Madison 3-Sporter Wall Soars in Every Season

January 25, 2019

By Doug Donnelly
Special for Second Half

ADRIAN – How good of a senior year is Kaiya Wall having?

In the fall, Wall again earned all-state honors after leading Adrian Madison to 47 victories, conference and District championships, and she signed a letter of intent to play Division I volleyball after high school.

This winter, her Madison basketball team is 8-0, ranked among the state’s 10 best Division 3 teams by The Associated Press and sitting atop the Tri-County Conference.

What’s more amazing is her best might still be yet to come. Wall figures to be an anchor on a Madison girls track squad that has won 87 consecutive Tri-County Conference dual meets and could be an MHSAA title contender this spring.

“I don’t know if she has a ‘best’ sport,” said Madison track coach Josh Powers. “She is pretty darn good at all three she is playing.”

Wall is one of those rare athletes who can jump from sport to sport without skipping a beat. In the summer, she would split time between summer basketball and travel volleyball.

She is the third-leading scorer on Madison’s undefeated basketball team heading into tonight’s TCC clash with Ottawa Lake Whiteford. She also is one of top defenders on a suffocating Trojans defense giving up just 24.3 points per game. Three of Madison’s last four opponents have been held to 20 or fewer points.

Wall missed basketball season last year due to an injury, but her return this year has solidified the Trojans on the court.

“Kaiya has made a tremendous impact on our team this season,” Madison basketball coach Rick McNeil said. “She is very quick and has become an outstanding defender.”

Wall also has improved on the offensive end. McNeil said that has been the biggest difference for her.

“She has developed her ball handling skills, and we are able to move her to the guard position where she is a match-up problem for many teams because of her height and speed,” McNeil said. “She is an excellent passer and has the ability to hit the perimeter shot.”

Playing volleyball in college was far from a slam dunk decision. She also was recruited for track.

“I struggled deciding between track and volleyball,” Wall said. “I’ve gone on visits for both. I knew I wanted to play something in college. When I fell in love with that campus, I just decided I wanted to play volleyball.”

Wall was the Lenawee County volleyball player of the year as a junior and has earned second-team all-state honors three years running. She finished her career just shy of 2,000 kills and signed to play collegiately at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi.

During her career she played in 545 sets, compiling 1,986 kills, 933 digs and 280 blocks – strong numbers for a girl who didn’t play competitive volleyball until seventh grade and only after friends talked her into it.

“I was terrible,” she said. “I was this tall, skinny girl, and they were like, ‘OK, you can play.’”

Her friends made a smart choice. Wall blossomed into a 5-foot-11 outside hitter.

“When I first met Kaiya, she was very raw with so much natural athleticism,” said Kathy Albers, now the head coach at Ypsilanti Lincoln who at one time coached Wall in travel volleyball. “She just needed to be taught and for someone to believe in her – but push her. After her first year of club with us, the talent was so apparent.

“She improved so much faster than most. Her height plus her jumping ability makes her tough at the net, and her quickness makes up for everything else.”

At Madison, Wall played for Dawn Opsal for her first three years and Kelsey Cortright this past season. Cortright stepped into the Madison job and saw first-hand Wall’s athleticism and leadership ability.

“Most importantly, she puts her team before herself,” Cortright said. “She is selfless and encouraging to all those around her, making her a role model for others both on and off the court. Outside of her abilities as a team leader, her athletic ability is remarkable.”

Jackson State coaches noticed that ability before ever seeing her in person. They found out about her by viewing a highlight video she had posted online. They reached out, and she went to Mississippi for a visit and fell in love with the campus and volleyball program.

Another criteria that helped her choose Jackson State was its academics. Wall has a 3.93 grade-point average and ranks 12th in her senior class at Madison.

“I plan on going into pre-med,” she said. “I want to be a trauma surgeon. They have a very good program.”

Had she not become enamored with the volleyball program, she might have been a track signee.

Wall won the Division 3 Finals 100-meter hurdles title as a freshman. As a sophomore she helped Madison win the team championship by finishing second in the high jump. Last year she was ninth in the high jump, second in the 100 hurdles and on the runner-up 1,600 relay team as the Trojans placed seventh as a team.

Powers, who will be inducted into the Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame next week in Lansing, said Wall is determined.

