Central Zone: Day 2 Show Stoppers

The Central Zone Invitational wrapped up on Sunday at the Indianapolis Convention Center. The tournament was just two days but it contained enough energy and excitement that it felt much longer. You can catch up on how the event played out here. Below, we note the players who stood out the most to us with our Day 2 Show Stoppers.


Stella Hamood L/DS Circle City 14 Purple: Hamood played a key role in Circle City taking home the 14 Open gold medal. Her passing was smooth and sharp and she kept plenty of rallies going with her strong digging.

Audrey Utterback OH Circle City 14 Purple: Utterback adds an explosive element to the attack. She’s a legit threat anywhere on the court with her power and ability to unload.

Blaine Adams RS Circle City 14 Purple: Adams is a wirey right side who helps balance out the attack. She’s a quick jumper and can beat blockers before they are squared up.

Kaylie Liepins S AVC Cle 14 Red: One of Liepins’ strength is she sets a really clean ball. She rarely puts up a bad ball for her hitters.

Lola Loncar L/DS AVC Cle 14 Red: Loncar was another standout defender. She was solid out of serve receive and displayed the tools to keep her side in the rally.

Grace Regula OH AVC Cle 14 Red: When it comes to providing punch to the offense, Regula checks that box and then some. She has a fast arm swing and hits with lots of pace.

Ja’maria Jackson MB Munciana 14 Chipmunks: Part of Munciana’s success is being able to utilize its middle attack effectively. Jackson is one half of the equation. She gets off the ground in a hurry and it causes timing problems for the blockers.

Abbie Powell MB Munciana 14 Chipmunks: Powell fills outs the middle attack for Munciana. She brings a strong arm to the front row and sends down big kills.

Taylor McKenzie OH Adidas KiVA 14 Red: KiVA looks to its outside to deliver a large share of the offense and both fill their roles well. McKenzie is a quicker attack and uses her speed to her advantage.

Kayleigh Rogers OH Adidas KiVA 14 Red: Rogers balances out the left side attack. She extends nicely and does well taking aggressive swings and challenging the block.


Sadie Ellis MB Elevation 14 Molly: Ellis was another effective middle. She’s strong offensively with the variety of ways she can beat defenses, including taking swings from the right side.

Lauren Sheldon OH Legacy 14-1 Adidas: Sheldon has a lively arm and can really connect when the opportunity presents itself. She puts a lot of pressure on the defense to defend her.

Payton Woodruff S Legacy 14-1 Adidas: Woodruff does a nice job locating and moving the ball around when in system.

Ariana Hueter MB Boss Cle 14-1: Boss had a great run to the semifinals. Hueter showed her scoring prowess and she delivered time and time again when her number was called.

Kenadi Sieg L/DS NKYVC 14-1 Tsunami: Sieg is a really active libero. She flies around the court and was making plays all over.

Lucy Waleskowski S/RS NKYVC 14-1 Tsunami: Waleskowski was a Day 1 Show Stopper as well. She’s a difference maker with her two-way contributions and using her size to her advantage.

Alexis Steinhauser RS NKYVC 14-1 Tsunami: A lefty right side, Steinhauser has a solid arm and did well exploiting the gaps in the block in front of her.

Lyndsey Robinson L/DS Munciana 15 Blue: Munciana pushed its way through to the semifinals in part because of the defensive edge supplied by Robinson. She’s a quick defender who doesn’t back down.

Carsyn Comer MB Munciana 15 Blue: Comer’s power arm supplies a different level of offense. She’s a physical hitter who can overpower blockers and crush winners consistent.

Makenna Meibers OH Tri-State Elite 15 Blue: Meibers showed up well in her role. She’s an aggressive attacker who was taking big swings and going for it when she could.


Maisie Jones OH Tri-State Elite 15 Blue: Jones is another strong outside for Tri-State who contributes as a six-rotation. She’s a smart attacker who can hurt defenses in multiple ways.

Addison Knapke L/DS Mintonette Sports m.51: Knapke showcased her defensive prowess, making plays in the back row and passing well in serve receive.

Lola Waleskowski OH NKYVC 15-1 Tsunami: Waleskowski is an integral part of the attack. She’s a strong hitter who is adept at tooling blocks or hitting around them.

Macy Armstrong MB NKYVC 15-1 Tsunami: Armstrong made an impact in the middle with her knack for scoring and being able to get touches on balls.

Ali Strange L/DS Elevation 15 Tony: Strange showed up strong in the back row. She reacts and covers well in addition to extending rallies.

Morgan Meiring OH Elevation 15 Tony: Meiring is a six-rotation workhorse. She can swing it from the front or back row and helped hold down the offense.

Cynthia Ockerman MB Legacy 15-1 Adidas: Ockerman is a play-maker on both sides of the ball. She’s a physical presence who can lift her team with a big kill or monster block.

Marlie Smith S Legacy 15-1 Adidas: Smith is a quick setter who does a nice job getting her feet to the ball and mixing up her sets and location.

Kate Kalczynski OH Legacy 15-1 Adidas: Kalczynski is developing at a sharp rate. After an impressive high school campaign, she’s carried it over to club where she’s showing off her whip for an arm. Legacy moves her around too, keeping defenses guessing as to where she might take her next swing from.

