Finucan and Rattenborg unanimous 1st team all-NCC choices
Gourley and Casey on 2nd team for Lynx; Stoakes and Kasch on the 3rd team
WEBSTER CITY — Over the past two decades, the Webster City volleyball team has gobbled up plenty of all-North Central Conference accolades.
But only two players have exited the court as four-time award winners.
Kaylee Schnathorst and Alayna Finucan.
That’s it. That’s the list.
Schnathorst, a do-everything player that thrived on the attack from the outside, was a third-team choice as a freshman in 2010 and followed it up with three consecutive first-team honors from 2011-13.
Finucan, a WCHS senior, joined her in the exclusive four-timers club this week when she picked up her third first-team honor as well. She was a second-team selection following her freshman campaign in 2018.
Finucan was one of six Lynx players to earn all-NCC status following a 2021 season that saw the club finish second in the league behind Humboldt. The Wildcats also secured six all-conference awards and led the way with three first-team players.
“It’s a very good representation of our team and I was very happy that the coaches saw the talent that I saw,” WCHS head coach Jess Howard said. “We just had a lot of girls that stepped up and performed.”
Finucan and WCHS junior outside hitter Sierra Rattenborg were unanimous selections to the first team, and they were joined on every ballot by Humboldt senior middle hitter Marissa Kaufman.
WCHS juniors Reese Casey and Joslin Gourley were placed on the second team, while senior Kelly Stoakes and junior Livia Kasch collected third-team honors.
Finucan, who was a must-see player from the moment she walked onto the court in a WCHS uniform in August of 2018, led the league in digs with 504 this season. Her total is also tops in Class 4A, as is her digs per set average of 5.9.
Over her four-year career, Finucan set school records for digs with 1,898 and service aces with 139. She was also pretty handy as a setter out of the back row with 197 assists, including 45 this season.
The case could be made that Schnathorst is the best offensive player that WCHS has ever produced. The case could also be made that Finucan is the best defensive player that WCHS has ever produced.
In other words, they could be connected for years to come.
“Alayna’s been that defensive catalyst in the back row for us, being able to get to balls that you wouldn’t think would be popped up,” Howard said. “She’s very versatile and she’s very knowledgeable, and that’s very hard to replace.
“It was great to see both Sierra and Alayna get that unanimous bid because they did a tremendous amount of work for us. For them to see the rewards of that hard work is nice.”
Rattenborg, who was a third-team all-NCC selection as a sophomore in 2020, ranked third in the NCC in kills (316) and fourth in kill efficiency (.241). Her 3.7 kills per set was tops in the league, and she added 121 digs and 35 aces to her bloated resume.
She’ll enter her senior season next fall with 493 career kills.
“From last year to this year, we could see that the strength and the tenacity after the ball was there,” Howard said of Rattenborg. “It was that consistency we were missing and she grew from her sophomore to junior years of making the most of her sets. She was a very versatile hitter.
“All of our juniors, they got put into playing varsity at a young ago, so you have those ups and downs. But the maturity and strength and just power that they turned on were huge for us in terms of having success. They started putting all of those tools together.”
Gourley, also a two-time all-NCC player after a third-team honor in 2020, was second in the league in assists (682) and first in assists pet set (7.9). She was also a defensive standout with 208 digs, and cashed in on 30 aces and 28 kills.
Gourley has 999 career assists.
“The setter is a position that’s not necessarily the best position to play for getting glory because you only get noticed when you make a mistake,” Howard said. “But Joslin did a good job of making our hitters look good. She’s not a loud leader on the court, but she’s definitely a leader on the court.”
Casey and Kasch both helped to balance out the Lynx front row attack. Casey ranked eighth in the NCC in kills (168) and third in kill efficiency (.298), while Kasch was right behind her in ninth in kills (153).
Stoakes formed a solid one-two defensive punch with Finucan, as she compiled 252 digs as a back row specialist. A three-year varsity contributor, she finished her career with 484 digs.
All-NCC Volleyball Teams
Libero — *Alayna Finucan, sr, Webster City.
Outside Hitter — *Sierra Rattenborg, jr, Webster City; Lexie Lane, jr, CGD; A’Lailah Perry, jr, Algona; Addie Thompson, jr, Humboldt; Xada Johnson, soph, Clear Lake.
Middle Hitter — *Marissa Kaufman, sr, Humboldt.
Setter — Livvy Becker, jr, Humboldt.
*Denotes unanimous selection
Libero — Jaden Finley, sr, Clear Lake; Mya McClain, sr, St. Edmond; Elly Wood, sr, Iowa Falls-Alden; Jennika Beach, jr, Humboldt.
Middle Hitter — Reese Casey, jr, Webster City; Summer Traub, sr, CGD; Shelbie Heinz, jr, Humboldt.
Setter — Joslin Gourley, jr, Webster City.
Defensive Specialist — Kelly Stoakes, sr, Webster City; Kate Hutchinson, sr, Iowa Falls-Alden; Karlee Lehman, jr, CGD.
Outside Hitter — Kayla Gieber, jr, Humboldt.
Middle Hitter — Livia Kasch, jr, Webster City; Hannah Blaha, jr, Clear Lake.
Setter — Aja Sheppard, sr, Hampton-Dumont/CAL; Lillian Etherington, jr, Algona.