Varsity Volleyball

All-Metro Volleyball: Meet the girls from across Wichita on the Eagle’s annual team

All-Metro volleyball team, left to right, coach Kaylie Bergkamp, Andale, Maize South’s Laurel Jones, Kapaun’s Ryen Wilkens, Rose Hill’s Gracie Van Driel, Douglass’ Katelyn Moore, Bishop Carroll’s Ella Larkin, Garden Plain’s Natasha Dooley and Hesston’s Talby Duekersen. (November 19, 2018)
All-Metro volleyball team, left to right, coach Kaylie Bergkamp, Andale, Maize South’s Laurel Jones, Kapaun’s Ryen Wilkens, Rose Hill’s Gracie Van Driel, Douglass’ Katelyn Moore, Bishop Carroll’s Ella Larkin, Garden Plain’s Natasha Dooley and Hesston’s Talby Duekersen. (November 19, 2018) The Wichita Eagle

Natasha Dooley - Garden Plain

Junior, Outside Hitter, 5-11

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All-Metro volleyball team member, Garden Plain’s Natasha Dooley. (November 19, 2018) Jaime Green The Wichita Eagle

Natasha Dooley - Garden Plain.PNG

Part of the lone state championship volleyball team out of the Wichita area, Dooley was dominant for the Owls. Garden Plain won the Class 2A title over Wabaunsee, and Dooley was an intrumental part. With 340 kills in 2018, Dooley was the Owls’ top threat all season and helped them get out of out of Kansas’ most challenging sub-state tournaments. She said one moment stands out.

“Dancing in the locker room before the second day of state,” Dooley said. “We’re all best friends, and that’s really what got us through the whole season.”

Natasha Dooley, a Garden Plain junior outside hitter, helped the Owls to a state championship and earned a spot on the Wichita Eagle's 2018 All-Metro Volleyball Team.

Talby Duerksen - Hesston

Sophomore, Outside Hitter, 5-10

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All-Metro volleyball team member, Hesston’s Talby Duerkrsen. (November 19, 2018) Jaime Green The Wichita Eagle


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Few expected Hesston to be there on Championship Saturday, but they were. Duerksen was one of the biggest reasons. She finished the 2018 season with 421 kills, among the most in Kansas and was one of the Swathers’ top defensive options with 269 digs. The Swathers finished fourth in the Class 3A tournament after losing several key players.

“I had to step up for sure, and a few other players stepped up, too,” Duerksen said. “Basically we had a whole new varsity team, so it was a lot of new things.”

Talby Duerksen, a Hesston junior outside hitter, took on a lot of responsibility and earned a spot on the Wichita Eagle's 2018 All-Metro Volleyball Team.

Laurel Jones - Maize South

Sophomore, Setter/Middle Hitter, 6-1

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All-Metro volleyball team member, Maize South’s Laurel Jones. (November 19, 2018) Jaime Green The Wichita Eagle

Laurel Jones - Maize South.PNG

Jones is one of the most promising players in Kansas, but she has already found her stride. She finished with 338 kills with nearly a 50 percent kill rate, which was among the best in the state. She helped a senior-laden Mavericks team to the Class 5A tournament after topping Kapaun in their sub-state championship.

“It was definitely really fun, but it was also kind of emotional,” Jones said. “(The seniors) were kind of my best friends, so just knowing that I’m not going to get to play with them is kind of sad.”

Laurel Jones, a Maize South sophomore, is one of the more promising players in the Wichita area, earning a spot on the 2018 Wichita Eagle All-Metro Volleyball Team.

Ella Larkin - Bishop Carroll

Sophomore, Outside Hitter, 5-10

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All-Metro volleyball team member, Bishop Carroll’s Ella Larkin. (November 19, 2018) Jaime Green The Wichita Eagle

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Bishop Carroll is a team many have their eyes on heading into 2019. The Golden Eagles finished fourth in Class 5A with a lot of talented youth on the roster. Larkin is one of the headliners of that youth movement. She helped Carroll to the No. 1 seed at the state tournament as well as a City League title.

