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Sara Husher, Kim Koupal receive Class A first-team accolades

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By James Cimburek

Press & Dakotan

The ability to adapt is vital for an athlete. The Class A all-state volleyball team, selected by the S.D. Volleyball Coaches Association and announced today, is proof of that.

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Three of the six players selected to the first team underwent a position change after the 2012 season. A fourth went from being a setter/hitter in a two-setter offense to being the setter in a one-setter offense.

Jayde Bergmann of Class A champion Dakota Valley, Sara Husher of state runner-up Winner, Stacy Smidt and Kristin Stern of Sioux Falls Christian, Fehrin Ward of Belle Fourche and Kimberly Koupal of Wagner were named to the first team. All six were seniors.

Four other Mitchell area players received all-state honors as well. Winner’s Lindsey Calhoon and Cassidy Hanson and Wagner’s Brooklyn Tolliver were named to the second team, while Mount Vernon/Plankinton’s Mikayla Weiss was given honorable mention honors.

Husher helped Winner end a five-year postseason drought and nearly led the Warriors to their first title.

“She’s put in a tremendous amount of work over the last few years, and it’s really paid off,” said Winner head coach Jaime Keiser. “We wouldn’t have been where we are without her.”

Husher posted 680 assists, 285 digs and 46 ace serves. She also finished with 64 kills.

“She knows where to move the ball, and she can read blockers very well,” Keiser said. “She’s a lefty, so she can dump it or attack more easily.”

Koupal was a starting defensive specialist for two seasons before accepting the move to an outside hitter spot her senior season.

“We thought that she would be useful in front as well because of her height and wingspan,” said Wagner head coach Amy Tyler. “Toward the end of the season, she started perfecting all sorts of shots. It’s been fun to watch her grow.”

Koupal posted 261 kills, 328 digs and 57 ace serves on the season, including 22 kills and 32 digs and the Red Raiders beat Mount Vernon-Plankinton in the Region 5A final.

“She became one of our go-to’s this year,” Tyler said. “We did right by moving her up front.”

For Ward, the adjustment was simple — from a middle hitter to an outside hitter.

“She had always played middle for us, but this year we switched her to the outside. One of our outsides graduated, and Fehrin filled the bill,” said Belle Fourche head coach Loree Schlichtemeier. “She’s 5-11 and moves well. There are a lot of balls that you’d think she wouldn’t get to that she does.”

Ward had 306 digs to go with her 338 kills and 49 ace serves.

Smidt switched back to setter after spending the 2012 season as a middle hitter. She posted 939 assists and 112 digs, but also posted 55 blocks — second only to teammate Stern among first-team honorees.

“Stacy’s got excellent hands and is very athletic,” said S.F. Christian head coach Darci Wassenaar. “She’s smart and has a great attitude.”

Bergmann led the Panthers to their first-ever title, one year after Dakota Valley lost to Sioux Falls Christian in the final. The senior posted 248 kills, 29 ace serves, 27 blocks and 158 digs, becoming the leader first-year head coach Rick Pruett needed her to be.

“She did a great job of taking over that role. She really had a lot of confidence out there,” he said.

Stern added to her resume with 345 kills, 58 blocks and 62 ace serves on the season.

“Kristin started for us for three years, and she kept getting better every year,” Wassenaar said.

CLASS A ALL-STATE

First Team

Jayde Bergmann, Dakota Valley; Sr., 5-10, RH; 248 kills, 29 ace serves, 27 blocks, 158 digs

Sara Husher, Winner; Sr., 5-8, S; 64 kills, 46 ace serves, 680 assists, 285 digs

Kimberly Koupal, Wagner; Sr., 5-10, OH; 261 kills, 57 ace serves, 328 digs

Stacy Smidt, Sioux Falls Christian; Sr., 5-10, S; 37 kills, 28 ace serves, 939 assists, 55 blocks, 112 digs

Kristin Stern, Sioux Falls Christian; Sr., 5-10, MH; 345 kills, 62 ace serves, 58 blocks, 56 digs

Fehrin Ward, Belle Fourche; Sr., 5-11, OH; 338 kills, 49 ace serves, 306 digs

Second Team

Lindsey Calhoon, Winner; Sr., 5-7, OH; 175 kills, 27 ace serves, 431 digs

Cassidy Hanson, Winner; Sr., 6-0, OH; 275 kills, 30 ace serves, 21 blocks, 340 digs

Hope Juntunen, Hamlin; Sr., 5-11, MH; 416 kills, 44 ace serves, 47 blocks, 471 digs

Jamie Mentzer, Miller; Jr., 5-7, MH; 323 kills, 61 ace serves, 44 blocks, 460 digs

Lindsey Smith, Dakota Valley; Jr., 5-8, S; 90 kills, 106 ace serves, 906 assists, 48 blocks, 158 digs

Brooklyn Tolliver, Wagner; Jr., 5-6, L; 407 digs, 55 kills, 53 ace serves

Mariah Vander Wal, Sioux Valley; Jr., 5-9, MH; 344 kills, 50 ace serves, 69 blocks, 119 digs

Honorable Mention

Keely Bertram, Elk Point-Jefferson; Sr., 5-8, OH, 236 kills, 103 ace serves, 40 blocks, 196 digs

Briana Bullert, Webster; Sr., 6-2, MH; 288 kills, 33 ace serves, 61 blocks, 152 digs

Taylor Gubbrud, Belle Fourche; Sr., 5-10, OH; 303 kills, 71 ace serves, 23 blocks, 267 digs

Mikayla Weiss, Mount Vernon-Plankinton; So., 5-4, S; 46 kills, 39 ace serves, 498 assists, 22 blocks, 214 digs

Shelby Zommermaand, Sioux Falls Christian; So., 5-9, MH; 251 kills, 46 blocks

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