All-RTC volleyball: Weisenburger, star player for conference champ Lady Panthers, is RTC POY
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
The high school volleyball season seemed to reward players who could play all six rotations in the RTC area in 2022.
More teams played multiple-setter systems. More teams attacked from different spots. The player who was quarterbacking the offense one point was seemingly finishing plays the next.
One player who broadened her skill set was Pioneer’s Mandee Weisenburger, and she is our selection for RTC Player of the Year.
Pioneer won the Hoosier North for the fourth straight year, going 7-0 in league play again. Weisenburger had a team-high 292 kills and added 241 digs and 412 serves received. Those dig and serve receive numbers show a player who became more comfortable in the back row.
We considered other players for this honor, but we decided on Weisenburger because of how she performed against an extremely difficult schedule.
Here is our entire All-RTC volleyball list. We thank area coaches for sending us scores and stats, and we also thank them for talking to us and giving their insights.
We also wanted to note the tremendous tragedy suffered at Argos following the death of Emily Carr in August and hope that the community can heal.
This list is ours and ours alone based on many hours in warm gyms, and we take full responsibility for it.
Mandee Weisenburger (Pioneer) (Player of the Year) – Weisenburger’s offensive prowess extended all over the court. Nobody had as many shots, and she worked well with three different setters.
Brynn Berndt (Culver) – Berndt is a next-level player: She led Culver in kills and digs and was also second in blocks and third in assists and was also a steady passer. Whether you needed her to touch the ball on one, on two or on three, she was the player her team could trust the most.
Alexa Kouskousakis (Rochester) – Kouskousakis tore her ACL seven months ago but came back and had her best prep season as a senior, leading the team with 206 kills and 310 assists. She was a tremendously instinctive player who always knew where the open spots on the other side of the net were.
Brooklyn Borges (Pioneer) – We thought Borges had a chance to emerge as a middle hitter as a junior, but we did not know she had 260 kills in her, and she was the team leader in blocks. She’s also become comfortable in the back row as well.
Isabel Scales (Caston) – Caston really spread out their attacks well, having four different players between 154 and 172 kills. Scales had the most kills, though, and she also had more than 200 digs and serves received.
Avery Wagoner (Tippecanoe Valley) – Wagoner was up to increased responsibility as a sophomore, and her 789 assists was one of the great setter seasons in Valley history. She’s right there with great setters in Valley history like Karla Vogel and Hannah Engstrand, and she’s a great leader like those players as well.
Mackenzie Rogers (Pioneer) – Rogers is another player with a unique skill set: She had a team-high 494 assists, but she was also second on the team in blocks and aces and added 129 kills to boot. In other words, she is dangerous everywhere on the court.
Mackaylie Costello (Tippecanoe Valley) – Costello is a pitcher and shortstop on the Valley softball team, and she showed off that strong right arm in volleyball as well with 94 aces. She also had a team-high 263 kills.
Macee Hinderlider (Caston) – Hinderlider had a breakthrough year as a junior and was right there with Scales as one of Caston’s best hitters.
Kennedy Leap (Rochester) – Leap made a big – ahem – leap as a volleyball player as a junior, improving her hitting, blocking and serving.
Alexa Finke (Caston) – One of the biggest improvements in Caston’s team was their blocking, and one of the main reasons for that was Finke, who could jump through the roof out of the middle and added 166 kills.
Adeline Cripe (Pioneer) – If there were any concerns about Pioneer’s back row coming into the season, Cripe laid them to rest. She had 434 digs and 440 serves received while in the firing line against a series of top serving teams.
Top: Alexa Kouskousakis, Alexa Finke, Avery Wagoner
Bottom: Brynn Berndt, Isabel Scales, Macee Hinderlider
Addison Zimpleman (Caston)
Avery Garland (Culver)
Grace Sieber (Culver)
Lillee Lett (Rochester)
Delaney Lowry (Caston)
Annie Harsh (Caston)
Kaitlyn DeWulf (Argos)
Kylie Coleman (Rochester)
Blair Grigsby (Pioneer)
Elizabeth Rance (Pioneer)
Bailey Harness (Caston)
Colette Blackburn (Tippecanoe Valley)