(Photo by www.KG-Photo.com) North Branch senior Madee Miner, the TSA Thumb Volleyball Player of the Year.

North Branch’s Miner is Advertiser Volleyball Player of the Year, heads All-Advertiser team

(Photo by www.KG-Photo.com) Madee Miner celebrates a point for North Branch this season. The senior setter is a finalist for the Michigan Miss Volleyball award. She is headed to Campbell University on a volleyball scholarship.
(Photo by www.KG-Photo.com)
Madee Miner celebrates a point for North Branch this season. The senior setter is a finalist for the Michigan Miss Volleyball award. She is headed to Campbell University on a volleyball scholarship.

NORTH BRANCH — North Branch senior Madee Miner has a lot of volleyball ahead of her.

In the meantime though, she will be pulling in postseason honors.

Miner, who Saturday led the Broncos to a Class B state championship, heads the 2016 All-Advertiser Volleyball Team as the area Player of the Year. She is joined on the first team by teammate Olivia Fike, while three more Broncos — Stephaney Fifield, Janel Ruhlman and Allyson Severance — landed on the second team.

Miner, Fike and Fifield are seniors, and Saturday’s title capped a three-year run that included a pair of state championships (North Branch also won in 2014) and three title game appearances.

“I’m glad they got to go out with two state titles each,” said North Branch coach Jim Fish. “That was our goal and we did it.”

All three seniors are signed to play volleyball at the next level. Miner is headed to Campbell University while Fike signed with Wayne St. and Fifield will play for Spring Arbor.

“I wish them luck at the next level,” Fish said. “All there are going to be great athletes in college, we’re going to miss them, but we’ve got some good kids coming up so we’ll retool.”

Miner and Fike are joined on the first team but a pair of Frankenmuth players — seniors Lindsay Mertz and Jackie Weess. Mertz, who signed recently to play at Hillsdale College, set the Eagles’ record for career assists this year and owns the third highest total in Michigan history.

Rylee Zimmer, Unionville-Sebewaing Area’s hard-hitting sophomore and Reese senior setter Lauren Hecht round out the All-Advertiser first team.

Here is a look at the All-Advertiser Volleyball Team.

Madee Miner
Madee Miner

First team

Player: Madee Miner

School: North Branch

Grade: 12

Position: Setter

2016 highlights: One of 10 finalists for Michigan Miss Volleyball; led Broncos to 58-9 record and second Class B state championship in three years; first-team all-TVC-East; delivered 1,288 assists; third on team with 311 digs; signed to play for Division 1 Campbell University.

Coach Jim Fish: “Madee was our floor general, she ran a great offense for us, she’ll be tough to replace, it feels like I’ve been coaching her forever.”

Olivia Fike
Olivia Fike

Player: Olivia Fike

School: North Branch

Grade: 12

Position: Outside hitter/middle hitter

2016 highlights: Led Class B state champion with 567 kills; first-team all-TVC-East; signed to play at Wayne State University; returning first-team all-stater; four-year varsity starter finished career with four regional championships, two state titles and a runner-up.

Coach Jim Fish: “Olivia, with her athleticism at 6-1 is tough to find so we won’t be able to replace that, we’ll just have to find other ways to be competitive (next year).”

Rylee Zimmer
Rylee Zimmer

Player: Rylee Zimmer

School: Unionville-Sebewaing Area

Grade: 10

Position: Outside hitter/middle hitter

2016 highlights: Led Patriots to district championship, USA’s sixth in a row; paced team with 476 kills and 135 total blocks; second on squad with 347 digs; first-team all-GTW.

Coach Teresa Rose: “Rylee was a huge part of our offense, she is smart about where to put the ball and finds holes in the opposing team’s defense. She has a great vertical that let’s her get high enough to get over most blocks.”

Lindsay Mertz
Lindsay Mertz

Player: Lindsay Mertz

School: Frankenmuth

Grade: 12

Position: Setter

2016 highlights: Broke Frankenmuth career record for assists with 4,436 — the third highest total in state history; 1,092 assists this year; first-team all-TVC-East; signed to play volleyball at Hillsdale College; led Frankenmuth to TVC Tournament title.

Coach Carrie Wierda: “She’s a three-year captain for us, she’s very level-headed, very passionate in what she does. She’s supportive to the kids, she would stay after practice and work with our underclassman.”

Lauren Hecht
Lauren Hecht

Player: Lauren Hecht

School: Reese

Grade: 12

Position: Setter

2016 highlights: Helped Rockets to 9-1 GTW record and first league championship since 2010; first-team all-GTW; ended career with district championship.

Coach Gary Thompson: “What makes her great is her consistency, you never had to talk to her about that, she was always consistent and on-point. She was captain for us and a good leader, and she’s a hard worker.”

Jackie Weess
Jackie Weess

Player: Jackie Weess

School: Frankenmuth

Grade: 12

Position: Outside hitter

2016 highlights: Delivered 459 kills, more than double last year’s total; first-team all-TVC-East; finished with 238 digs; helped Eagles to TVC Tournament championship

Coach Carrie Wierda: “Very good athlete, very strong, Jackie has been our go-to player for three years. She is one of our best passers and is very competitive.”

Second team

Stephaney Fifield, North Branch

Janel Ruhlman, North Branch

Allyson Severance, North Branch

Sayge Cuthrell, Cass City

Madison Thompson, Reese

Hannah Karwat, Frankenmuth

Honorable mention

Mikayla Philp, Frankenmuth

Cameryn Brown, Caro

Olivia Williamson, USA

Katie Engelhardt, USA

Kelsey Bouverette, Cass City

Carley Smith, Kingston

Abby Chappel, Kingston

Lauryn Frenzel, Mavyille

Kayla Petzold, Millington

Hannah Kady, Marlette

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