Calli LeFevre OH Legacy 15-1 Adidas: LeFevre is a solid all-around outside who brings a ton of energy and spirit to the lineup. She’s a heady attacker who can hurt defenses with well-placed shots.


Audrey Dyas MB NKYVC 16-1 Tsunami: Dyas is more than a handful. She brings size and strength to the front row. Her ability to score from anywhere on the net is a huge boost, as is her blocking and providing points on that side of the ball.

Emma Frietch L/DS NKYVC 16-1 Tsunami: Frietch is another reason why NKYVC was able to bring home the 16 Open gold. She helps gives NKYVC its defensive identity and highlights the scrappiness the team plays with overall.

Makenna Kirlin S Elevation 16 Goller: Kirlin brings a steadying presence with her ability to run and direct the attack. She also does a good job getting all her hitters involved.

Sydney Geselbracht MB Elevation 16 Goller: Geselbracht is a lanky middle who can get after it and bring it on the attack with her fluid swing. She’s also a disrupter on defense with her blocking.

Layla Hoying OH Mintonette Sports m.61: One of Hoying’s strength is her ability to elevate her game to another level in big moments. She has a powerful swing and can eat blockers and defenders up with her variety of shots.

Sara Snowbarger OH Mintonette Sports m.61: Snowbarger makes up a strong outside duo for Mintonette. She can really extend and let loose at times.

Alia Schoonover MB Mintonette Sports m.61: Part of what stood out about Schoonover is her heads-up play she makes. She sees the court well and it helps her contribute at a high rate when she’s front row.

Mallory Pike OH TVC 16 Black: TVC made a surprise run to the semifinals. Pike helped fuel it as a six-rotation outside. She’s also a smart attacker who can beat defenses with a hard swing or a well-placed roll shot.

Hayden Rodriguez S TVC 16 Black: Rodriguez is a scrappy setter who brings energy to the position. She moves the ball around nicely to her various hitters in attempting to get everyone involved.

Ellie Hepler L/DS Boiler Jrs 16 Gold: Count Hepler among the liberos who handled her business. She’s a consistent passer and defender who can make key saves in big moments.


Caroline Ward RS Boiler Jrs 16 Gold: Ward was a Day 1 Show Stopper and makes again after her play on Day 2. She’s a high-flying, easy-swinging right side who blasts balls down over and over. She’s also puts up a huge block on the right side and makes a difference on that end too.

Lexi Shondell S Boiler Jrs 16 Gold: Shondell is a high IQ disher who is in total control of the offense. She connects well with all her hitters and keeps defenses on their toes as to where she’s going next.

Cassidy Bruns L/DS MKE Sting 16 Gold: Bruns plays under control and brings a defensive intensity to the court. She covers a lot of ground and runs down loose balls.

Lydia Stahley OH Team Indiana 16 Elite: Stahley is a powerhouse outside with a rocket arm. She’s the go-to hitter and the one the team turns to to deliver in clutch times.

Gabby Divita OH Legacy 16-1 Adidas: Divita is a wirey attacker with a fast arm. She can really connect at times in drilling balls past the block and down.

Meredith Martin L/DS Legacy 16-1 Adidas: Martin is an energetic libero and not one teams challenge too often in serve receive. She reads the court well too and it is often she’s out of position and can’t make the play.

Addison Makun MB Adidas KiVA 17 Red: Makun is a huge factor in the middle. Not only does she have length and size, she can get up too and that makes her a difficult cover no matter who is on the other side of the net.

Kristen Simon L/DS Adidas KiVA 17 Red: Simon was featured on Day 1 too. She’s a big part of why KiVA claimed the 17 Open gold. She can pass more than half the court in serve receive and picks up hard-hit balls with ease.

Bailey Blair RS Adidas KiVA 17 Red: Blair showed what she can do on the right side when given the chance. She hits with tons of power and strength and her loud winners go a long way in firing up her teammates.

Olivia Grenadier MB Legacy 17-1 Adidas: Grenadier isn’t necessarily flashy in the middle but she’s a real threat. She knows what to do when set, whether on a 1 or running the slide, defenses struggle to slow her down.


Campbell Flynn S Legacy 17-1 Adidas: Flynn is as good at it gets at the position. Her ability to get her hitters one-on-one swings consistently is top-notch. Her size at the net is factor both blocking and being a scoring threat too.

Izzy Busignani OH Mich Elite 17 Mizuno: Busignani is a six-rotation outside with the ability to light it up offensively. She’s a tough cover with her swing as she can score from sideline to sideline.

Madison Quest OH MKE Sting 17 Gold: Quest is an outside who changes the dynamic of the offense. She’s equally effective swinging from the front or back row as she can extend and rip shots corner to corner.

Emma Parks OH AVC Cle 17 Red: Parks is a lanky outside who jumps well. She has a quick arm and when she gets up and catches one it leads to impressive kills.

Annabelle Groomes S AVC Cle 17 Red: Groomes is another high-level setter who uses both her smarts and skills to command the offense.