Wollenberg, Groshek land on CWC-East first team

Menominee Indian has coach, three players honored
By: 

Leader file photo Bonduel senior McKenzie Wollenberg goes up for a kill against Gillett early in the volleyball season. Wollenberg was named to the CWC-East first team for her play this season.

Seven combined volleyball players from Bonduel, Wittenberg-Birnamwood and Menominee Indian high schools were recently named to Central Wisconsin Conference-East Division all-conference teams for their efforts on the court this fall while Menominee Indian’s Jackson Miller was tabbed the coach of the year.

Receiving recognition was no easy feat as the CWC-East featured talent from top to bottom this year. Coaches within the division voted the most deserving athletes between the first, second and honorable mention teams while Miller had opposing coaches deem him the top coach.

Bonduel knew the difficult challenge it faced entering the season with a young and inexperienced roster. While the Bears went through their ups-and-downs, senior McKenzie Wollenberg was the team’s constant.

Wollenberg, who was Bonduel’s most valuable player and also a captain, was rewarded for her hard work with a spot on the all-conference first team.

“I feel super honored and I’ve worked very hard the past four years of my high school career to get where I am today,” Wollenberg said. “When I was in middle school and I would watch the varsity team I would hope that some day I would be as good as they were. I’m also just very grateful that I got to play with all the amazing people that have made me better.”

Wollenberg was the lone Bonduel player named to any of the all-conference teams. The Bears finished fifth in the conference with a 2-4 record and fourth at the conference tournament to tie Iola-Scandinavia for fourth overall.

Wittenberg-Birnamwood placed third in conference play with a 4-2 mark and third at the conference tournament. Junior Marissa Groshek was the team’s lone representative on the first team.

“I think that it was a really big honor and I’m glad to say that I did it two years in a row,” Groshek said. “I was actually kind of surprised when I found out but I was super happy. It was the coolest feeling.”

Groshek finished the season with a team-leading 195 attack kills while serving 34 aces and totaling 184 digs.

The other two Witt-Birn players to earn all-conference honors were junior Elizabeth Muscha and sophomore McKenna Metropulos, who each were named to the second team.

Muscha totaled 325 digs and 40 serving aces this fall. Metropulos, the team’s primary setter, recorded 477 assists and 176 digs.

The Chargers will lose just two varsity players to graduation this spring.

While Menominee Indian did not earn a conference win and finished sixth out of seven teams at the CWC-East Tournament, the Eagles were well represented on the all-conference teams.

Three players were recognized for their play under coach Miller, who cited his supporting cast and team for helping him be named the coach of the year.

“I truly feel undeserving of this award,” Miller said. “There are a lot of great coaches in the CWC-East that I have a tremendous amount of respect for. They all do such a great job with their programs, so the fact that I was voted to receive this award is very humbling.

“It does feel good to be recognized for my efforts but I really think this award is more of a testament to my players and assistant coaches (Alphonso Smith and Brianna Waukau) work ethic and dedication than it is to my specific coaching ability. … My players worked very hard this year and several of my players consistently stayed after practice to work skills that would improve their game. This extra work that the girls put in really paid off and was a huge contributor to our team’s overall improvement,” Miller added.

Senior Kaylee Helms was named to the second team after finishing the conference portion of the season with 141 assists, 110 digs and 19 service aces. She recorded a serving percentage of 97.1.

Senior Jalen Corn was placed on the honorable mention team after tallying 92 digs and 38 attack kills in conference play. Sophomore Kay-Li Corn contributed 54 attack kills, 26 aces and 10 block kills while also being an honorable mention selection.

Weatherwax makes NEC team

Playing in a tough North Eastern Conference, Clintonville struggled consistency throughout the season but did prove to be a scrappy team that was hard to put away. The Truckers finished eighth in conference with a 2-7 mark.

Elizabeth Weatherwax was named to the honorable mention team after her strong junior season on the court. She finished fourth in the conference with 138 digs and had 400 for the entire season.

Senior Hannah Vanden Berg was the conference’s player of the year after leading Little Chute to a conference title.