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Three named All-Arrowhead

Penke, Visser and Rechichi were named from Ely’s state volleyball team

by Tom Coombe

Ely dominated its Arrowhead Conference foes en route to a perfect record in league play and another Arrowhead championship.

As a result, the Wolves put three of their players on the All-Arrowhead Conference Team.

Senior Hannah Penke was a repeat All-Arrowhead selection, while she’s joined in winning all-conference honors by two of her teammates - senior Sarah Visser and junior Lilli Rechichi.

The trio formed a potent nucleus for the Timberwolves, who not only won the Arrowhead title but repeated as Section 7A champions and won the state Class A consolation title.

Penke, who won all-state tournament recognition, was one of the area’s top hitters and a big force at the net for the Wolves.

She fought off a mid-season ankle injury and returned with a vengeance, notching 292 kills - second-best on the team and almost 90 more than she had in 2022.

Penke had 17 kills in the Wolves’ state consolation final victory over West Central Area and 19 in a consolation semifinal triumph against Badger-Greenbush-Middle River.

She also had 230 digs and 47 ace serves for the year.

Visser helped direct Ely’s offense from the setter position, topping the 1,000 set assist mark for her career early in the season.

A whopping 769 set assists came this season, including 77 in the Wolves’ two state tournament victories.

Visser also had 48 ace serves and 201 digs during the season.

Rounding out Ely’s all-conference group is Rechichi, who terrorized opponents at the net throughout the fall as the Wolves went 28-6 overall.

The six-foot hitter led all Timberwolves with 376 kills, including 14 in Ely’s Section 7A title-clinching victory over Floodwood.

Rechichi also drove home 35 ace serves to go with 217 digs, and she posed a major obstacle up front against opposing hitters, coming up with 74 total blocks for the year.

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