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Kuehl named first-team all-state

Gladbrook-Reinbeck standout named IGCA Senior All-Star, three-time all-district

T-R FILE PHOTO - Gladbrook-Reinbeck senior outside hitter Saari Kuehl (4) goes up for the attack against Burlington-Notre Dame’s Jenna Bentz (12) during their Class 1A state volleyball championship match on Nov. 5 at the Alliant Energy PowerHouse in Cedar Rapids.

The Gladbrook-Reinbeck volleyball team nearly reached new heights this past season, and the Rebels’ top performers are receiving the accolades to prove it.

G-R senior outside hitter Saari Kuehl was named first-team Class 1A all-state by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association and head coach Paula Kelley was honored as the 1A Coach of the Year, the IGCA announced Wednesday.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck sophomore setter Emma McClintock was tabbed to the 1A all-state second team, while Rebel sophomore middle hitter Megan Cooley was selected for the third team.

BCLUW senior Lizzie Garber, a setter and middle hitter, was awarded 1A third-team honors as well.

Kuehl, who was a second-team all-state selection last fall, was named to the IGCA’s Senior All-Star list as well as three-peating on the 1A all-Northeast District team. Kuehl led 1A and finished fifth in the state with 436 kills this season and was one of nine local players selected to the Northeast District squad.

Kuehl, a Southwest Minnesota State University recruit who was named the NICL West Division’s Outstanding Player, averaged 4.6 kills per set with a .320 hitting efficiency. She also led the Rebels and ranked fourth in 1A with 404 digs while also earning IGCA Academic All-State honors.

McClintock finished first in 1A and ninth in the state in both assists (895) and assists per set (9.3) for Gladbrook-Reinbeck, which reached the state championship match before falling in four sets to Burlington-Notre Dame.

Cooley came away with 198 kills and 51 blocks this season, ranking second in both statistical categories for the Rebels.

Garber, meanwhile, was one of only two utility players across Iowa to compile at least 400 kills and 200 assists this season. She led the Comets with 260 assists and was BCLUW’s second-leading attacker with 260 kills. Garber also tied for second on the team with 235 digs and was tops with 47 total blocks.

Kuehl, McClintock, Kuehl and Garber were each honored with selection to the 1A Northeast District team, along with five other volleyball players from the area. Gladbrook-Reinbeck sophomore right-side hitter Ava Wyatt, BCLUW junior outside hitter Eden Wilson and junior setter Allison Engle, and North Tama senior middle hitter Alexis Hansen and sophomore setter Jadyn Rausch were presented with their first all-district honors.

Garber and fellow BCLUW senior Skye Teckenburg both were on the Academic All-State team along with Kuehl and two other Gladbrook-Reinbeck seniors in Paige Creswell and Maia McLean. West Marshall seniors Kate Breja, Delaney Nichols and Sarah Pierce also earned Academic All-State selection.

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