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Western Dubuque’s Madison Maahs (far right) celebrates a point with Natalie Ulrichs (7) during their match against Dubuque Hempstead on Tuesday night. Maahs leads the state in assists and reached the 1,000 mark for her career last week.

In just her junior volleyball season, Western Dubuque’s Madison Maahs has already reached the 1,000-assist mark in her high school career.

The Telegraph Herald Athlete of the Week led the state, regardless of class, with 418 assists heading into Tuesday night’s matches. The next closest was West Delaware’s Carlee Smith with 381.

“Madison is in her second year of running a 5-1 for us, and she is just a terrific leader,” Western Dubuque coach Megan Scherrman said. “She has to be one of the best setters in the state.”

Maahs said she was aware that she was close to the 1,000 assist milestone and is moving on to bigger goals.

“It’s a nice goal to accomplish, but now I’m on to the next one,” she said. “There’s a lot more left to do.”

Maahs got pulled up to varsity during her freshman season but didn’t see much playing time.

“I really used that as motivation for me,” Maahs said. “I watched and learned and did everything I could to make myself better.”

She entered her junior season with 947 assists after receiving second-team all-Mississippi Valley Conference honors as a sophomore.

“She’s extremely hard working and developed into one of our leaders last year,” Scherrman said. “She knows who to get the ball to and we look to her when we need a point. She is a smart player with a great deal of potential.”

Maahs said she enjoys the responsibilities that come associated with being the the team’s setter.

“Every person on the team has a role, and mine is to keep our energy up and make sure everyone is staying positive after every point,” she said. “I love the leadership role that I am in as the team’s setter. If one of my hitters is having an off night, I have to figure out how to help her get out of it. If one of my hitters is really on, I have to keep feeding her the ball.”

Maahs is also a member of the Western Dubuque basketball and track teams, and plays club volleyball during the offseason as well.

“She is extremely hard working with an amazing work ethic,”Scherrman said. “And she is a terrific student on top of it all.”

Added Maahs: “I have to give a shout out to my hitters. I couldn’t get to 1,000 without them. And to my coaches for all of their help and support. I’m so thankful for all of them.”