High School Sports

Here are 13 of the top high school volleyball players to keep an eye on this fall

O'Fallon's Lauren LePere sets up a hit.
O'Fallon's Lauren LePere sets up a hit. dholtmann@bnd.com

The 2018 high school volleyball season is underway with many of the top players in southern Illinois already putting up some impressive numbers

Once again this fall, volleyball fans from across the region will jam into gymnasiums to watch players who will one day likely make an impact with NCAA Division I programs and others who will leads their high school teams to conference this. fall.

Based on the impressive numbers they put up a year ago and what they have accomplished in the early going of the 2018 season, here are just 13 of the top players to keep an eye on during the next two months:

Claire Diercks, Highland, Middle Hitter

A solid performer former for the defending Mississippi Valley Conference champion Bulldogs, this middle hitter is back at it for her senior season and is among the team leaders with 26 kills as the Bulldogs ran off six straight wins. Diercks was an all MVC player a year ago when she led the Bulldogs with 295 kills.

Caroline Gagen, outside hitter and Lexi Smith, Middle Hitter Freeburg

After combining for 370 kills on a Freeburg team which won 26 matches last year, this senior duo is back at it in the early going of the 2018 season. The 5-10 Gagen leads the Midgets (5-3) in kills with 58 and 13 blocks, while the 6-foot Smith has 47 kills and 15 aces.

Karinna Gall, Althoff, Middle Hitter

Ranked as one of the top sophomores in the nation a year ago when she helped lead the Crusaders to the Class 3A state crown, Gall has picked up where she left off with 32 kills in three matches for the Crusaders (3-0). Already committed to Indiana State University, Gall had a team-leading 313 kills and 78 blocks a year ago.

Kayla Huels, Gibault, Setter

A second team all-area player last year, Huels has led the Hawks to a 7-0 start in 2018. Finishing with 496 assists a year ago, the 5-8 Huels already has 166 assists to go along with 14 aces this fall.

Guin Kohnz, Valmeyer, Setter

A major reason why the Pirates reached the Class 1A sectional title match a year ago when she finished with 769 assists, Kohnz may not have the number of offensive weapons around her this season, but she did post 66 assists in leading the Pirates to a 3-2 start to this season.

Lauren Lepere, O’Fallon, Outside Hitter

A second team all-area selection a year ago when she collected 258 kills, Lepere has used her athleticism to combine with Kenzee Simmers to help O’Fallon win four of its first five matches. Lepere has 55 kills and 46 digs. Simmers has a team leading 66 kills with 47 digs.

Morgan Revermann and Carlee Wise, Mater Dei, Middle Hitters

Always deep in talent, this season is no exception as the Knights have two of the top players in the area who have led them to a 10-3 start. Wise leads, a 6-foot middle hitter leads Mater Dei with 87 kills, while Revermann is a close second with 72 kills. Both played key roles on a Mater Dei team which won 27 matches and advanced to the Class 3A sectional title match where it lost to state champion Althoff.

Jessie Timmermann, Mater Dei, Setter

A 5-11 sophomore setter, Timmermann is off to an outstanding start with 279 assists for the Knights (10-3). In her first season on the Knights varsity, Timmermann also has 25 kills, 14 bllocks and 79 digs.

Katie Wemhoener, Althoff, Outside Hitter

Like Gall, Wemhoener will be playing NCAA Division I volleyball in 2020 and has offers from three schools including Missouri State and Murray State. After clubbing 222 kills and adding 398 digs a year ago, the 5-9 Wemhoener has combined with junior Grace Strieker for 37 kills in the early going of the season.

Mary Wessel, Althoff, Setter

Taking over the spot left on the floor when four-year starter Louise Comerford graduated following the Crusaders state championship run, Wessel has been solid in distributing the volleyball to Althoff’s deep group of hitters. Wessel has 67 assists in leading the champs to a 3-0 start.

Danika White, New Athens, Setter/Outside Hitter

One of the top small school athletes in the St. Louis area, White has used her ability to help the Yellow jackets off to a quick 5-1 start to the season. White already has 42 kills after finishing the ‘17 season with 123 kills and 256 assists.