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Tigers’ Shilts, Johnson and Spartans’ Wink earn honors

Seniors Kate Johnson and Sarena Shilts represented New Richmond on the 2014 All-Middle Border Conference volleyball team.1 / 2
Somerset senior Kendrah Wink was the only Spartan named to this year's All-Middle Border Conference team. (Photo by Dave Newman)2 / 2

Three local players, all seniors, earned All-Middle Border Conference honors for their exploits on the volleyball court this season.

New Richmond had two players receive All-MBC honors this season. Senior libero Sarena Shilts was named as an All-MBC first team player. Senior setter Kate Johnson was an honorable mention All-MBC selection.

The lone player named to the All-MBC team from Somerset this season was senior outside hitter Kendrah Wink.

Shilts and Johnson have been key components for the Tigers for most of their high school careers. Shilts showed early in her career that she had the quickness and reflexes to be a back row player. Each year, she has honed those skills to become one of the best defensive players in the area. This is the second year Shilts has been honored. Last year, she was an All-MBC second team choice.

Johnson fits the classic mold that coaches search for in their setters. She has good hands and a good sense for how to distribute the ball. But equally important is her vocal leadership and the enthusiasm she displays whenever she's on the court.

Wink made the switch from being a middle hitter to playing as an outside hitter this season. It turned out to be a great move for the Spartans, with Wink becoming their most reliable hitter for the season.

“It is a difficult transition because the timing from a middle to outside takes some adjusting,” said Somerset coach Sarah Praschak. “She worked very hard to get her timing down. We made that transition because of her powerful hit and quick net play.”

Praschak said Wink was also dramatically improved as a defensive player. That enabled the Spartans to play her in an all-around role. Wink also was one of the strongest servers on the Spartans this season.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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