Braves celebrate volleyball season


Reagan Nuss did it all for the Brownstown Central volleyball team this fall.

She was an excellent server, setter and defensive player. Nuss was named to the all-Mid-Southern Conference team and IHSVCA all-state team and earned all-district.

She added another honor Thursday night when she was named the Braves’ most valuable player during an awards program in the school auditorium.

“She was all-state four years, and that is quite an honor. She is one of those players who kills themselves to play defense,” coach Jennifer Shade said.

Nuss received the serving award for leading the team in aces with 33, and she had 291 good serves out of 310 for 93.9%.

She received the assists award (785 assists) and was named the outstanding defensive player for having 255 digs. She also had 108 kills.

Zori Otting received the mental attitude award.

“She shows up every day with a good attitude,” Shade said.

Kelsey Wischmeier received the hitting award for having 290 kills, Erin Singleton received the passer award for receiving 535 serves and having 424 digs and Nadia Lakins received the blocker award for having nine solo and 27 assist blocks.

Shade announced that all of the seniors, Nuss, Otting, Wischmeier, twins Erin and Emily Singleton and manager Chloe Covert, were named academic all-state.

“The seniors who have stuck with us for all these years to their final game, it’s sad to see them go, but they’ve all contributed to our program,” she said.

Erin Singleton also was named to the all-MSC team, and Kalee Borden was named honorable mention.

Lakins and Rylee May received their letter jackets.

Shade said she hates giving out individual awards, preferring team efforts.

“At some time during the season, all of you were MVPs. All summer and fall, we work to develop as a team. We want to know how you players work as a team,” she said. “Our focus was on winning, and the 2021 volleyball team had lots of wins.”

The Braves played a strong schedule and ended up 14-20, placing second in the MSC with a record of 7-1.

They played seven Class 4A teams that won sectionals, plus several more 3A and 2A teams that also won sectionals.

By playing a tough regular-season schedule, Shade said, “When you go to the sectional, you will win.”

The Braves won the Class 3A sectional at Owen Valley by defeating Northview in the championship match. Shade called that a major win.

“I saw a lot of improvement in our team,” she said.

The Braves lost to Brebeuf Jesuit in the regional, and Brebeuf went on to win the state championship.

“We played our best at the regional,” Shade said.

Brownstown also played state finalists Trinity Lutheran and Castle during the season.

“Sometimes during the season, when you’re getting beat, you wonder, ‘Is it worth it?’ but you just figure out a way to keep the kids’ spirits up and you teach them that they’re going to get beat down sometimes, but they’ve just got to find a way to win. I think it makes the kids stronger. I think it makes them better,” Shade said.

Brownstown’s junior varsity ended up 9-10, and Addison Darlage was named most improved JV player. The JV team was quarantined at the beginning of the season because of COVID-19.

The Brownstown freshman team had a record of 7-4.

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