SportStars Magazine

Michaela Leonard Placer-Auburn – Volleyball

The former Hillgals’ setter earned All-Tournament honors in the National Division at the USA Junior National Championships in Columbus, Ohio. She and teammate Lianna Sybeldon (Ponderosa-Shingle Springs) received all-tourney honors as they helped lead the Northern California Volleyball Club (NCVC) 18-1 Moxie team went 10-1 to take the bronze medal. Michaela, who is already training with her new teammates at San Jose State University, finished her final high school season with 260 assists, 120 kills, 90 digs, and 41 aces as Placer (22-9 overall) advanced to the semifinals of the Sac Joaquin Section Division III semifinals.

The former Hillgals’ setter earned All-Tournament honors in the National Division at the USA Junior National Championships in Columbus, Ohio. She and teammate Lianna Sybeldon (Ponderosa-Shingle Springs) received all-tourney honors as they helped lead the Northern California Volleyball Club (NCVC) 18-1 Moxie team went 10-1 to take the bronze medal. Michaela, who is already training with her new teammates at San Jose State University, finished her final high school season with 260 assists, 120 kills, 90 digs, and 41 aces as Placer (22-9 overall) advanced to the semifinals of the Sac Joaquin Section Division III semifinals.

SportStars Magazine: Was medaling at the Junior Nationals a satisfying finish to your club career?

Michaela Leonard: We aspired to play in the Open Division, but made sure that we really went after it in the National. We left it all on the floor and I’m glad that’s the way the season ended. Knowing that high school and club play is over, I think we went out with a bang.

SSM: What was the highlight of the trip to Columbus?

ML: Other than medaling, we enjoyed the Midwest weather. On our second night, there was a tornado warning and the trees were blowing all around and lots of thunder and lightning. We all went outside to take pictures of the weather because it was so different than what we have seen.

SSM: What factors influenced your decision to go to San Jose State for your education and volleyball?

ML: The location was a huge draw for me. It’s far from home, but close enough to go home to see my family and friends if I want to. When I visited schools, I got the best feel (at San Jose State) and I love my new teammates already.

HONORABLE MENTION

Trevor Bryant — The soon-to-be senior at Nevada Union-Grass Valley led the NCVC 17-1 Boys team to a 9-2 mark in the Open Division at the USA Junior Nationals in Dallas, Texas. The team’s 13th-place finish was the highest finish of all Northern California teams.

Alexis Cooper — The Sheldon-Sacramento grad and Arizona State-bound pitcher was named to the Cal-Hi Sports’ All-State Softball First Team. In her senior season, Cooper led the Huskies to a second straight SJS Div. I title with a 19-7 record in the circle and 34 RBI at the plate.

Nick Madrigal —The Elk Grove freshman was named to MaxPreps.com’s Freshman All-American team. Madrigal batted .379 with 34 runs and 18 RBI while stealing 18 bases during the team’s run to the SJS Div. I North semifinals.

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