Even an injured Brittney Noon was a feared Brittney Noon.
The senior outside hitter for the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines suffered through a pulled ligament in her foot during the regular season and endured a pulled hamstring during the Class 2A state tournament.
She also imposed pain on opponents to help the Wolverines to their fourth-straight state tournament appearance, a 27-6 overall record and yet another Mid-State Conference title. It also helped Noon collect Brainerd Dispatch Area Co-Player of the Year honors with Brainerd’s Sydnie Mauch.
“She was having such a good year and controlling games for us,” said W-DC head coach Sue Volkmann. “She was unstoppable until she pulled that ligament in the arch of her foot that went up into her ankle. I don’t think she ever really got back to 100 percent and it bothered her. She played through it. It was her senior year and she wanted to be out there and playing.”
Noon still finished with 443 kills, 181 digs, 157 blocks, three set assists and 28 ace serves on 93-percent serving. She was named to the all-state first team, St. Paul Pioneer Press All-State team and All-Mid-State Conference team.
“The hamstring didn’t affect me too bad because I had so much adrenaline going through me,” said Noon. “We couldn’t tell if it was a pull or a tear because of the way it turned black and blue so quickly.”
Playing through pain was just one way Noon displayed her leadership ability. It wasn’t something she thought about, but she knew with five graduated players from last year’s unbeaten and state championship team there was a void to fill.
Despite the loss of players, Noon was confident W-DC would return to state because of the talent returning. She also knew she would have to raise her own game.
“The younger players were a huge asset from our state championship team, especially on the defensive side,” said Noon. “While we did lose a lot of good players, we still had talent on the team.
“I’m very happy with how the season went. We could have played a little harder the last two games at state, but Marshall was really good and so was Jordan.”
In Noon’s four varsity seasons, W-DC owned a 117-18 overall record, a 29-0 record against Section 8-2A opponents and a 20-0 conference record. The Wolverines went 6-5 in four state tournaments.
Noon finished her career with 1,383 kills, 624 digs, 314 blocks, 27 set assists and 119 ace serves on 92-percent serving.
“There are very few players that can say that during their entire varsity career they went to the state tournament,” said Volkmann. “She can and she was a very important part of all four of those teams.
“During big games she really stepped up for us. She was always able to find another gear.”
Noon is the fourth straight W-DC player to be named area player of the year. Brigetta Berg earned the award in 2008, Courtney Volkmann owned the award in 2009 and 2010.
For Noon, it’s a fitting end to a remarkable career.
“I have no regrets,” she said. “I pretty much fulfilled all my duties. It was an awesome career. To go back to state four times and to play at state my whole varsity career, there isn’t much left to do.”
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.