By Dan Truttschel~Sports Correspondent
Six members of the Westosha Central boys volleyball team recently received All-Southeast Conference recognition.
Leading the way are first-team selections Regan Hess (sr., middle blocker) and Brooks Gahart. (jr., setter) They are joined by second-team picks Glenn Karsten (jr., opposite-middle blocker) and Luke Werth (jr., middle blocker), along with honorable mention picks Tim Vanderwerff (sr., middle blocker) and Mike Skora (soph., outside hitter).
Central finished 2012 at 19-17 overall. The Falcons, who advanced the past two years to the WIAA State Tournament, fell in last week’s sectional semifinal matchup with Racine Case.
For the year, Hess led the team with 51 aces and in kills with 313. He also was second in digs with 153 and had five solo blocks.
“Regan is an outstanding player,” Central coach Wayne Schultz said. “He hits the ball hard. He was a middle who went to the outside this year. He responded to the position change very well.”
Next up for Hess is the collegiate level, a jump that he appears ready to make, Schultz said.
“He already has colleges talking to him,” Schultz said. “He has a chance to play NCAA volleyball.”
Gahart finished the season with a team-high 645 assists. He also had 126 digs, 51 kills, 19 aces and 18 solo blocks.
“Brooks had an outstanding year,” Schultz said. “Brooks is my fierce competitor. He did everything I asked of him this year. His blocking improved a ton.”
The ceiling for Gahart is high heading into his senior year, Schultz said.
“I’m looking for really big things from him,” Schultz said. “Who knows how much bigger and stronger he’s going to get next year? If he does (that) again, he’ll have a lot of upside.”
Karsten brings serious size to the team – standing at 6-foot-7 – and with even more room to grow next season, Schultz said.
“He’s getting more and more aggressive all the time,” Schultz said. “He has a bright future. For his size, he’s a tremendous athlete.”
For 2012, Karsten had 16 aces, 10 solo blocks, 48 assisted blocks, 152 kills and 42 digs.
Werth competed in just his second volleyball season, but put together solid statistics, Schultz said. He finished the year with 172 kills, 16 digs, 13 solo blocks and 46 assisted blocks.
“He was just unstoppable (against Racine Case in the sectional),” Schultz said. “He jumps out of the gym, he’s a 6-5, bigger athlete who is just starting to understand the game. He might have the highest upside of any kid I’ve had at Central.”
Vanderwerff finished with 78 kills and 167 digs, while Skora had 59 kills, 96 digs and 16 aces, as both received honorable mention honors.
Schultz said Vanderwerff filled a number of key roles for the Falcons in 2012.
“I needed a lot of different things from Tim,” Schultz said. “We went from being a libero, to being a middle, to outside and back to libero. He did everything short of setting, and he always responded with a positive attitude.
“Mike Skora is a kid who has a lot of upside. He was a typical sophomore. He had flashes of brilliance, and then he had moments (where he struggled). But that comes with being so young on a varsity program, but Mike will do nothing but get better.”