SD Class AA State Volleyball Tournament Preview

Class AA

1. Harrisburg (28-0)

No one has gotten them yet. The Tigers have reached an unlikely 28-0 record heading into the state tournament. And they’ve done that without a single senior on the roster.

They’ve been tested several times and always come out on top. Give a ton of credit to their 8th grade setter Josalyn Samuels who has taken the pressure off the team by running an efficient offense. Gabi Zachariasen played a huge role in last season's championship and has taken it to another level this season as a sophomore. The Tigers are the favorites but not heavy favorites. They’ll be put to the test against a very good AA field.


Kills/Set:                               Gabi Zachariasen 5.6, Karalynn Leach 2.2, Kennedy Kokenge 1.8

Assists/Set:                         Josalyn Samuels 10.6

Digs/Set:                              Maggie Meister 5.2, Kennedy Kokenge 3.0, Gabi Zachariasen 2.4

2. Jefferson (22-2)

Jefferson picked up right where they left off last season. The defending runners-up replaced some players and have played very comfortably as one of the favorites in Class AA. Their only two losses came to undefeated Harrisburg (5 sets) and Sioux Falls Washington (5 sets). They’re ready for any challenge. Their strength is their efficiency on offense and their resilience on defense. Not many players in the state have played as well as Emory Brosnahan this season. The OH is hitting .308, is a weapon serving and has been a key on defense. Seniors Presly Pastian and Cora Hokenstad have also been amongst the best at their respective positions. This is a dangerous team that could beat anyone.


Kills/Set:                               Emory Brosnahan 3.4, Lizzy Spah 2.2, Mya Hejl 2.1, Isabel Simmons 2.0,  

Assists/Set:                         Presly Pastian 9.6

Digs/Set:                              Cora Hokenstad 5.5, Ella Kvernmo 3.7

3. Washington (26-3)

Truly one of the most talented teams in the state will make a run at the state title that has eluded them for years. They have the best libero in the game in Taryn Kirsch and Macie Malchow quarterbacks this group of big-time hitters including Cate Legal, Kaelynn Snoozy, Nyariek Kur, Carlie Beckstrand and more. Washington is hitting .282 as a team, credit that to some well-place sets and a variety of attackers. Not many teams are playing as well as Washington recently. They have taken 13 sets in a row coming into the state tournament.


Kills/Set:               Cate Legal 3.1, Kaelyn Snoozy 2.6, Nyariek Kur 2.1, Carlie Beckstrand 2.1                 

Assists/Set:         Macie Malchow 9.6        

Digs/Set:              Taryn Kirsch 5.5, Kaelynn Snoozy 3.2, Anessa Hosman 2.5


4. Watertown (25-6)

The Arrows have showed they can play with anyone in the state. Their trademark game may be the five set thriller they lost to Harrisburg in late October. Their setter Miranda Falconer deserves a lot of credit for this team’s success. They also have a great defense with blockers like Carter Jurrens and Hannah Herzog up front and a true team effort in covering the court.



Kills/Set:                               Emery Thury 3.5, Emily Tisher 2.7

Assists/Set:                         Miranda Falconer 10.0

Digs/Set:                              Natalie Pearson 3.8, Elli Thury 3.7, Emery Thury 2.7

5. O’Gorman (17-10)

O’Gorman has played much better in the second half of this season. They’ve won 8 of their last 10 and are hot coming into the state tournament. They have a very diverse offense and Kyra Hermanson has done a phenomenal job of feeding so many attackers. The last time O’G took on Watertown it was a five set thriller early in the season.


Kills/Set:               Lauren Meyer 2.3, Keira McManus 2.3, Mackenzie Walsh 2.3       

Assists/Set:         Kyra Hermanson 7.3

Digs/Set:              Tyla Mauney 4.8, Katie McKay 2.8


6. Lincoln (14-10)

The Patriots will need to punch it into high gear this weekend. They haven’t beaten a state tournament team since September 12th against Aberdeen Central. Linnea Nesheim leads the team with 3.3 kills per set and is hitting a sharp .304. Jazmen Kutey has been hitting well lately and Kaitlyn Koel from the right side and Emma Kruse have done their part to help this attacking offense. Julia Blom has been one of the bright spots on the Pats roster. The Libero is keeping the team in the game with her range. Ella Warden and the versatile Josie Tollinger are both able to set this team up. Even though they are the six seed they can play with anyone in the state.


Kills/Set:               Linnea Nesheim 3.3, Kaitlyn Koel 1.8, Emma Kruse 1.6, Jaz Kutey 1.5        

Assists/Set:         Ella Warden 4.7, Josie Tollinger 4.2

Digs/Set:              Julia Blom 5.0, Linnea Nesheim 2.8, Ella Warden 2.7, Addy Albrecht 2.4


8. Aberdeen Central (14-11)

The Golden Eagles went 2-6 down the stretch but won the important one, they beat Pierre 3-2 in the SoDak 16. They have a tough test against Harrisburg. They lost against the Tigers on October 12. Grace Kuch has been one of the most efficient attackers in Class AA. She averaged 3.5 K/S while hitting .249, she hasn’t played since early October which might account for the team’s recent slide. The Eagles will look to Lauryn Burckhard and Ashley Wangler to step up their hitting.


Kills/Set:               Grace Kuch 3.5, Lauryn Burckhard 2.9, Ashley Wangler 1.7                            

Assists/Set:         Ayrlie Waldo 6.9

Digs/Set:              Sawyer Bahr 3.5, Grace Kuch 3.1, Madison Miller 2.5


10. Brandon Valley (15-13)

The Lynx stole the only upset of the SoDak 16 with a road win over Huron. It was one of their best performances of the season in a 3 set sweep. Now they face Jefferson on Thursday, a team they tested on September 21 but lost in three sets to.



Kills:                       Abby Gruber 2.7 , Jayaunna Stroh 2.6, Jersie Melcher 2.6               

Assists/Set:         Ayrlie Waldo 8.4

Digs/Set:              Sydney J Benson 3.6, Jayaunna Stroh 2.6, Riya Sheley 2.2


Filed Under Varsity Sports | SD High School | Volleyball