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Area Female Athlete: Verndale's Glenz keeping it in the family

Verndale junior middle hitter Shania Glenz on the feeling following pounding down a kill: "It's awesome. I like being the one to help our team do better and getting the crowd cheering helps our team because it gets everyone excited. Being the one...

Shania Glenz
Sisters Jordyn and Shania Glenz of Verndale were named the Brainerd Dispatch’s All Area Volleyball Players of the year. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls

Verndale junior middle hitter Shania Glenz on the feeling following pounding down a kill: "It's awesome. I like being the one to help our team do better and getting the crowd cheering helps our team because it gets everyone excited. Being the one that does that and gets the point for our team is awesome."

It's been a milestone season for Shania Glenz.

The middle hitter for the Verndale Pirates volleyball team became the school's all-time kills leader Thursday as she recorded 14 kills in a 3-0 East Subsection 5-1A quarterfinal victory over Bertha-Hewitt.

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Shania Glenz

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Year: Junior

School: Verndale

Sport: Volleyball

Position: Middle hitter

Highlights: Reached 1,000 career digs and became Verndale's all-time career kills leader

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Glenz needed 10 kills to surpass her aunt Stephanie (McGrane) Jensen, who set the school record of 1,288 in 1996. With her 14 kills, Glenz now has 1,292 career kills.

"I didn't know going into the game, but when I found out I looked up into the stands at my aunt and she was cheering and smiling and clapping for me," said Glenz. "After the game she told me how proud she was of me and how happy she was that I broke her record. She was waiting for this day since I was born. All three of us (Shania's sisters Jordyn and Morgan are also on the roster). She knew one of us would break it."

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Glenz reached the 1,000 kills milestone during the Minnesota Class A showcase tournament Sept. 25-26 in Burnsville. The four-year starter has 378 kills this season. Against Park Region Conference opponents, Glenz was getting a kill one out of every two hits she was putting down. She finished with a 49 kill percentage, which helped Verndale win the conference title.

"Her kill percentage for the year is 42.4 percent," said Verndale head coach and Shania's mother Shelley Glenz. "She really plays the quick offense well. She has gone to that. That's her go-to whether it's a A or a 1 or a 3.

"It's just a high level of ball that she plays. She knows where the holes in the block, where the weakest part of the block, is and she keys on that. If she's getting blocked at a certain position, she easily goes to the next until she can find that hole. She's comfortable hitting from all over. She hits from the right side. She hits from the outside. She played outside before.

"She's just really excelled in her quickness in the front row and her ability to run the fast offense. It can be really deceptive to the other team because they just never know where she's going to go. She's a real presence in the front."

Verndale finished 7-0 against conference opponents. In a 3-2 victory over New York Mills Oct. 20, Glenz surpassed 1,000 career digs. She finished the match with 20 kills, 14 digs, two ace serves and two blocks. She added 19 kills and nine digs in a 3-0 regular-season ending victory over Pillager Oct. 22.

"It has been my favorite season by far," said Shania Glenz "Our team has been doing so well with the season and the chemistry. We cheer so much for each other. Then all of my accomplishments this year, that's been pretty awesome. I've gotten three big ones already and that's pretty exciting."

Glenz said the 1,000 kills milestone was the only goal she set for the season. She said that's been a goal of hers since she started playing varsity.

This season Glenz has been substituted when she's in the back row. She still plays one back-row rotation when she serves. Despite the limited playing time, she's still tallied 128 digs for the season.

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Because of a shoulder injury earlier in her career, Glenz didn't start the season serving, but for the last half of the season she has been and has recorded 28 ace serves with a 91.6 serving percentage.

She also has 32 blocks on the season even though her mom says she's not as good as her older sister Jordyn.

"She's a real positive presence on the floor," Shelley Glenz said. "She really lifts the team up. She's a lot of fun for the girls to play with. She's a real fun teammate. She's explosive. She brings a lot of enjoyment. The fans love to watch her. She loves the game and she shows it.

"When she gets a kill, everybody explodes. That power just shifts the momentum. When other teams are playing us, and she gets a kill, they kind of go back on their heels. She is a momentum builder for us."

Other notable performances:

Swimming: Annie Corbett, Little Falls, won the 200- and 500-yard freestyles against Becker.

Makyla Klever, Little Falls, won the 50-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly and was part of the first-place 200 medley relay.

Volleyball: Haley Stinar, Verndale, reached 1,000 career set assists as she finished with 24 set assists and 23 digs against New York Mills.

Morgan Lohmiller, Pequot Lakes, reached 1,000 career set assists as she finished with 10 set assists, five ace serves, five digs and four kills against Crosby-Ironton.

Taylor Ehnstrom, Aitkin, finished with 32 set assists against Onamia,

Casey Volkmann, Wadena-Deer Creek, finished with 22 kills, 13 digs, 12 set assists and three ace serves against Bertha-Hewitt.

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .

Related Topics: VOLLEYBALL
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