All Decade Team - Volleyball

Jason Ferguson
I must say, putting together the all-decade volleyball team was much easier last decade, because I, you know, actually covered volleyball back then. Since then, as my responsibilities have increased at the Chronicle, I have had to let some sports coverage go to other reporters, such as Josh Chilson, Billy Drown, Carrie Moore and more recently, Ron Burtz. Volleyball is one of those sports. Having said that, I’m not completely out of the loop, still take in games and of course, follow the Wildcats every year. The Wildcats had some outstanding volleyball players from 2010-19. Volleyball positions can get much more in-depth (libero, outside hitter, middle hitter, setter, whatever other names you want to call them) than I’m going to do here. I’m going to do starters in a 4-2 setup, with four hitters and two setters. That makes it simple and allows me to get the best players on the floor. Custer had a run of some pretty powerful hitters in the last decade. You’ll also notice a lot of players from the 2014-16 seasons because that’s when the Wildcats had their best teams. In 2016 the team blasted through the regular season undefeated before being stunned by Sioux Valley in the Round of 16. I’m sure those players all love me for bringing that up. Anyway, without further ado...
Hitter: Jordan Menken - Class of 2017 - Menken was an absolute powerhouse when she spiked the ball. The ball seemed to whistle after she hit it. I distinctly remember sitting next to Carrie Moore at a game against Hot Springs at the Armory where Menken blasted a ball into the face of a Bison player. I remember thinking I wouldn’t have wanted to be in front of that ball, much less have it drill me in the face. Menken was also a great server, and was twice named all-conference. She went on to play volleyball at Northern State. You’ll see her again on the all-decade track team, as well.
Hitter:  Lisa Løvoll - 2013 - Løvoll was a foreign exchange student from Norway who played for Custer for only one year. But man, what a year. Lovoll was another dominant front-row player who was both all-conference and honorable mention all-state her one year as a Wildcat.
Hitter: Morgan Parys - 2017 - Menken’s classmate and fellow Hermosa-area resident was another great front-row player on those great mid-decade Wildcat teams who could do a little bit of everything, including being a powerful hitter and blocker. She was honorable mention all-conference her sophomore year before earning all-conference laurels both her junior and senior year.
Hitter: Shayna Kintigh - 2016 - Kintigh didn’t have the height of Parys, but she could smack the ball just as hard and was a hitting dynamo for Custer a pair of years, earning all-conference in both 2014 and 2015. She went on to play college volleyball at Williston State College.
Setter: Marlee Schneider - 2019 - Schneider now plays volleyball for the University of Sioux Falls. Schneider was honorable mention all-conference as a freshman in 2016 and earned all-conference first-team honors in 2016, both in the Black Hills Conference. She then transferred to Rapid City Stevens and was a setter on the Raiders team that won the 2018 South Dakota State Championship. She was named to the State Volleyball Championship All-Tournament Team in 2018.
Setter: Tia Goebel - 2014 - Goebel was honorable mention all-conference in 2010 as a setter before earning first-team honors in 2012. Just like Schneider, Goebel eventually transferred, spending her last year of high school in St. Louis, Mo.
Off the bench
Taylor Harkin-Steele - 2011 - She graduated at the turn of the decade, but by then was an accomplished player and was once all-conference in the decade in 2010, her senior year.
Kenzie Swanson  - 2012 - Was all-conference honorable mention in 2010 and all-conference in 2011.
Sierra Davies - 2014 - Davies just missed the starting six and was twice honorable mention all-conference (in 2011-12) before making the first team in 2013.
Lisi Baker - 2017 -  Baker was another tall, strong front-court player for that dominant 2016 team. She was named all-conference for her play on that year’s team.
Leah Zacher - 2018 - Zacher was all-conference honorable mention in 2016 and first-team all-conference in 2017.
Sydney Gaulke - 2021 - Gaulke, who will be a senior this fall, is already a two-time all-conference selection and will undoubtedly make it a three-time selection when volleyball season ends this fall.

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