Volleyball: Oconto Falls’ Brauer, Huberty land on all-conference teams

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Five local players named to M&O all-conference teams
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Oconto Falls junior (11) goes up for an attack kill after a set by senior Emma Huberty (13) against Denmark in late September. Brauer was named to the all-conference first team while Huberty was an honorable mention. (Times Herald file photo)

After months of hard work on the court, volleyball players from Oconto Falls, Gillett, Suring and Lena were recently honored with spots on all-conference teams.

The players were voted to the teams by coaches within their respective conferences following the completion of the season.

North Eastern Conference

Battling in a rugged North Eastern Conference, Oconto Falls played its way to a 4-5 record to take sixth place.

The Panthers relied more upon a finesse attack game than leaning on a powerful attacker or two. Junior Natalie Brauer led the team with 96 attack kills during the conference portion of the season and was selected to the all-conference first team for her efforts.

“When getting announced (to the) first team all-conference, it was very surprising and very exciting,” Brauer said. “We have a very tough conference and I am very honored to be announced as first team. I am so happy to have great team players and coaches that helped me and pushed me to become the player I am today.”

Senior teammate Emma Huberty earned a spot on the honorable mention team after finishing fifth in the conference with 202 assists during conference play. She also recorded 91 digs.

“Being named to an all-conference team means a lot because it is my senior year,” Huberty said. “Our conference is very competitive and there are a lot of great setters. It was a fun season so I’m glad there is something to show for it.”

Hannah Vanden Berg was named the conference’s player of the year after leading Little Chute to a 9-0 record and conference title.

Marinette & Oconto Conference

The battle for the Marinette & Oconto Conference title was a two-team race between Crivitz and Wausaukee, with the rest of the conference being pretty evenly matched and producing a number of exciting matches throughout the season.

Of the three local teams in the conference — Suring, Gillett and Lena — Suring senior Wylee Van Bellinger was the lone player to make the first team.

“Making first team my last year (of high school) is a great accomplishment,” Van Bellinger said. “Making first team means that coaches and players in the conference recognized the work I put in to volleyball to become a more skilled player.”

Suring junior Stephanie Huth was named to the second team.

The Eagles took fifth after posting a 7-9 conference mark.

Gillett finished eighth after going 3-13 in conference play. Karissa Schaal was the Tigers’ lone player named to an all-conference team.

The sophomore totaled 162 attack kills, 205 digs and 54 aces on the year to make the second team.

“It feels amazing, putting in the hard work over the summer and during the season (it) has paid off, and being the only sophomore on the list sets high standards for the next two years,” Schaal said. “Coach (Keri) Hicks has also done so much for me not only this season but last season, teaching me the rights and wrongs. It feels really good.”

Lena took seventh with a 5-11 conference record. The Wildcats had two players — seniors Maddy Herald and Meckenna Portier — each make the second team.

Crivitz’s Chloe Gruszynski was the conference’s player of the year while teammate Morgen Gyger was the conference’s defensive specialist.