PREP VOLLEYBALL: Minneota’s Lydia Sussner named a finalist for Ms. Baden Volleyball Award

Independent file photo Minneota’s Lydia Sussner connects on a kill during their Section 3A Championship match against Adrian on Saturday.

MINNEOTA – Lydia Sussner has been an integral part to Minneota’s success on the volleyball court the last four years. The Minneota middle hitter has amassed 1,764 kills and 241 blocks during her career for the Vikings and has earned Camden All-Conference honors three times and MNVBCA All-State honors twice. She was named the Camden Conference MVP this season and helped lead her team to a runner-up finish at the Class A Tournament in 2017.

This season, Sussner has continued to guide Minneota to another stellar year, as the Vikings hold a 33-1 record and recently earned the No. 1 seed at the state tournament. Sussner also recently committed to play at Southwest Minnesota State University.

For her performance during her senior season, Sussner has also been recognized as one of the five finalists for the Ms. Baden Volleyball Award.

“I was definitely surprised. I really couldn’t have done any of it without the support of my family, coaches and teammates,” Sussner said. “There’s definitely a lot of good players out there.”

Sussner added that this season has been pretty special with how they’ve come together after last year’s finish at the state tournament and felt they’ve handled the daily grind of the season well.

“It’s been pretty special. Last year we were a little disappointed with how we finished but we’re a scrappy team,” Sussner said. “This year we’ve had a huge target on our backs throughout the season, but I think we’ve handled it pretty well.”

Minneota coach Hayley Fruin said Sussner is very deserving and that her hard work has paid off during the season.

“It’s very exciting. Her and Taylor Reiss are the only two out of Minneota that have ever been up for that award and Lydia is by far so deserving,” Fruin said. “Her hard work in the offseason and during the season is clearly paying off for her and she’s going to be a great asset at SMSU next year. We don’t take advantage of her on our team at all and we know that we need to use her as often as we can.”

Joining Sussner as finalists:

Izzy Ashburn, setter (Champlin Park)

Ashburn has amassed 290 kills, 74 blocks, 179 service aces, 730 digs as well as 3,678 set assists during her career at Champlin Park. The University of Wisconsin commit has also earned Northwest Suburban All-Conference honors four times and been named to the MNVBCA All-State first team twice.

Elizabeth Juhnke, outside hitter (Lakeville North)

Juhnke has recorded 1,489 kills, 101 assists, 152 blocks, 139 aces and 1,046 digs during her career at Lakeville North. The University of South Dakota commit has also earned South Suburban All-Conference honors three times and been named to the All-Metro first team twice, including an All-Metro Player of the Year finalist.

Rachel Kilkelly, outside hitter (Shakopee)

Kilkelly has recorded 1,393 kills, 446 assists, 183 blocks, 153 aces and 1,355 digs during her career at Shakopee. The University of Minnesota commit has also earned South Suburban All-Conference honors four times and earned MNVBCA All-State honors twice.

Peyton Suess,

outside hitter

(Kasson-

Mantorville)

Suess has recorded 1,813 kills, 49 assists, 391 blocks, 137 aces and 644 digs during her career at Kasson-Mantorville. The Wake Forest University commit has also earned Hiawatha Valley League All-Conference honors five times and is the program’s all-time leader in kills and blocks.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday at the state tournament banquet in St. Paul.

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