By Paul Lecker
EAU CLAIRE – Kendra Baierl, a fourth-year player on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women’s volleyball team and a 2017 graduate of Marshfield Columbus Catholic High School, has been named Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year and was a first-team all-conference selection in leading the Blugolds to the WIAC championship and a berth in the NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Tournament.
Baierl has 290 kills this season in 31 matches, an average of 2.64 per set, along with 17 digs, 22 solo blocks, and 94 assisted blocks for the Blugolds.
UW-Eau Claire defeated UW-Whitewater 3-1 (25-21, 25-22, 22-25, 25-19) on Saturday to win the WIAC Volleyball Tournament title after going 7-0 in dual match play during the regular season. Baierl had seven kills in the second set of the victory.
The Blugolds (29-3 overall) will be heading to the NCAA tournament for the 19th time in program history.
Baierl was joined on the all-WIAC first team by Platteville senior Katie Asche, teammates Arianna Barrett and Charlie Nelson, Whitewater’s Morgan Jensen, Erin McNeil, Morgan Wardall (of Merrill) and Jenna Weinfurt, Oshkosh’s Carissa Sundholm and Riley Kindt, Stevens Point’s Ashley Kopp, and La Crosse’s Emma Lawrence.
Jensen was named Defensive Player of the Year and Kopp, a freshman from Muskego, was named Newcomer of the Year in the conference.
Wausau West graduate Grace Michalske, a freshman setter for UW-Stevens Point, was an honorable mention selection.
The official bracket for the NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Tournament will be released Monday afternoon.