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DCG volleyball places six on All-Conference list

Andrew Brown
Dallas County News
Haylee Hidlebaugh, one of six All-Conference selections for DCG volleyball in 2020

Following their exit from the state tournament amid another strong season, the Dallas Center-Grimes volleyball team peppered the All-Little Hawkeye Conference volleyball list. 

If COVID-19 didn't impact the 2020 campaign, DCG was set to go seven straight seasons with at least 20 wins or more. It was still a season worth remembering as the team reached the state tournament for the fourth time in program history. For their work across the season, the Mustangs witnessed six of their own players earn Little Hawkeye Conference selections that included two first-team, two second-team and two honorable mention selections. 

The two first-team All-Conference members for DCG included senior stars Grace Mikota and Haylee Hidlebaugh. As two of the cornerstones for the Mustangs, Mikota and Hidlebaugh led DCG throughout the season. 

DCG senior Grace Mikota during the home playoff battle against Bondurant-Farrar.

"Grace and Haylee are two of our more experienced players. They've both been to the state tournament and know what it takes to win at the highest levels," began head coach Cheryl Voelker earlier this season. "They are great leaders both on and off the court which is so valuable to a team." 

Following the departure of Katelyn Knudsen, Mikota stepped up in a big way for the Mustangs, leading the way in kills with 299 which also ranks as ninth-best across 4A players. That also ranked fourth-best among state tournament players. Mikota also posted 192 digs on the year complete with 25 aces and a 90.4 serving efficiency. 

For Hidlebaugh, no one on the DCG roster was better in the blocks department. The senior swatted away 31 blocks on the year which ranked 11th best among conference players. Hidlebaugh also posted 35 digs and 86 kills for the 2020 campaign. 

DCG's Lexi Protzman in action earlier this season.

The second-team selections for the Mustangs included senior Lexi Protzman and junior Kenna Jackson. For Protzman, her junior season was strong but she still rose up and improved a great deal in 2020, striking 141 kills, 38 digs and 14 total blocks. 

"Lexi has improved a lot from last season," said Voelker. "She's done a great job at the net and which has been a big help for us this season."

Kenna Jackson serves the ball during the postseason battle with Bondurant-Farrar on Thursday, Oct. 22 in Grimes.

Despite injuries sidelining her for most of the season, Jackson still managed 146 assists through 12 matches played. 

"She's such as smart player, it's good to have her back on the court," Voelker said earlier this season. "She wasn't quiet on the bench by any means, she was still communicating but it was just good to get her back on the court and she did a great job serving."

Jillian Janssen with an assist during a home matchup earlier this season.

The two honorable mention honorees for the Mustangs included Jillian Janssen and Sydney Anderson. After Jackson went down with injury, Janssen stepped up and didn't miss a beat, leading DCG and ranking sixth in conference action with 369 offensive assists. Janssen also produced 15 aces and a serving efficiency of 96.9 percent. 

For Anderson, her senior season was strong as well as she collected 218 digs, 14 aces, and 25 assists. 

DCG senior Sydney Anderson with a play on the ball earlier this season.