Volleyball Roundup: Ogichidaa serving past foesThe Ogichidaa players again served their way past their opponent in a 3-1 victory over the Home School Hurricanes Tuesday night at the small tribal school in Cloquet.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Standing a hair under 5-foot-5, Fond du Lac Ojibwe senior Shana Peacock is a good representative of the average Ogichidaa high school volleyball player this fall: Short, with a super serve.
The Ogichidaa players again served their way past their opponent in a 3-1 victory over the Home School Hurricanes Tuesday night at the small tribal school in Cloquet. It was the fifth win of the season for the Ogichidaa (5-2) with their serves being their lethal weapon of choice and their lack of height never a concern.
“I don’t think anybody exceeds 5-7,” Peacock, a setter, said with a laugh after Tuesday’s win. “But we just go out and play. We’ve done pretty well already this season and once we get going, we’re pretty good.”
A tiny tribal program that 29th-year Coach Dale Sautbine helped create in 1983, FDL has put together its best season start in recent memory. In addition to the Hurricanes, the Ogichidaa have defeated the Red Storm, Lac Courte Oreilles, Indus and Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School in just two weeks of play.
“We’re playing a lot of volleyball and playing hard; we’re tired,” said Sautbine, who is assisted by Shawn Boyd. “The thing is, though, everybody is working well together – not getting down – and praising each other. We’re playing just good all-around volleyball, exactly how it’s supposed to be played.”
Sautbine noted that serving has been the centerpiece of his young team. He said Peacock, fellow senior setter Jaelisa Northrup, junior middle hitter Faryn Wilson and standout freshman outside hitter Jocelyn Sayers all contributed on Tuesday. Eleven players make up the varsity team, also featuring seniors Kaitlyn Miller, Samantha LaDeaux, Natasha Reynolds and Skye Blacketter.
“We just have a fun team this year,” said Sautbine about a squad that usually starts slow and, Tuesday night, won the final three consecutive sets. “Quite a few people were in attendance tonight, too. The girls liked that.”
FDL will next host Nah Ah Shing and Maranatha Academy Thursday and Friday night among a string of upcoming home matches in Cloquet. The annual highlight will be at the First Nations Tournament Oct. 27 in Red Lake, Minn.
“We took second last year, but our goal is to win it and take first this year,” said Peacock, who has been playing volleyball since seventh grade. “I think we get looked at as an underdog a lot, but we’re doing well and having fun this year.”
Barnum (1-6) battled but fell 3-1 at Polar League for Silver Bay Tuesday on the North Shore. The Bombers, which have only beaten neighbor Wrenshall this fall, continue to improve behind season leaders MJ Anderson, Kelsey Wickstrom, Lauren Hultgren and Sage Miletich.
Carlton (8-3) continues to rack up wins, sweeping Polar League visitor Two Harbors Tuesday in Carlton. Bouncing back from a sweeping loss at Cook County last week, the Bulldogs were guided by Jessie Stanslaski, Macy Belich and Grace Macor’s multiple kills, backing Hannah Benson’s 13 set assists against the struggling, single-win Agates.
Cromwell-Wright (7-3) has caught fire, winning three straight, including a 3-1 Polar League victory at Floodwood Tuesday. Ann Collman collected 11 kills, Allie Cahoon tossed 14 set assists and Christina Stenson added nine digs for the Cardinals, which haven’t lost in over a week.
Moose Lake-Willow River (5-11) is still struggling, having lost 10 of their last 11 matches. Most recently swept by Polar League leader Esko Tuesday on the road, the Rebels were paced by Karina Cisar in kills, Miranda Jacobson in set assists and, defensively, by Haley Johnson in digs.
Wrenshall (3-7) hasn’t won in over two weeks, yet wore into Cook County in a 3-1 Polar League defeat Tuesday in Grand Marais. Sisters Chloe and Tatum Swanson led the Wrens with 11 digs and 10 kills total, while Brittney O’Brien and Shanna Laveau tallied 16 digs together in the loss.
FDLTCC (2-6) fought to their first Minnesota College Athletic Conference win this season by topping Vermilion 3-1 Monday in Ely. The Thunder, which also beat the Ironwomen Sept. 11, were sparked by double-doubles from Kourtney Karppinen, Marita Yellowhammer and Kaitlyn Psick.