PREP VOLLEYBALL: Tjernagel’s skillset, leadership net her HJ Volleyball Player of The Year

MAYER – The name Olivia Tjernagel is a familiar one around the world of Class A volleyball in Minnesota. Soon, it will spread beyond Minnesota, if it hasn’t already.

The senior middle hitter closed out her high school career with another strong season, ultimately being named the 2019 Herald Journal Volleyball Player of The Year. This is the second-straight season Tjernagel has been named the HJ Volleyball Player of The Year.

“Olivia is a player that strives to be the best player she can,” Mayer Lutheran coach Joelle Grimsley said. “She led by example for others to follow her.”

There’s not many things that Tjernagel can’t do on the court, and she’s been showcasing that the past four years for Mayer Lutheran. She was a four-year varsity player, a two-time captain, and one of the top players in the state this season. For Tjernagel’s impressive career, it wrapped up being one of five finalists for the Ms. Baden Award.

Each year, one player is selected for the Ms. Baden Volleyball Award, which goes to Minnesota’s top senior volleyball player. Only seniors are considered for this award, and the voting is based on career achievements and accomplishments. When narrowing the field to the top five finalists for the Ms. Baden Volleyball Award, each competitive class (AAA, AA, and A) is represented with at least one player in the group. Tjernagel was the lone represenative from Class A.

In her senior season, Tjernagel did almost everything for the Crusaders. She was second on the team in kills with 306. She led the team in blocks with 78, while also recording 20 aces and 71 digs.

For her career, Tjernagel finished with more than 1,000 career kills, and finished second in the state all-time in career blocks with 422. That’s just 39 blocks short of being the all-time record holder in career blocks. Belle Plaine’s Cassie Wolpern holds the record with 461 career blocks.

Tjernagel will continue her volleyball career next season at the University of Northern Iowa. She’ll be a huge piece to replace for Mayer Lutheran going forward, as she’s been to three state tournaments and has won two state titles in the past four years.

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