“She takes advice and works on it,” he said. “I am, and I think she is, expecting her best track season yet.”

Doug Donnelly has served as a sports and news reporter and city editor over 25 years, writing for the Daily Chief-Union in Upper Sandusky, Ohio from 1992-1995, the Monroe Evening News from 1995-2012 and the Adrian Daily Telegram since 2013. He's also written a book on high school basketball in Monroe County and compiles record books for various schools in southeast Michigan. E-mail him at [email protected] with story ideas for Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe counties.

PHOTOS: (Top) Adrian Madison’s Kaiya Wall works to deflect a shot this season against Clinton. (Middle) Wall serves during a Division 3 Volleyball Semifinal in 2016.

Breslin Bound: 2023-24 Girls Report Week 12

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

February 26, 2024

February is nearly at its end, and the girls basketball regular season will finish this week as well. And, of course, anticipation couldn't be higher for what's next as the calendar turns to March.

MI Student Aid

We have a much clearer picture of how this season's MHSAA Tournament will begin to unfold as District brackets were announced Sunday – find them all on the Brackets page. But keep in mind as well, several teams still have much to play for this week, and actually over the next four days, as almost all of our teams will finish up their regular-season schedules by the end of Thursday.

“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at

Week in Review

The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:

1. Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard 54, Detroit Renaissance 39 The Irish (21-0) moved within a win of a perfect regular season by defeating the Phoenix (18-3) in the Operation Friendship league champions matchup.

2. Detroit Edison 57, Belleville 46 The Pioneers (16-2) will enter the Division 2 tournament among favorites again, further bolstered by this victory over the Division 1 Tigers (18-2).

3. Goodrich 44, Flushing 26 The Martians (21-0) also are one win from a perfect regular season, and one of those Division 2 contenders, coming off this Flint Metro League Tournament championship clincher over Flushing (14-8).

4. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 45, Jackson Lumen Christi 31 The Eaglets (20-0) are closing in on a possible perfect regular season as well after finishing a Catholic High School League Cardinal Tournament title run against the Titans (17-5).

5. Bark River-Harris 52, Munising 31 The Broncos (20-1) secured an outright championship in the Skyline Central Conference Large schools division by winning this matchup of co-leaders entering the game, with Munising (16-4) finishing runner-up.

Plainwell's Brooklyn Timpe (13) works to wall off Otsego's Audrey Lingbeek during the Bulldogs' 41-37 win earlier this month.

Watch List

With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:


Clarkston (15-6) The Wolves have hovered between Nos. 10-20 on the Division 1 MPR list over the last five weeks before bumping up to No. 8 heading into this one. They’ve played tough teams and won key games, the most notable victory lately 53-27 over Rochester Hills Stoney Creek (14-5) to avenge a 43-38 loss three weeks earlier. The other defeats have come to West Bloomfield (18-1) twice, Lake Orion (12-7) by a point, Detroit Country Day (15-5) and Chelsea (17-4) – and Clarkston has six wins over opponents with at least 14 victories, the most recent 50-33 last week over Royal Oak (14-6).

Grand Blanc (16-3) The Bobcats have won three straight District titles and sit a combined 65-17 over the last three-plus seasons, and they’ve created an opportunity to win their first Saginaw Valley League championship during this run of success. Grand Blanc will host Midland Dow on Tuesday in a winner-take-all for the SVL title, as neither has lost a conference game. The Bobcats are riding an 11-game winning streak, with their defeats to Goodrich (21-0), Lake Fenton (15-6) and Hartland (14-7). A 47-46 win over Flint Powers Catholic (17-13) on Feb. 6 factored significantly in creating this championship chance.


Vicksburg (17-2) The Bulldogs – 23-1 last season – added an exclamation point to another strong run by handing Portage Central (17-1) its only loss of the season last week, 47-33. Vicksburg did the same to Niles Brandywine (18-1) on Feb. 6, winning 46-38, which followed a 53-49 win over Paw Paw (18-2). That win over the Red Wolves avenged a 60-50 loss during the season’s first week, and has Vicksburg atop the Wolverine Conference with a share of the league title and a chance to clinch it outright Thursday against Otsego. The Bulldogs’ only other loss was 47-31 to Coldwater (17-3) on Jan. 30 – and Vicksburg bounced back for the Paw Paw and Brandywine wins over their next two games.

