WAKEFIELD – A northeast Nebraska high school volleyball player signed her national letter of intent last week and will continue onto the next level.
After looking at more than one school, Hayden Ekberg of Wakefield took a tour of the Doane University campus in Crete and after that knew it was the one.
Brittany Eisenmann was in her first year leading the Trojan volleyball team. She said Ekberg was a key player for Wakefield, especially defensively leading the Trojans with 51 blocks (16 solo).
“I mean I feel like that in itself speaks just to the talent that she has just to get her arms up,” said Eisenmann. “She also began our season as one of our top hitters and really increased her hitting efficiency throughout the year. She was a really good example to our younger girls and she’s just a hard worker.”
Ekberg also finished third on the team in kills with 140 (1.6 per set) while adding nine service aces and 40 digs.
Ekberg added the team was lucky to have a season this past fall.
“There were a couple of times where we didn’t think we were going to be able to finish our season, but we did,” Ekberg added. “And just playing with the girls that I got to play with, I wouldn’t changed it for the world. They were some of the best girls I’ve ever got to play with.”
Ekberg will play wherever the coaching staff puts her which could be a middle, outside, rightside hitter or a front row specialist.
“I’m excited to get my diploma,” Ekberg mentioned. “I’m ready for the next level. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time and just as happy as I can be right now with everything.”
During the spring, Ekberg will be playing for the Northeast Nebraska Power, a club volleyball team along with doing the workouts that the coaching staff sends her to be ready next fall.
Wakefield closed out their season with a 10-21 record. The Trojans ended the season winning four of six and suffered a four set loss to Pender in the C2-4 Subdistrict Tournament.
Coach Eisenmann mentioned they were happy to even have a season.
“It was nice to see the girls play and to see them come out every single day wanting to get better as a team,” Eisenmann mentioned. “I really felt like they were starting to mesh well. By the end of the season, they were laying it out all on the court and that’s all I could have asked for them to do.”
Jenna Jones completed her first season leading the Doane volleyball team as the Tigers competed in 18 matches going 5-13 overall (3-13 GPAC). The Tigers finished 17-13 overall in 2019 including an 8-8 mark in conference play falling in the GPAC Tournament quarterfinal.
A current northeast Nebraska member of the Doane volleyball team is senior MacKenzie Brandl of Stanton. The defensive specialist finished with 135 digs this past season (2.6 per set) in 52 sets played.