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Wrens fly past Ogichidaag in three

Two of the smaller local high schools -- the Wrenshall Wrens and Fond du Lac Ogichidaag -- hooked up in volleyball action Tuesday night in Wrenshall. Wrenshall took a 3-0 home win over Fond du Lac and in doing so improved to 4-3 on the season.

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Wrenshall sophomore Ashley Johnson gets a kill during Tuesday night's volleyball match againsst Fond du Lac Ojibwe. Wrenshall defeated the Ogichidaag in three straight sets. Dave Harwig/news@pinejournal.com

Two of the smaller local high schools - the Wrenshall Wrens and Fond du Lac Ogichidaag - hooked up in volleyball action Tuesday night in Wrenshall. Wrenshall took a 3-0 home win over Fond du Lac and in doing so improved to 4-3 on the season.

“The game went well and the girls worked together and communicated well,” said Wrens coach Denise North. “The game was a home game for us and the fans for both teams were very supportive of their teams.”

Wrenshall won 25-10, 25-19 and 25-10 and had solid play throughout its lineup.

“We started the game at a slow pace,” said FDL coach Dale Sautbine. “We fell behind 20-2 before we started playing team volleyball.”

The Wrens had their game faces on early and raced to the big win in game one, but the Ogichidaag fought back in game two to make things interesting.

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“That second game was back and forth until Wrenshall took the game,” Sautbine said. “Even though our girls never give up, they get easily frustrated with their play. As coaches, we try to keep things positive and fun and instill in the girls that good things will come.”

While FDL was struggling offensively, the Wrens got solid play from their entire squad, which is a trademark of this season’s team.

“Our entire team played well and there wasn't really any one standout player,” explained North. “That is a strength of this team. Some girls have advantages on offense, some make a difference serving and playing defense. They are well rounded for how young they are.”

The Wrens start five sophomores on this year’s team and they don’t appear to be phased by their youthfulness.

“Yes, five 10th-graders start and they seem to be doing well,” said North after the game Tuesday. “They have made the mistakes that you would expect from young players, but they all try and not make the same mistakes over and over, so that is great.”

The Wrens got a 10-kill performance from Cheyanne Carlson. Emily Adkins added three blocks, Liberty Bauer chipped in with five ace serves, Paige Johnson recorded 12 set assists, and Abby Belcastro had 13 digs in the back row.

Fond du Lac continues to make inroads and the team members are working hard to get better as a group.

“We are 0-6. Despite the loss we are making positive gains in all-around play,” Sautbine said. “Our serving is strong from McKenzie Angell, Katelyn Stapleton and Tamara Marineau.”

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Despite being a young squad, the Wrens had lofty expectations coming into the season including being over .500 for the season. At this point they appear to be well on their way to accomplishing that goal.

“Eight of our 10 girls played this past summer in the Esko League together, which helped them get some court time,” North said. “Also, six of the 10 girls are involved with the Junior Olympic program which had them playing volleyball outside the season. They want to be better and that helps them work better as a unit.”

On Monday the Wrens will make the long trip to Grand Marais to play a Cook County team which is 6-3 on the season. On Thursday they host Cromwell-Wright, which is 5-2 this season.

Coming up next for the Ogichidaag will be Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School on Tuesday and Indus on Friday, as FDL looks to get its first win of the season.

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