‘Breakout 12 months’ leads Portage Northern volleyball senior to top spot in MVP poll
Portage Northern senior Kennedy Pilger. (Photo used in combination with permission from Becky Klose, Klose2u Photography)
PORTAGE, MI – An unprecedented offseason amid the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in Michigan’s 2020 twelfth grade volleyball campaign, making perhaps the many experienced coaches a little uncertain in what to expect from their groups.
At Portage Northern, head mentor Heather Magelssen had been looking to see some strides from talented center blocker Kennedy Pilger, whom obtained second group all-conference honors as being a sophomore and junior.
It didn’t take very long for Magelssen to start to see the 5-foot-11 senior was dialed set for her season that is final of volleyball.
“This 12 months ended up being truly her breakout 12 months,” Magelssen stated. “i really couldn’t have expected for a much better period on her. She arrived in from the beginning quick and fast and had actually labored on to be able to strike many different sets that she hadn’t had the opportunity doing her sophomore and junior years. She to be real our go-to kid.
“We wouldn’t have now been since effective as we had been without Kennedy along with her play.”
“When we needed an end, she managed to get that for us,” Northern’s fifth-year head mentor included. “She could strike a number of sets and do this with authority. She really was force become reckoned with in the web, and I’m therefore happy with the progress she made.”
Pilger led the Huskies up to a record that is 22-10 tallying 318 kills with a .282 hitting portion, 45 aces and 55 digs.
Her great campaign that is final not merely valued by her head mentor and teammates, but in addition received recognition from Kalamazoo-area volleyball fans, whom voted Pilger the MVP regarding the 2020 period.
Among 28 for the Kalamazoo area’s top players with this year, Pilger endured away by gathering 22,581 votes, that has been good 29.4 per cent regarding the total and edged Briana that is runner-up Warner of Martin, whom completed with 22.2 per cent.
But despite having most of the votes therefore the impressive stats from her senior period, Pilger’s best effect from the program goes beyond the figures.
“Kennedy is quiet frontrunner, but leads by instance through perseverance and the method in which this woman is in a position to rally the children,” Magelssen said. “If we had been down, she gave us a spark, not only emotionally, however with her work ethic in the court.
“She is really one of the more friendly and large and student-athletes that are giving ever had,” Magelssen added. “She undoubtedly cares about her teammates, plus it’s in regards to the group rather than by by herself. She’s one of the more selfless young ones I’ve worked with and it is constantly providing to her group and finding methods to provide good power straight back to her teammates, and the ones would be the things I’ll remember many about her.”
In a period whenever practices started outside and whenever any time together has been a team’s final, Pilger along with her two teammates that are senior Lydia Miller and Kaia Dolph — kept the Huskies centered on taking advantage of every minute.
“It had been a truly interesting period, and I also need to state I couldn’t have asked for three better kids to provide the leadership they did,” Magelssen said that I had three fantastic seniors. “We stressed keeping our group tiny, and she ended up being some of those children that demonstrated that and made certain most of the children comprehended that the target with this period would be to win and also to keep playing, especially when it comes to seniors. It had been some of those things where these people were constantly monitoring and ensuring we needed to do that we were doing the things.
“It’s nearly indescribable for me personally to express exactly how much they’ve grown this program utilizing the leadership they’ve brought into the court as well as in the gymnasium each and every day,” she added. “They stressed recovering everytime had been the target, and I also think they accomplished that.”
Even though the year finished having a four-set region finals loss to rival Portage Central — a group this is certainly still alive into the playoffs and waiting to just take the court within the state quarterfinals — the fact the Huskies could actually compete in 32 matches and provide their seniors an opportunity to get closing to their prep volleyball professions means too much to Magelssen.
“It means every thing; i really couldn’t have asked for lots more,” she stated. “ we had three seniors have been devoted and committed, and I’m therefore blessed when it comes to three that I had. They set an illustration every day that is single getting into the gymnasium and making an attempt to obtain better.
“Their mindset to arrive the gymnasium had been certainly one of appreciation, and additionally they made certain we had been grateful for the truth that we had been right here and therefore we had a need to make use of our time effortlessly since the following day, maybe it’s over. Kennedy particularly led that fee using them.”