Published Friday, December 13, 2013 at 9:33 pm / Updated at 12:57 am
VOLLEYBALL
All-Metro Volleyball Team: Doing what it takes to win

It's an accomplishment to earn a spot on the All-Metro Conference volleyball team.

To do so after playing a new position makes it even better.

Papillion-La Vista South's Raegan LeGrand played libero on the Titans' Class A championship squad in 2012, but moved to outside hitter this year. The 5-foot-10 sophomore responded with 354 kills and helped Papio South come within one victory of returning to the state tournament.

“It was a difficult switch, but Raegan embraced it,” Titans coach Elena Pietro said. “I really think she loved the challenge.”

LeGrand is joined on the first team by Alexis Anderson of Millard West, Katie Stephens of Papillion-La Vista, Nikki Ohlinger of Millard North and a trio from state champion Omaha Marian — honorary captain Sydney O'Shaughnessy, Kelsey O'Connell and Brittany Witt.

The second team consists of Kira Shapiro, Erin Sosnowchik and Emily Leichner of Millard West, Elena Melendez and Jess Peters of Papio, Adyson Goodnight of Papio South and Elizabeth Loschen of Marian.

On the third team are Kamesha Young and Tiffany Wentworth of Millard West, Hannah Mueller of Marian, Lynnae Beiermann of Millard South, Bella Siciunas of Millard North and Sage Meyer and Katie Imig of Bellevue West.

The teams are based on observations by World-Herald staff writers and nominations by coaches.

Pietro said LeGrand brings intensity to the volleyball floor, no matter what position she is playing.

“She doesn't back down,” the first-year coach said. “To be honest, I wasn't surprised she was able to make the switch so smoothly.”

Anderson, a 5-11 middle blocker, helped Millard West reach new volleyball heights this season. The senior led the 36-3 Wildcats with 316 kills.

Millard West put together win streaks of 17 and 14 and won the Metro tournament for the first time. The Wildcats also reached the Class A final for the first time, losing to Marian in five sets.

Anderson had 42 kills in the three matches at state, including 20 in the championship match against the Crusaders.

“It hurt to lose that final,” Millard West coach Erin Byrd said. “But players like Alexis helped our program take another big step forward.”

Stephens, a 5-9 sophomore, helped the Monarchs reach state for the 28th time. She finished with a team-leading 326 kills and 457 digs as an outside hitter.

“Katie played libero for her club team, so she's still kind of new to the position,” Papio coach Kristen Lebeda-Svehla said. “She really came into her own this season.”

Ohlinger was a double threat for the Mustangs, who finished 29-12 while earning the school's 19th trip to state. She had 677 assists and 184 kills.

“Nikki stepped into that hitter-setter role where she could be an all-around player,” Millard North coach Lindsay Peterson said. “She did a lot of things to help the team.”

The 5-8 Ohlinger also had 302 digs, 32 aces and 23 blocks.

O'Shaughnessy played a key role for the Class A champion Crusaders. The 5-9 senior setter had 1,164 assists and 134 kills while leading one of Marian's youngest teams in recent years.

“We always knew that we could count on her,” Crusaders coach Rochelle Rohlfs said. “She was a stabilizing force for our young hitters.”

O'Shaughnessy had 152 assists, 47 digs and 13 kills in the three state tourney matches.

O'Connell, a 6-2 junior, also stepped up during the state tourney. She had 11 kills in a first-round win over Lincoln Southwest, 10 in a semifinal victory over Lincoln Southeast and a team-high 20 in the final against Millard West.

“Kelsey is just kind of now growing into her body,” Rohlfs said. “She was a junior varsity player last year but really had a nice season for us.”

Witt also had a nice season for the Crusaders, finishing with 647 digs. The 5-7 sophomore libero had 83 digs in three state tourney matches, including 36 in the five-set final.

“She's a quiet kid, but she has a presence on the court,” Rohlfs said. “She can usually put the ball right where she wants it.”

* * *

All-Metro Conference Teams

FIRST TEAM
Position, Player, School, Height, Year
H, Alexis Anderson, Millard West, 5-11, Sr.
H, Kelsey O'Connell, Omaha Marian, 6-2, Jr.
H, Katie Stephens, Papillion-La Vista, 5-9, So.
H, Raegan LeGrand, Papillion-La Vista South, 5-10, So.
H/S, Nikki Ohlinger, Millard North, 5-8, Sr.
S, Sydney O'Shaughnessy, Omaha Marian, 5-9, Sr.
L, Brittany Witt, Omaha Marian, 5-7, So.
Honorary captain: O'Shaughnessy

SECOND TEAM
Position, Player, School, Height, Year
H, Elizabeth Loschen, Omaha Marian, 6-0, So.
H, Kira Shapiro, Millard West, 6-0, Jr.
H, Adyson Goodnight, Papillion-La Vista South, 5-11, Sr.
H, Erin Sosnowchik, Millard West, 5-11, Sr.
H, Elena Melendez, Papillion-La Vista, 5-8, Jr.
S, Jess Peters, Papillion-La Vista, 5-9, So.
L, Emily Leichner, Millard West, 5-8, Sr.

THIRD TEAM
Position, Player, School, Height, Year
H, Lynnae Beiermann, Millard South, 5-10, Sr.
H, Hannah Mueller, Omaha Marian, 5-8, So.
H, Bella Siciunas, Millard North, 5-9, Jr.
H, Sage Meyer, Bellevue West, 6-0, Jr.
H, Kamesha Young, Millard West, 6-1, Sr.
S, Tiffany Wentworth, Millard West, 5-11, Jr.
L, Katie Imig, Bellevue West, 5-4, Jr.

HONORABLE MENTION
Bellevue East: Kati Kozusco, Breanna Bollow, Kaylie Dengel, Sydney Slie. Millard North: Paige Madsen, Morgan Thompson, Elisa Wildy, Katherine King, Kayli Grant. Millard South: Jamie Hauptman, Hannah Casey, Olivia Bond, Audrey Keim. Millard West: Morgan Rademacher, Cassidy Loberg. Omaha Benson: Kianna Ibis. Omaha Bryan: Chandy Jones. Omaha Burke: Anna Hookham, Nikki Lofshult, Hannah Codling, Alex Gill. Omaha Central: Amara Meeks, Noni Henderson, Alex Bohn, Sydni Lee. Omaha Marian: Andie Hanus, Anna Krettek, Morgan Lubeck. Omaha North: Stephanie Hansen, Brusha Cobbs, Makayla Aspegren, Ciera Clark. Omaha Northwest: Addi Schramm, Mareshah Smith. Omaha Westside: Lauren Salerno, Cara Treu, Mady Bridwell. Papillion-La Vista: Priscilla O'Dowd, Alissa Schovanec, Ellie McDonnell.

Contact the writer: Mike Patterson

mike.patterson@owh.com    |   402-444-1350    |  

Mike covers high school sports, primarily volleyball in the fall, girls basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring and summer.

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