Bridgewater-Emery’s Weber headlines Class B all-state team

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Bridgewater-Emery's Julia Weber hits the ball over the net during a match against Gayville-Volin on Oct. 15 in Emery. (Matt Gade / Republic)

Bridgewater-Emery’s return trip to the Class B state tournament saw it take sixth place. Its best finish in program history resulted in outside hitter Julia Weber being named to the all-state first team. The teams were selected by the South Dakota Volleyball Coaches Association.

The 5-foot-7 junior recorded 362 kills, 274 digs, 37 aces and 30 total blocks for the Huskies, who finished 23-4 this season.

“She’s an athletic kid, but she’s very smart,” Bridgewater-Emery coach Mary Ernster said. “She thinks ahead of the game a lot of the time. She’s able to anticipate so well. That helps her out a lot in the back row. In the front row, her athleticism shines.”

Faulkton Area’s Peyton Melius, Warner’s Ava Nilsson, Chester Area’s Jayda Kenyon and Northwestern’s Sydney Schell and Hannah Schentzel were also on the first team. Schell, Nilsson and Melius all are making their second straight all-state first-team appearance.

Kimball/White Lake’s Kennedy Leiferman was among the players named to the all-state second team. The senior middle hitter finished with 377 kills, 314 digs, 64 aces and 65 total blocks for the WiLdKats.


Faith’s Aiyana Byrd, who made the first team last year, also made the all-state second team, along with Colman-Egan’s Olivia Baumberger, Hitchcock-Tulare’s Kenidee Enander, Elkton-Lake Benton’s Hannah Krog, Ipswich’s Chesney Oliver and Kadoka Area’s Jade Hutchinson. Krog made the second team last year, too.

Five players received honorable mention, including Corsica-Stickney’s Raven Barse and Burke’s Bobbi Jo Wischmann. Barse had 191 kills, 332 digs and 51 total blocks, while Jo Wischmann recorded 283 digs, 495 assists, 84 kills and 49 aces.

Arlington’s Hadley Carlson, Chester Area’s Breckyn Ewoldt and Philip’s Copper Lurz joined them as honorable mention honorees.


First Team

Sydney Schell, Northwestern, 5-10, sr., OH (508 kills, 57 assists, 6 solo and 36 block assists, 242 digs)

Peyton Melius-Faulkton Area, sr., OH (348 kills, 20 aces,7 solo and 22 block assists, 457 digs)

Ava Nilsson, Warner, 5-10, fr., S (80 kills, 55 aces, 214 digs, 836 assists)


Jayda Kenyon, Chester Area, 5-10, jr., MH (179 kills, 22 aces, 60 solo blocks, 58 digs)

Julia Weber, Bridgewater-Emery, 5-7, jr., OH (362 kills, 37 aces, 16 solo and 14 block assists, 274 digs)

Hannah Schentzel, Northwestern, 5-11, sr., OH (327 kills, 63 aces, 289 digs, 131 assists)

Second Team

Olivia Baumberger, Colman-Egan, 5-7, sr., MH (244 kills, 23 aces, 65 solo and 75 block assists, 200 digs)

Kenidee Enander. Hitchcock-Tulare, 5-3, sr., S (68 assists, 234 digs, 729 assists)

Hannah Krog, Elkton-Lake Benton, 6-0, sr., OH (376 kills, 26 aces, 283 digs)

Aiyana Byrd, Faith, 5-10, sr., MH (311 kills, 42 aces, 32 solo and 11 block assists)


Chesney Olivier, Ipswich, 5-5, sr., L (33 aces, 687 digs, 88 assists)

Jade Hutchinson, Kadoka Area, 5-6, sr., OH (375 kills, 56 aces, 574 digs, 58 assists)

Kennedy Leiferman, Kimball-White Lake, 5-11, sr., MH (377 kills, 64 aces, 26 solo and 39 block assists, 314 digs)

Honorable Mention

Hadley Carlson, Arlington, 5-10, jr., OH (461 kills, 45 aces, 20 blocks, 369 digs)

Bobbi Jo Wischmann, Burke, 5-8, sr., S-OH (84 kills, 49 aces, 283 digs, 495 assists)

Raven Barse, Corsica-Stickney, 5-10, sr., MH (191 kills, 39 assists, 21 solo and 30 block assists, 332 digs)

Breckyn Ewoldt, Chester Area, 5-11, jr., OH (295 kills, 15 solo blocks, 101 digs)


Copper Lurz, Philip, 5-7, jr., OH-S (276 kills, 36 aces, 188 digs, 123 assists)

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