PREP VOLLEYBALL: Canby’s Pederson named Class A Player of the Year; other area players earn All-State honors

Photo courtesy of Amy Wagner Canby’s Abbey Pederson poses with her Miss Volleyball Minnesota finalist and All-State plaques during the awards ceremony on Thursday.

ST. PAUL – The 2017 prep volleyball season officially came to an end on Saturday with the final day of the state tournament. Before the state tournament started on Thursday the All-State teams for the three classes were announced.

The Marshall Tigers had one player earn Class AA All-state honors, while there were five players that earned recognition at the 1A level.

Canby’s Abbey Pederson was named the 1A Player of the Year.

“It’s a huge honor,” Pederson said. “Minnesota is full of a lot of talent with volleyball. It’s a big surprise. It’s just amazing.”

It was a special moment for Pederson when she got to stand up on stage with the best players in Minnesota.

“I was just sitting at the table and they were calling up all these girls from the Metro.,” Pederson said. “All of a sudden they called my name. I was completely surprised. I had to look at my mom to make sure they actually called my name. It was amazing. It was so cool to stand up on stage with the best players from Minnesota.”

Joining Pederson on the 1A All-State team were Tracy-Milroy-Balaton’s Sydney Lanoue and Kaylee Kirk and Minneota’s Lydia Sussner. Wabasso’s Maddy Guetter received All-state honorable mention.

“Earning All-State is a huge honor,” Kirk said. “It’s really special to be recognized for all my hard work throughout the years. I definitely could not have earned this without my teammates, coaches, parents and the rest of my support system. They all mean the world to me and I am super thankful for each and every one of them.”

Kirk said that Lanoue’s greatest strength on the volleyball court is her versatility.

“Sydney is an unbelievable player,” Kirk said. “Her greatest strength is being really good at every skill. It’s obvious that she’s an outstanding hitter, but she also excels at defense and serve receive as well. You don’t find many well rounded players like that. I’m blessed to have been able to play with one of the best in the state. The University of Minnesota Duluth is getting an amazing player and an even better person.”

Sussner finished her junior career with 514 kills and 89 blocks. Guetter finished her junior year with 483 kills.

Marshall’s Erica Jones earned All-State honors for the Tigers. As a junior, Jones recorded a team-leading 314 kills. She finished second on the team with 332 digs.

“For me it just means how much we’ve been able to accomplish as a team,” Jones said. “I wouldn’t have gotten this award if it weren’t for all the things we’ve accomplished as a team. Everyone coming in every day and pushing each other to get better.”

Jones said she was taken back when she found out that she had earned All-State honors.

“It was a surprise,” Jones said. “I think anybody could have gotten it from our team. Everybody has done a great job of pushing each other to get better each day.”