Senior setter Kennedy Muff focuses on completing a serve during a recent Westosha Central girls volleyball contest. Muff eclipsed the school’s all-time assists marks set by Jena Berg from 2002-05 (Photo courtesy of Nancy Switalla).

Falcon setter credits teammates, family

By Jason Arndt

If Kennedy Muff were to jot down a list of everyone who helped her perfect the craft of setting in volleyball, the Westosha Central High School senior would never finish.

Muff, exposed to volleyball at an early age, became the Falcons’ all-time assists leader in late September, when she broke Jena Berg’s record of 2,350 career assists set between 2002-2005.

Muff, who currently stands at 2,476 assists, said it would not have been possible without her teammates and family.

“I honestly couldn’t have done it without my passers over the past few years,” said Muff. “Sarah Blair obviously contributed to that being my libero.”

Described as unselfish by her teammates, Muff also credited her defensive specialists, along with current and former hitters.

The former hitters, Muff said, believed in her even when she started as a freshman.

The list includes Nikki Stratton, Kaeley Mueller and Abi Marcquenski, all of whom graduated in 2017.

“They all had to adjust to my sets because I wasn’t as consistent and they worked with it and they always believed in me,” Muff said.

“I owe this record to my teammates for supporting me over the past four years and never giving up on me.”

Muff, joined by teammates Sierra Lee and Laura Shoopman her freshman year, acknowledged they both played an critical role in her development.

Shoopman, known as Muff’s ‘hammer’ on the court, has racked up more than 500 kills in her career.

“We have been working together for four years now, so she is obviously a big part of that,” Muff said. “She is a hammer out there and I trust her, I know that if it is game point, that I can get it to Laura.”

For Lee, who was also a setter, she showed the willingness to step out of her comfort zone and play a position she is not accustomed to this year.

“Sierra stepped out of her comfort zone and plays a position she isn’t used to this year, and if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have been able to set the record,” she said.

Lee, meanwhile, said Muff shows pinpoint precision on the court, finding the right location to set up offensive schemes.

“Her location is beautiful, she runs all over the court,” said Lee, adding Muff always holds herself accountable whenever mistakes arise.

“She doesn’t worry about herself, she worries about her passers and her hitters,” Lee said. “She never blames it on them and she is always making sure everyone is okay.”

For Shoopman, Muff has recognized the strengths and weakness of her teammates, and maintains solid court awareness.

“(Kennedy) knows the strengths of everybody and knows how to use our best abilities,” Shoopman said. “It is extremely important to have court awareness, obviously, Kennedy is a really good setter.”

Another hitter who has been a key part of her success, according to Muff, is senior middle hitter Ella Kaebisch.

Kaebisch entered the varsity fray as a sophomore.

“Ella came in and she has gotten us so many kills this year,” Muff said.

Going back to her list, Muff remembers others, including many on this year’s varsity squad, like Twila Dovas and McKenna Hall, and members of her own family.

Her family consists of mother, Becky, who has coached volleyball for at least two decades, brother, Connor, and father, Mike.

Connor, the Falcon boys volleyball assists leader, graduated last year.

“My mom is the person that is hardest on me, but she has taught me to be a great setter as well,” Muff said. “My brother has been a big influence on me too, he broke the record, and I look up to him a lot and wouldn’t have started volleyball without him.”

Muff, additionally, commended her past and current coaches, including Charlie and Evan Berg, as well as Megan Awe.

Central goes 3-1 at Smash
The Falcons hosted the Westosha Smash on Oct. 6 and improved 29-9 following a 3-1 appearance.

In pool play, Westosha Central defeated SWCHA (26-24, 26-24), Germantown (25-21, 18-25, 15-10) before losing to East Troy (26-24, 22-25, 12-15).

The Falcons defeated Catholic Memorial, 25-23, 25-20, to place third among the eight participating schools.

Westosha Central received contributions from Muff (82 assists, three aces, 23 kills, 21 digs), Lee (92 aces, 22 kills, three blocks, 29 digs), Shoopman (three aces, 50 kills, three blocks, 24 digs), Kaebisch (19 kills, four blocks).

Shelby Serritella (four aces, four blocks), Olivia Webers (two aces and 11 digs) and Dovas (42 digs) also pitched in for the Falcons.


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