For the second straight season, one of the co-players of the year in the Fox River Classic Conference is from Sheboygan North.
Kansas State freshman Dru Kuck received the volleyball award last year and junior Lizzy Binder earned it this season.
The league always picks two players of the year and it had an easy choice in Binder.
Not only is this her second year in a row making first-team all-conference, this time she did it at her regular outside hitter position and as a setter.
“That’s what was amazing,” Golden Raiders’ coach Chad Kuck said. “She would usually attack out of the back row because we’d set her a lot.”
Binder already is the school’s all-time leader in kills after surpassing the overall mark of 1,000 this season. She had 339 of them this year – including a league-high 151 in conference matches – to go with 194 assists, 120 digs, 37 aces and 33 blocks.
Binder volunteered to become a setter, too, because of injuries and lineup changes before the first FRCC match was even played.
“Lizzy stepped up and said she’ll set,” Kuck said. “We’ve messed around at practice with it, just goofing around, but at a third-place game at a tournament, we just threw her in there. She set all year from that point on and did a great job.”
It was the first game action Binder saw as a setter and she says she switched positions to help the team out as much as she could.
“It was different and definitely took some getting used to,” Binder said. But my team helped me with passing and getting me the ball where it should be, so I couldn’t do it without them.”
Binder has already visited numerous Division I colleges, including Marquette University, and was able to send out videos of her setting this season to help her cause.
She thinks she will decide on a school by the end of the winter.
And as far as next season goes, opponents will again see Binder at both positions.
“We’ll keep Lizzy probably setting because she did such a good job,” Kuck said. “She got so good at it. You don’t see many 6-3 setters. That’s what’s kind of fun.”
Two teammates honored: Two North players received all-FRCC honorable mention as well.
Senior Natalie Dulmes earned it as a setter/defensive specialist after finishing with 279 assists, 196 digs and 48 aces.
Junior Hannah Martin, a rightside hitter who finished with 58 kills and 56 blocks, was also honored.
The Redwings had one girl make all-conference in senior setter Hannah Miller, who made the second team after receiving honorable mention last year.
She tallied 268 assists, tied for the team-lead with 166 digs and ranked second with 74 kills.
“Even though she’s our setter, she pretty much led us in every category you can, which is the reason she got second team even though we were 2-7,” South coach Abby Sigler said. “That’s pretty incredible.”