Williamston (16-4) The Hornets are winners of 12 straight games and took back the Capital Area Activities Conference Red championship after finishing runner-up to Haslett a year ago. Williamston swept the Vikings (14-7), winning 45-43 and then 57-38, and also owns a 44-34 victory over Ovid-Elsie (18-2) during this nearly two-month run. A 4-4 start surely provided some prep for this success, with the losses to Howell (15-6), Lansing Catholic (16-4), DeWitt (19-2) and Chelsea (17-4) – and Chelsea and Haslett both are on the other side of the bracket from Williamston at the Division 2 District at Fowlerville.


Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (18-3) The Kestrels won their first Huron League championship since sharing the title in 2017-18, and clinched this one outright by defeating Monroe Jefferson in the league finale as co-leader Riverview lost to Flat Rock by a point to move into second place. SMCC doubled their win total between 2021-22 and 2022-23, from nine to 18, and the Kestrels can surpass that this season with a victory over Ida on Thursday. Their losses were to Temperance Bedford (18-2), Carleton Airport (13-7) and Grosse Ile (12-9), and SMCC avenged the Airport defeat during this current eight-game winning streak that’s also seen victories over Riverview (15-4) and Flat Rock (13-7).

Sandusky (19-1) The Wolves claimed a fourth-straight Greater Thumb Conference East championship, avenging their lone loss – 30-26 to Harbor Beach on Jan. 2 – by defeating Harbor Beach 36-23 in the rematch Jan. 25. Six more wins have come against teams with 11 or more victories this season, with a chance to add to that list this week against Cass City and Caro before jumping into the District at Vassar as the top seed. Of the Wolves’ 19 wins, 15 have come by double digits.


Clarkston Everest Collegiate (13-4) The Mountaineers finished second in the CHSL Intersectional #1 this winter, but defeated champion Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood 46-30 on Saturday to claim the league’s St. Anne Tournament title. The victory also avenged two four-point losses to the Cranes (14-4), and Everest’s other defeats were to two more Division 2 teams, Macomb Lutheran North and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (20-0). The Mountaineers will be the top seed at Auburn Hills Oakland Christian as they seek to win a third-straight District title.

Mio (17-4) Statewide eyes have turned toward 140-student Mio, which didn’t field a varsity in 2021-22, came back and finished 5-16 last winter and has jumped to 17-4 and a shared championship in the North Star League Big Dipper this season. A lot of that attention has come with freshman Mia McGregor, who according to a Bay City Times story from last week was averaging 39.3 ppg at the time. Mio defeated Bay City All Saints (16-4) that night, 61-52, and also has a win over Big Dipper co-champ Oscoda (16-4).

Can’t-Miss Contests

Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up: 

Tuesday – Midland Dow (18-2) at Grand Blanc (16-3) – As noted above, the winner will be the outright Saginaw Valley League champion, and Dow is seeking its second league title over three seasons.

Tuesday – Belleville (18-2) vs. Howell (15-6) at Northville – The winners of the KLAA East and West, respectively, face off for the overall championship.

Tuesday – Frankenmuth (18-2) at Lansing Catholic (16-4) – Frankenmuth starts a substantial final week of the regular season with this rematch of last year’s Division 2 Final, won by the Cougars, before taking on Detroit Edison on Thursday.

Tuesday – Muskegon (16-4) at Grand Rapids West Catholic (20-1) – These champions of the O-K Green and Blue, respectively, should give each other a nice test before they pursue postseason aspirations in Divisions 1 and 2, respectively.

Thursday – Colon (19-2) at Mendon (18-2) – The Magi own a share of the Southern Central Athletic Association West title thanks to a 54-31 win on Jan. 18, but Mendon can finish with the other share by avenging that defeat.'s weekly “Breslin Bound” previews and reviews are powered by MI Student Aid, a division within the Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP). MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

PHOTOS (Top) Goodrich's Kayla Hairston leads her team on a break during a 61-48 win over Lake Fenton on Feb. 16. (Middle) Plainwell's Brooklyn Timpe (13) works to wall off Otsego's Audrey Lingbeek during the Bulldogs' 41-37 win Feb. 16. (Top photo by Terry Lyons; middle photo by Gary Shook.)