“I have a lot of family on the team, so obviously playing with them (is special), but just getting our seniors and our juniors and playing for them was probably one of the best things,” Larkin said.

Ella Larkin, a Bishop Carroll sophomore outside hitter, took over games at times on her way to the Wichita Eagle's 2018 All-Metro Volleyball Team.

Katelyn Moore - Douglass

Senior, Outside Hitter, 5-7

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All-Metro volleyball team member, Douglass’ Katelyn Moore. (November 19, 2018) Jaime Green The Wichita Eagle

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Moore was the top player on one of the top regular season teams of 2018. Douglass finished the season 32-6, and Moore was instrumental in that. She had a staggering 534 kills to go with 274 digs and 68 aces. Although she stands 5-foot-7, Moore was one of the most explosive players in Kansas this season.

“Even though it didn’t end how we wanted it to, we had an awesome season,” she said. “I had a lot of fun with my senior girls for our last year. I feel like we could have gone further, but we tried our hardest for that last game, and I felt like we really played our best that last game. And that’s always the end goal to finish at your best.”

Douglass senior outside hitter Katelyn Moore had an outstanding season with the Bulldogs, which helped her earn a spot on the Wichita Eagle's 2018 All-Metro Volleyball Team.

Gracie Van Driel - Rose Hill

Senior, Middle Blocker, 6-0

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All-Metro volleyball team member, Rose Hill’s Gracie Van Driel. (November 19, 2018) Jaime Green The Wichita Eagle

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Making her third and final appearance on the Eagle’s All-Metro team, Van Driel will leave the Wichita area as one of its most accomplished players, and 2018 only helped that case. She finished the season with 443 kills at 40.3 percent with 251 digs and 52 blocks. At 6-0, she was one of the state’s most dangerous players, and that’s why she is heading to Kansas.

“The thing I’m most excited for is the atmosphere and everyone I’m going to play with,” Van Driel said. “Everything is so competitive there, and I’m ready for that next step.”

Rose Hill's Gracie Van Driel was outstanding in 2018 and earned a spot on the Wichita Eagle's 2018 All-Metro Volleyball Team.

Ryen Wilkens - Kapaun Mt. Carmel

Junior, Libero, 5-4

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All-Metro volleyball team member, Kapaun’s Ryen Wilkens. (November 19, 2018) Jaime Green The Wichita Eagle

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Kapaun didn’t enter the 2018 season with a lot of size, but Wilkens helped the Crusaders to heights few expected them to reach. Kapaun won the Maize Invitational over Maize South and fell a game short of reaching the 5A tournament, losing to Maize South in the sub-state championship. Wilkens said it was a memorable season.

“We had never really had that connection like that before, and coming together like that was definitely a confidence booster for us this season,” she said.

Kapaun libero Ryen Wilkens served as a great leader in 2018 for the Crusaders, earning her spot on the Wichita Eagle's All-Metro Volleyball Team.

Kaylie Bergkamp - Andale, Coach of the Year

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All-Metro volleyball team coach Kaylie Bergkamp, Andale. (November 19, 2018) Jaime Green The Wichita Eagle

In her first season at Andale, Bergkamp took the Indians to a fourth-place finish in Class 4A and was just a game away from reaching the state championship match. The Indians tore through the regular season and finished 34-9 for one of their best finishes in school history. Bergkamp said the way her girls came together, particularly late in the season, was special to watch.

“When I stepped into the gym this summer, there were a lot of changes that needed to be made to make our program successful at the next level,” she said. “Just seeing the kids want it so bad and putting the pieces in the right place, working hard for it and seeing them at state work together and connect the pieces and believe in themselves, I think that’s going to be the piece I remember the most.”

Kaylie Bergkamp took Andale to a fourth-place finish in Class 4A in her first year as coach. That helped her to be named the Wichita Eagle's All-Metro Coach of the Year in 2018.

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