Lisa Renneke may not think she's as talented in volleyball as she is in basketball and golf but her performance this fall indicates otherwise.
This season the 3-year starter leads the Warriors volleyball team in kills and serve receiving and is Brainerd's third-best server. The Warriors' starting outside hitter commands the attention and respect of opposing teams.
"I started playing volleyball later than other sports," Renneke said. "I've been in AAU for basketball and golf through the summer. Volleyball is more of a school-year thing. I played as a sophomore on the varsity, which was good, but I still consider it my worst sport."
Renneke helped the Warriors to a runner-up finish at the Crosby-Ironton Invitational last weekend. Brainerd beat Minnehaha Academy, Aitkin and Eveleth-Gilbert before losing to Deer River in the final.
Lisa Renneke profile
Sport -- Volleyball
Position -- Outside hitter
Year -- Senior
Age -- 18
Height -- 5-foot-9
Weight -- 125 pounds
Other sports -- Basketball, golf
Grade-point average -- 3.5
Memorable sports achievement -- Member of 1999 Class AA golf state championship team
School activities -- DARE, student council, class cabinet, German Club, Key Club
Favorite subject -- English
Favorite food -- Chinese
Favorite movie -- "What Lies Beneath"
Hobbies -- Water sports, traveling, shopping
Future plans -- Attend college, be in athletics
Athlete she admires -- Former Staples-Motley and Purdue golfer Heather Hasselberg
Parents -- Dean and Tam Renneke
In the four tournament matches Renneke had 24 kills, three blocks, 41 digs and was 19-21 serving with four aces.
"Deer River totally keyed on Lisa," Brainerd coach Heidi Hahn said. "They put two big blockers on her. They switched their defense to dig up our left side. They started to realize that if you shut down No. 3 (Renneke) you can make a dent in Brainerd. Annie (Zauhar), Natalie (Dunphy) and Kristen (Terrio) hit well but Lisa was our top kill leader. When they start to switch their defense it frees up our other hitters even though I know it frustrates Lisa."
Renneke has noticed the opposition doesn't frequently serve in her direction.
"Hitting I don't notice it as much but I notice they block a lot on the left side," she said.
"It is (frustrating)," Renneke added. "It takes me a while to realize it. Once you get blocked twice it's kind of embarrassing. I try to step it up a notch, get it a little further over their hands or do more cut shots, hit it somewhere where they won't be."
Earlier last week Renneke was 18-18 serving, had two ace serves, 24 digs, two solo blocks and nine kills against St. Cloud Apollo.
"Lisa has been passing the ball real well on serve receive," Hahn said. "We rank serve receive from 0-3. Lisa is receiving at 2.85. She pretty much hits an almost perfect ball on serve receive."
Against Little Falls, Renneke was 12-13 serving, had 13 kills, two solo blocks and 14 digs.
"Our next closest kill leader was Jessie Pohlkamp with nine," Hahn said. "Lisa serves consistently. Conference and tournament teams switch to defend our left side. Lisa has stepped up and continues to put up numbers."
Renneke also puts up impressive numbers in basketball and golf. She will begin her third varsity season in those two sports this winter and spring. In addition to competing in three sports Renneke is involved in five other extra-curricular activities.
"It's busy actually," Renneke said of her schedule. "I don't have a lot of free time, especially right now. Golf is hectic. Basketball is not so bad. I try to manage my time well. Volleyball is a shorter season but we try to cram so many games into two months."
Hahn said Renneke's extra-curricular load is typical of most Warriors volleyball players.
"Lisa is no exception," Hahn said. "She's a good student (3.5). She's respected out of her sports. She's a standout in girls' basketball and a leader in golf. That she perceives volleyball to be the weaker of her three sports is kind of ironic. I've seen her play basketball and I follow her in golf. I know she is very talented."
Other notable efforts by Warriors:
Katie Lykins, swimming, won one event and was a member of two first-place relays against Willmar.
Mike Weiss, football, rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown against Tech.
Adam Hardy, football, ran for 80 yards and three scores against Tech.
Mike Zauhar, football, intercepted two passes against Tech.
(Athlete of the week is honored by the Brainerd Sports Boosters Club.)
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.