Pensel, Wille earn all-conference honorable mention recognition

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Ava Pensel

Maddy Wille

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register

Two Central volleyball players—Ava Pensel and Maddy Wille—have received Upper Iowa Conference all-conference honorable mentions.

On the season, Pensel played in 23 matches and started 18 of them, and was the driving force on the offense, leading the team in assists, with 222, and kills, with 27. She also shined defensively, tying for second on the team with seven blocks and coming in third in digs, with 66. When it came to serving, no one did it better than Pensel, who led the Warriors in attempts (193), serve success (165) and serve aces (36). Her 85.5 percent serve efficiency was one of the highest marks on the team. 

“I felt very excited and honored to win all-conference. The team and I have worked really hard this season to improve as all-around players. This has been a rebuilding year, and everyone worked their best to build the best team we could. I’m proud to have been a part of that,” Pensel said.  

Maddy Wille also played in 23 games and started 18, where she contributed heavily on the defense, especially with digs, easily leading the team with 196. She was responsible for an astounding 41.7 percent of the Central digs. On offense, Wille provided a leadership presence and finished second in assists with 10, and wrapped the season with 14 kills. Serving is where Wille really made an impact, though. She was third in serve aces with 19, but her 145 serve successes on 150 attempts for a 96.7 percent success rate led the team. 

Central's head coach, Mike Smith, said Pensel and Wille were pivotal points in the team's season.

Both took on a role as leaders and helped guide our program for the future,” he shared. Also, both stepped up to take on different roles than I was initially going to put them in. It takes a lot of inner soul searching to ask a coach to take on the role of a defensive specialist or setter, rather than being a hitter; both girls did this for the good of the team. Both girls are going to be missed from the program, but the volleyball program will only benefit from having them on the team.

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