The Alexandria volleyball team named senior setter Alexis Stern as its most valuable player after handing out its season-ending awards in November.
Stern was one of three Alexandria players named to the All-Central Lakes Conference team as she finished with a team-high 311 sets through CLC play. She also added 84 kills during that stretch.
Junior middle hitter Abby Pohlen and senior defensive specialist Maddi Moore were the others on the All-CLC team. Morgan Melrose, Gracie Schroeder and McKenna Goracke were honorable-mention selections.
Moore brought home a couple team awards from the banquet as she was named the defensive player of the year and was one of four players who earned Hustle Awards on the team. Moore had a team-high 229 digs in conference play. Goracke, Schroeder and junior Syri Williams also earned the Hustle Award honor.
Melrose, a senior setter, earned the Spirit Award for the Cardinals. Senior Abby Aker took home the Coach's Award, while Schroeder earned the Cardinal Award and Pohlen was named the team's offensive player of the year. Pohlen had 109 kills in CLC play.
Alexandria head coach Becky Schlichting was also honored as the Section 8-3A Coach of the Year. Off the court, the Cardinals earned the Silver Academic Award from the coaches association, while Moore earned an academic all-state award.
Alexandria had to replace a lot of seniors from the team that went to a section title match in 2014. The Cardinals still finished with a winning record this fall at 15-14.
"Looking back on the season, there were a lot of outside expectations that these girls exceeded," head coach Becky Schlichting said. "Many people in the volleyball world did not expect Alexandria to be a threat this year due to losing a large and talented senior class last year. However, they were very much a threat and proved that by finishing second in the CLC behind Rocori, who finished top four at the state tournament."
Schlichting said she also feels like Alexandria continues to grow as a program.
"This was our second year having 9-12 all on one site for practices, and we are continuing to learn how to create a strong sense of 'team' throughout," she said.
The Cardinals have made the section championship in two of the last three seasons. They were seeded seventh in the 8-3A field this year and fell to Bemidji in three sets in the second round. Alexandria will try to work its way back up the ladder again in the near future.
"Looking ahead to next season, we will have some key returning players, despite the loss of yet again a large senior crew," Schlichting said. "The team learned a lot about hard work and mental toughness throughout this season and that will definitely carry over. We will be returning a couple of solid offensive threats, a few kids with incredible potential, and a solid crew with a strong understanding of what a competitive, mentally-tough mindset should look like on and off the court. The section title game and state are always goals of our program and always possible. In the last nine years we have been in the finals five times and next year's crew will be ready to work for that appearance again."