The Southeast Conference was, with good reason, expected to be balanced in the 2020 season. With defending conference champion Burlington losing key aspects of last year’s squad, the SEC title was anybody’s game, but when the dust settled, Mt. Pleasant had risen to the top.
The Panthers went 4-1 in SEC tournament play to capture that conference crown on their home floor, beating defending champion Burlington in the process.
Mt. Pleasant was rewarded for its stellar year on the 2020 All-Union big school volleyball team. The Panthers were given four spots; three players and a coach. Fairfield and Washington each had two honorees.
The following list is the complete big school team for the 2020 volleyball season, which includes the top players from the Panthers, Trojans and Demons this season.
Karsyn Lamm, hitter, Mt. Pleasant
The Mt. Pleasant volleyball team needed someone to step up and be the leader if the Panthers wanted to compete for the Southeast Conference crown, and Lamm did exactly what was needed. She was Mt. Pleasant’s go-to hitter on the outside and had even more weight on her shoulders when starting middle Avery Sutter went down with injury.
Lamm co-led the SEC with 207 kills, and also sprinkled in 16 blocks, which was third-best on the team.
Although her main strengths lie at the net, Lamm showed she could hang in the back row as well. The senior finished third on the team in digs, with 254.
Lamm ended the season fifth on the Panthers in serve efficiency with a 91.8 percent rate. She was third on the Panthers with 22 aces, which was 11th in the SEC. Lamm’s was fifth in the league in both successful serves and attempts going 235-for-265.
David Streeter, Mt. Pleasant
Coming into the 2020 season, the Mt. Pleasant volleyball team hadn’t won the Southeast Conference in seven years. The Panthers also hadn’t seen double digit wins in two years. Both of those streaks were snapped this fall.
Despite playing short-handed for much of the season due to injuries, Coach Streeter’s squad went 15-17 overall. A strong regular season gave the Panthers the No. 3 seed in the two-day SEC tournament, and they were at their best when it came time for tournament play.
After going 2-1 on Day 1 of the SEC tournament in Fairfield, the Panthers won two games in Mt. Pleasant on Day 2, including one over defending champion Burlington, to take home the conference tournament crown.
In the postseason, Mt. Pleasant opened up the regional tournament with a three-set quarterfinal win at Fort Madison, avenging two losses to the Bloodhounds earlier in the season. One was the regular season and one was the only SEC tourney loss. The Panthers had a lead in that match and it went to a deciding set that went to extra points before the Panthers lost, their only SEC tourney loss. The Panthers bowed out of the postseason in the regional semifinals.
Anna Dunlap, junior, Fairfield
Dunlap spent the offseason working on her game and it paid off for the Trojans.
Dunlap connected on 162 kills this season, which tied her for the fourth-best total in the Southeast Conference. She was sixth in attacks with 488, but third in kill efficiency at .156.
Dunlap started 32 of 33 matches for the Trojans, who were 12-21.
Dunlap also provided other stats for Fairfield this season as she had eight blocks and 134 digs.
Kenna Lamm, junior, Mt. Pleasant
Karsyn isn’t the only Lamm on the 2020 All-Union team. Little sister Kenna was Mt. Pleasant’s second-best hitter in 2020 and she earned her spot on the All-Union squad as well.
The younger Lamm finished Top-5 in the SEC in kills, just a few spots behind her sister. Kenna tied for fourth in the conference with 162 kills.
Kenna finished the year tied with Karsyn with 16 blocks, landing her in a tie for third-place on the Mt. Pleasant team. She also finished fourth in digs, with 253.
She went 90.9 percent on her serves in 2020, and tallied 28 aces. That mark was second for Mount Pleasant and seventh-best in the conference.
Olivia Marek, senior, hitter
Marek was the presence at the net for Washington this season.
Finishing the season with the seventh best solo block total in Class 4A says a lot about Marek’s desire and ability. Her defense at the net produced the highest amount of solo blocks in the Southeast Conference, two more than Keokuk’s Miracle Ailes and third was Mallory Lyons of Fairfield. Lyons who was first in combined blocks at 55. Marek had 32 solo blocks and 18 assists for a total of 52, which was third best in the Southeast Conference 28th in 4A.
She was the only Demon to start and play every set of every match. Her jump serve was lethal at times as she had 30 aces. That ace total was fifth in the league. She also had 81 digs.
Marek was the main offense for the Demons with 117 kills, twice what the next best total was, even though she had just 20 percent more attacks. Her 353 attacks was 11th in the SEC.
Ralyn Seberg, junior, Mt. Pleasant
The 2020 Panther volleyball team wouldn’t have been in the race for the championship if it wasn’t for Seberg, who took her setting skills to the next level in her junior year.
Despite playing in only 25 of the Panthers’ 32 games, Seberg finished fourth in the conference in assists, finishing the year with 255. That mark was tops among Union area big school players.
Seberg finished fourth on the team with 155 digs, behind only twin sister Regan and the Lamm sisters. She also finished the season with a 93.1 percent serve efficiency and dished out 37 aces, which was fourth-best in the SEC.
Keira Messinger, freshman, Washington
Although the Demons’ 4-20 season was not successful in terms of wins and losses, it was a learning experience for younger members of the team.
Messinger excelled in her first year of high school action and led the team in digs from her position. She adapted quickly to the higher level of competition and started in 22 of Washington’s 24 matches, playing in 59 of 63 sets.
Messinger had the second-highest ace total on the Demons with 27, which was eighth in the conference. She had 164-of-184 serves earn success for a 89.1 efficiency. She had 12 assists and four kills.
Messinger was her best on defense. She was the best on the Demons, the best in the Southeast Conference. and the 12th best in Class 4A in her ability to make a ball playable. Messinger accumulated a total of 376 digs.
Kiya Robertson, sophomore, Fairfield
Improvement over the course of a season is vital for every player but Robertson did not start the season as a libero but finished there for the Trojans. She started in 28 of 32 matches.
Robertson finished ninth in the Southeast Conference in total of digs at 248, which was tops among Trojans, although Danielle Breen was close behind at 235, 11th in the league.
Robertson had 191-in-205 serves land successfully, which was 12th in the Southeast Conference.