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Lydia Dimke of Blaine volleyball.

Richard Sennott, Star Tribune

Prep athletes of the week

  • Article by: JIM PAULSEN
  • Star Tribune
  • October 16, 2012 - 12:33 AM

LYDIA DIMKE, Blaine, volleyball

As the setter -- the quarterback of a volleyball team -- Dimke is often called upon to do whatever the team needs.

She paced the Bengals to a 7-0 record last week, including the championship of the Eastview tournament. She 77 set assists, 43 kills, 45 digs and 33 service aces as Class 3A, No. 2 Blaine improved to 24-1.

"She is so versatile," Blaine coach Celeste Gorman said. "She does so many things for us."

That versatility is a source of pride for Dimke, a junior in her third year as a varsity starter.

"I love being able to do different things," she said. "My main position is setter, but I love to be able to hit and pass. They are whole other aspects of the game that help out my team."

Another key component to Dimke's success is her development of a topspin jump serve. It has been so effective, she has made it a main part of her arsenal.

Dimke said the serve just came to her after watching college players try it.

"It difficult because the toss is so important. It can't be too high, or too low or too out in front," she said. "But I really love it because it can be so effective."

Said Gorman: "She had 33 aces just last week. It's been devastating."

VANESSA JOHNSTON, DeLaSalle, soccer

The senior defender scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Washburn and the clinching penalty kick in a 1-0 victory over Minnehaha Academy to help the Islanders pull off back-to-back upsets in the Class 1A, Section 3 playoffs.

KAYTLIN KUEFLER, Annandale, tennis

Kuefler, a senior, made her 100th career victory a memorable one, defeating Eva Sullivan of Providence Academy at No. 1 singles to clinch the Class 1A, Section 5 team championship for the Cardinals.

CHANCE LAIDLY, Cambridge-Isanti, football

The senior fullback was a one-man gang in a 42-6 rout of Big Lake. He rushed 23 times for 219 yards and four touchdowns and caught two passes for 15 yards and a fifth touchdown.

NICK LARSON, Shakopee, football

In the Sabers' 24-14 victory over Chanhassen, Larson rushed for 283 yards and a touchdown, made seven tackles, recovered a fumble, recovered an onside kick and punted twice, averaging 35 yards.

MADISON PREISS, Wayzata, swimming

Preiss, a ninth-grader, paced the Trojans to the 2A, Section 5, True Team championship. She won the 200-yard individual medley and 100 breaststroke and swam on winning 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays.

JAKE WIENEKE, Maple Grove, football

The senior receiver caught nine passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns in a victory over Coon Rapids, giving him 20 catches, 471 yards and seven TDs over the past two games.

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