There are just two repeat performers on this year’s All-Racine County high school boys volleyball team, but they are familiar names to fans of the sport.
Senior outside hitter Malik Tiedt of Burlington, this year’s Player of the Year, and senior setter Kevin Leslie of Park are each on the All-County first team for the third straight year.
Three other member of this year’s first team — senior libero Trey Krause and junior setter David Paul of Burlington, and senior outside hitter Zach Romano of Horlick — moved up after earning second-team honors last year.
Rounding out the first team are senior setter/right-side hitter Matt Barrientez of Horlick and senior outside hitter Andrew Strain of Case.
The second team is very unusual, with five of the seven selections from St. Catherine’s/Racine Lutheran.
Here are capsule look at the members of the first team:
POSITION: Outside hitter
NOTABLE: Tiedt is a three-time All-County selection and a three-time All-Southern Lakes Conference selection; voted SLC Player of the Year; earned high honorable mention on the Wisconsin Boys Volleyball Coaches Association All-State team; the first county Player of the Year from Burlington since Nolan Rueter in 2013 and the eighth Demons’ player to earn the honor; led the Demons with 331 kills, a .481 hitting percentage and 38 aces, second on team with 198 digs; four-year starter, team captain and team MVP for the past three years; cumulative grade-point average of 4.4, ranks third in his class of 260; involved in many extracurricular activities; will not play competitively in college and is looking to study biochemistry with the goal of earning a doctorate to do research in metabolic biology and nutrition.
QUOTABLE: “Malik is a leader both on and off the court,” Demons coach Mike Jones said. “Malik played all the way around and was the guy you wanted the ball to go to in a clutch situation. Malik was the guy that the other team knew the ball was going to and yet they were rarely able to stop him.”
POSITION: Right-side hitter/setter
NOTABLE: Barrientez led the Rebels with 579 assists and 68 aces, and he also had 290 kills, 45 blocks, and 76 digs; earned second-team All-Southeast Conference honors the past two years; earned Racine Unified Scholar-Athlete award and is on Horlick’s honor roll while taking many advanced placement classes; voted team captain for this season by his teammates; two-year starter with three years varsity experience.
QUOTABLE: “He has stepped up as our starting setter, controlling our 6-2 offense and is a strong outside hitter when we had to make changes to our lineup,” Rebels coach Dana Marcinkus said. “He also excels as a right-side hitter, consistent server, and role model for his teammates in his hard work both on and off the court.”
NOTABLE: Led Demons with 286 digs and a 2.63 (out of 3.0) passing rating in serve receive; First-team All-Southern Lakes Conference libero for the second straight year; earned honorable mention on the Wisconsin Boys Volleyball Coaches Association All-State team; Krause was the All-County and All-Southern Lakes Conference Baseball Player of the Year last spring and helped the Demons reach the WIAA State Tournament for the third straight season; he has verbally committed to play baseball for Illinois State University next fall.
QUOTABLE: “Trey was the heart of the defense,” Demons coach Mike Jones said. “Trey had a knack for being where the ball was going before it got there. He was a great defensive player and had the ability to get a kill here and there by catching the defense out of position on numerous occasions.”
NOTABLE: Led Panthers with 350 assists and 51 aces, and second in kills with 97 while running a 5-1 offense; earned first-team All-County honors and team MVP honors for the third straight year; an All-Southeast Conference selection the last two years; earned honorable mention on the Wisconsin Boys Volleyball Coaches Association All-State team; a four-year started for Park, coached by his father, Pete.
QUOTABLE: “He has the burden of being the son of a coach and doesn’t always receive the credit he deserves because of that,” Pete Leslie said. “His desire to be successful and his team to be successful was visible in how hard he worked to raise the level of play of his teammates. He definitely had a warrior mentality.”
NOTABLE: Led Demons with 726 assists, also had 171 digs and 22 aces; two-time first-team All-Southern Lakes Conference selection; earned honorable mention on the Wisconsin Boys Volleyball Coaches Association All-State team; a three-year starter at setter for the Demons.
QUOTABLE: “David was the orchestrator of our offense,” Demons coach Mike Jones said. “Without someone to set the ball to the hitters, we don’t end up being as successful as we have been. David was a versatile setter in the sense that he could play defense, he could attack and he could set from just about anywhere on the court.”
POSITION: Outside hitter
NOTABLE: Led the Rebels with 531 kills and also had 41 aces, 271 assists, 52 blocks and 196 digs; earned All-Southeast Conference first-team honors for the second straight season; was Horlick’s team MVP and earned a Leadership Award; a member of the honor roll and earned a Racine Unified High Scholar-Athlete Award; Romano, whose brother Jake, a Horlick graduate, plays for Ball State University and whose uncle, Greg Romano, is a former Team USA member, is a four-year varsity player who has played club volleyball in Milwaukee for many years.
QUOTABLE: “His leadership on the court speaks volumes to the kind of citizen and upstanding individual Zach has proven to be,” Horlick coach Dana Marcinkus said. “Zach has tremendous calm under pressure and plays the game of volleyball with great passion and skill. He has been a leader both on offense and defense.”
POSITION: Outside hitter
NOTABLE: Led Eagles with 209 kills; earned Racine Unified academic honors.
QUOTABLE: “Andrew is a four year player at Case,” Eagles coach Christopher Falbo said. “His ability to see and adjust to both the ball and block proved tremendous for us this year. When he wasn’t in the front row, his jump serve and defensive specialist abilities were just as strong. He is a leader both on and off the court.”