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Oakes commits to Crookston

CLOQUET —Alex Oakes isn’t your typical northwestern Minnesota farmer, but the Cloquet junior is the latest to commit to the University of Minnesota-Crookston’s volleyball crop.

Oakes, who has played on the Lumberjacks varsity since seventh grade, verbally committed to the Golden Eagles last Friday, as the 5-foot-8 setter will continue her career with the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Division II program with still her senior season ahead.

“Volleyball has always been in my life,” Oakes said after school Tuesday, adding her father, Greg, introduced her to the sport in fifth grade. “If anyone says ‘Let’s go play,’ I’ll go.”

The decorated Oakes has surely made Cloquet go over her five years, most recently helping lead the Lumberjacks to the Section 7AA final last fall.

Oakes, also a fourth-year member of the Minnesota North Junior Olympic volleyball club in the offseason, said she will redshirt for the Golden Eagles for her freshman year in 2015.

Majoring in elementary education and seeking coaching, Oakes is eager for her opportunity at a university set four hours west on Highway 2 and 30 minutes from North Dakota.

“It’s very flat and windy,” Oakes said, “but I’m excited.”