of MPB," Connell said. "Megan is one of a kind and I am so lucky and blessed to have been able to coach her for six years. I don’t know a player more deserving of this award than Megan."
According to Connell, the stats are only part of the reason Moser was named as one of the best in the state.
"Megan has brought so much joy to my program," Connell said. "She has been my coach on the court for the past four years and is such a great leader on and off the court. Girls look to her for advice and she has been the best role model. Megan has tremendously helped make the MPB volleyball what it is today."
MPB is up 1,603 kills and 2,288 digs since Moser set foot on the court as a seventh-grader. Now, that her final season has drawn to a close, Moser will make the 30.2-mile trek up to UJ. Moser will join former MPB All-State player and current Jimmie middle Taylor Sabinash.
"All I have to say is UJ is so lucky to have Megan," Connell said. "They aren’t only getting an amazing volleyball player but an even better person."
2019 CLASS B VOLLEYBALL ALL-STATE TEAM
Ellie Holen, LaMoure/Litchville-Marion.
Megan Moser, Medina-Pingree-Buchanan.
Nicole Schmitz, Oakes.
Sadie Hansen, Oakes.
Callie Ronningen, Langdon Area/Edmore/Munich.
Lexi Olson, Langdon Area/Edmore/Munich.
Amaya Willer, Dickinson Trinity.
Graycin Wanzek, Shiloh Christian.
Eden Olson, Our Redeemer's.
Jossi Meyer, Stanley.
Macy Jordheim, Thompson.
Annie Folden Our Redeemer's.
Julia Bogart, Oak Grove.
Brooke Blessum, Rugby.
Sarah Blessum, Rugby.
Alyssa Andress, Hettinger/Scranton.
NDHSCA Outstanding Senior Athlete - Nicole Schmitz, Oakes.
NDHSCA Coach of the Year - Shari Christenson, Oakes.