Area Female Athlete: Moenkedick captains the Pirates
Teresa Moenkedick is not perfect.
She is, however, the perfect leader for the Verndale Pirates volleyball team.
Moenkedick is the lone senior on the 16-6-1 Pirates so she handles the entire leadership duties. But she handles them well.
“She’s a natural leader on the court and she’s a good teammate,” said Verndale head coach Shelly Glenz. “The younger girls do look up to her. I know my daughters Shania and Jordyn think the world of her. She is very welcoming and encouraging. She’s a quiet leader, but a great role model in school. She has a lot of character for an 18-year-old girl. She’s a phenomenal kid. She was our homecoming queen. She’s the type of girl everybody just likes.”
Except for opposing teams. While great for the Pirates she’s a handful for defenses as Moenkedick is the go-to offensive player of the Pirates.
She tallied 12 kills, 27 digs, one block and one set assist in the Pirates 3-0 Park Region Conference victory over Menahga Oct. 2.
Against Pillager Oct. 4, Moenkedick posted 24 kills, 32 digs, one block, one set assist and one ace serve during a 3-1 win.
She concluded her week with 49 kills, 99 digs and two ace serves in the Bertha-Hewitt Invite. Verndale finished second in the tournament with a 4-2 record.
“She’s been our go-to girl the last two years,” said Glenz. “She is just a really natural athlete and has amazing body control. She can just play whatever we need. She can do whatever she wants to do. She’s really quick. She’s small. She is only 5-foot-7, but she has an amazing jumping ability. She has springs. Plus, she can hit everything.”
The four-year varsity player was the team’s libaro her first two years before moving to outside hitter. Her past experience has helped Moenkedick lead the team in digs routinely, said Glenz.
Moenkedick is also an efficient server. She doesn’t have many ace serves, but also doesn’t have many service errors.
“She’s our kill leader and our dig leader,” Glenz said. “She’s going to leave a big hole. She is our dependable outside hitter. She has really improved at hitting around the blocks. She’s a really smart hitter. She advanced her game by hitting down the line with a sharp cross court hit. It’s a hard hit because there is a narrow margin to hit. Either you hit the net or you hit it out. She has mastered that hit, though.”
Glenz said she doesn’t use Moenkedick enough. But that’s why she is such a great leader on this team.
“We should be going to her 80 percent of the time,” said Glenz. “She can just get the job done. But she’s a very unselfish player. She doesn’t want the glory. She wants to be the teammate.”
Other notable performances:
Cross Country: Leric Larson, Pequot Lakes, won the Pine River-Backus Invite in 16:51.
Soccer: Rachelle LeBlanc, Little Falls, scored two goals against Zimmerman.
Volleyball: Kelly Pearson, Staples-Motley, finished with 18 kills, 31 digs and three ace serves against New York Mills.
Heather Theisen, Wadena-Deer Creek, finished with 40 set assists, 10 digs and two blocks against Perham and 35 set assists, seven digs and four ace serves against Staples-Motley.
Caitlin Volkmann, Wadena-Deer Creek, finished with 16 digs, 12 kills and three blocks against Perham and 13 digs, nine kills and two ace serves against Staples-Motley
Jenae Herron, Aitkin, finished with 22 digs and 13 kills against Isle and 14 digs and 10 kills against Rush City.
Mikayla Michaletz, Aitkin, finished with 27 digs, 13 kills, four blocks and two ace serves against Isle and 14 kills, 11 digs, four blocks and four ace serves against Rush City.
Noelle Kurowski, Little Falls, finished with 18 digs, 13 kills and six ace serves against Becker.
Kelly Mast, Pillager, finished with 118 set assists, 30 digs, 13 kills, 12 ace serves and two blocks at the Bertha-Hewitt Invite.