Three Belle Plaine High School volleyball players made the Minnesota River All-Conference team this year, with a fourth earning honorable mention.
Senior Lauren Johnson played as an outside hitter for the Tigers this season. She was a four-year starter, three time All-Conference player, and a team captain. Her coach Richard Foust said she mixed her offensive shots well and kept the opposing defense off balance while hitting at .250 kill efficiency. She was the number one serve receive player and led the team in digs.
“She had a strong serve which usually put the opposing team in an out of system attack mode,” said Foust.
She eclipsed 1000 career digs during the 2019 season and added to her career total this season. In 20 sets during 2020, Lauren had 43 kills and 108 digs and led the team with 17 aces.
Senior Sarah Lenz, a setter for the Tigers, also made the All-Conference team. She was a four-year letter-winner, second time All-Conference team member, and a team captain. She was the Tigers’ floor leader and one of the few starters not affected by quarantine, according to her coach.
“While the starters around her continued to change, Sarah was the steady force that kept the Tigers strong,” said Foust.
She surpassed 1000 career kills and digs during the 2019 season and added to those totals this year. While only playing 27 sets, Sarah amassed 287 assists and 59 digs and served 97 percent with eight aces.
Junior Leah Lenz, who played middle hitter for the Tigers, made the All-Conference team for the first time this year. Her coach said she developed into one of the top middle hitters in the area. In 27 sets this season, she tallied 77 kills on 163 attempts with a phenomenal .380 kill efficiency.
“Leah learned to hit around the block and cuts the ball well to prevent opposing teams from getting touches at the net,” said Foust.
She also served 100 percent with five aces and had 26 total blocks.
MRC Volleyball Coaches named Estelle Haugen of Southwest Christian High School the 2020 Most Valuable Player. The conference coaches selected Joelle Grimsley of Mayer Lutheran High School as the Volleyball Coach of the Year.