Delaney Issendorf is a bundle of jumping fiber, energy and emotion.
That combination has left her as a record setter at Lake City and also someone others occasionally have to plug their ears around. The senior can get loud on the volleyball court.
“At times that can turn people off,” Lake City coach Kirk Thornton said of Issendorf’s decibels. “But it’s what makes her the player she is. As a coach, you love it. Volleyball is a high-energy sport, and you need that.”
A 5-feet-8 senior, Issendorf is Lake City’s all-time kills leader, having passed the 1,000 mark a week ago. A starter since her freshman year, Issendorf is also third all-time at Lake City in ace serves, hovering around the 100 mark.
But she’s even more than those things. Issendorf has improved enough over the years that she has become as valuable in the back row as the front row.
“Right now, her role is as much as a passer as a hitter, so we’ve put her in the back row to start games,” said Thornton, whose team is 8-3 overall. “We like her back there because her serve-receive ability is so good.”
Issendorf has been having the time of her life playing volleyball this season, though that ends this week due to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz's announcement on Wednesday that he is shutting down high school sports the next four weeks due to the state’s rising number of COVID-19 cases.
Issendorf will look back with immense satisfaction on what’s transpired the past month. The togetherness of this Tigers group is what she’s appreciated most.
“This has been a blast,” said Issendorf, who’s played volleyball since fourth grade but doesn’t plan to continue it in college. “We’ve all been waiting for this senior season for the past four years, when we knew we’d all get to play with each other. I’ve been having a super-fun time, everyone cheering each other on.”
WINCHELL GUIDING BOMBERS
Melissa Huseth has been coaching Cannon Falls volleyball for the past 17 years.
Rarely has she had a talent like Jaci Winchell, her standout junior setter.
“She is fantastic,” Huseth said. “She is extremely athletic and quick, a good decision maker and has beautiful hands. And those hands have just continued to improve throughout her career.”
Winchell has been a starting Bombers setter since her freshman year. Huseth likes to get her setters started early at the varsity level, picking a young one and then letting her progress.
There has been no reason to turn back after having chosen Winchell. The junior earned her 1,000th assist last year and is now up to 1,530 of them.
Winchell thrives in almost every area of her life. That includes her having been named academic All-State last season and inducted into the National Honor Society this year.
But like all areas of her life, Huseth notes that Winchell doesn’t just roll out of bed and show up as a great player. She earns it.
“Jaci is really hard working,” Huseth said. “There are never any complaints from her. She is gritty. We could use a few more of those.”
LEAGUE TITLE LOOMS AGAIN FOR M-C
The beat goes on and on for the Mabel-Canton volleyball team.
It’s one of near perfection the last 23 years in the Cougars’ Southeast Conference.
M-C, which hasn’t lost a league match in 156 tries, has claimed its 23rd straight conference title. The Cougars are 13-0 in the Southeast Conference and overall this season.
In total, Mabel-Canton has gone 290-5 the last 23 years in the Southeast Conference, with 23 league and 13 subsection titles.
Those five losses in that span were twice to Caledonia, twice to LeRoy-Ostrander and once on to Lanesboro (the latter after beating the Burros in three games but then having to forfeit after having mistakenly used a junior varsity player in that match).
The Burros seem to be gaining on M-C, however. After losing to the Cougars in three games early in the year, they took them to five recently before bowing.