Merrill’s Wardall Selected All-WIAC for UW-Whitewater Volleyball
WHITEWATER, Wis. – Morgan Wardall, a native of Merrill and member of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater volleyball team, was one of four Warhawks who were named to the 2021 All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Volleyball Team.
Junior defensive specialist Morgan Jensen (Sun Prairie, Wis./Sun Prairie) highlights the quartet, earning the WIAC Defensive Player of the Year award in addition to first team all-conference and WIAC All-Defensive Team accolades. She is the third Warhawk to be selected Defensive Player of the Year since 2014.
Senior outside hitter Erin McNeil (Crystal Lake, Ill./Prairie Ridge), senior middle hitter Morgan Wardall (Merrill, Wis./Merrill) and sophomore outside hitter Jenna Weinfurt (Waukesha, Wis./Catholic Memorial) join Jensen on the first team. Jensen and McNeil are now two-time all-league honorees, while Wardall and Weinfurt are first-time selections.
All four players helped UW-Whitewater finish the regular season with a 25-1 record, including a 6-1 mark in conference play. The eighth-ranked Warhawks enter Thursday’s WIAC Tournament semifinal match against No. 22 UW-Stevens Point on a 17-match winning streak.
Jensen enters the conference tournament ranked second in the WIAC in digs per set (4.91 / 417 total digs) and third in service aces per set (0.45 / 38 total aces). A five-time WIAC Defensive Player of the Week during the regular season, Jensen recorded a season-high 29 digs against Greenville (Ill.) on Oct. 9 and has posted 10 or more digs in 22 of her 26 matches.
McNeil ranks second on the team with 206 kills (2.48 per set) and ranks fifth in the conference with a .297 hitting percentage. She also enters Thursday’s match with 46 blocks. McNeil was a two-time WIAC Offensive Player of the Week during the regular season. She registered 10 or more kills six times, including a season-high 15 against UW-River Falls on Oct. 1.
Wardall ranks second in the conference and 17th in the nation with a .366 hitting percentage and fourth in the league in blocks per set (0.94 / 93 total blocks), and ranks third on the team with 168 kills. She is a big reason UW-W ranks third in the nation in blocks per set entering the week. Wardall tallied a season-best 12 kills against Chicago on Sept. 1 and finished with a season-high eight blocks against Bethel on Sept. 11.
Weinfurt ranks fourth in the conference in both kills (258 / 3.15 per set) and points (295.5 / 3.60 per set). She also begins the postseason with 51 blocks, good for third on the team. Weinfurt finished with double figures in kills 16 times, tying her season high of 16 kills in matches against Chicago (Sept. 1) and Bethel (Sept. 11).
Johni Bunkers (Wildwood, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) is UW-Whitewater’s representative on the WIAC All-Sportsmanship Team.
For more than 150 years, UW-Whitewater has provided students with the education and training to begin their careers with a solid foundation behind them. The UW-Whitewater is committed to the development of the individual, the growth of personal and professional integrity and respect for diversity and global perspectives. These are met by providing academic and co-curricular programs that emphasize the pursuit of knowledge and understanding and a commitment to service within a safe and secure environment.