Volleyball: Eden Valley-Watkins stops Osakis in four sets
The ninth-ranked Jaguars volleyball team was hard to slow down in a 3-0 sweep over Osakis
By Eric Morken
The Osakis volleyball team felt good about its chances to make a statement against ninth-ranked Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa on Monday night.
The Silverstreaks were playing some of their best volleyball of the season coming into the match. They were winners of seven of their last eight and coming off a 3-0 sweep over a 17-win Long Prairie-Grey Eagle team. On this night, though, the Jaguars showed how tough they can be once they get going in a 3-0 sweep.
“We knew they were good,” senior middle hitter Becka Sadlemyer said. “And we knew we had a chance due to the way we’ve been playing lately, beating Long Prairie the way we did. We just really came into it thinking highly, and maybe just too highly.”
Osakis played with plenty of confidence in the first set. The Silverstreaks stayed close from the get-go and almost battled back from a 24-20 deficit before falling 25-23. The Jaguars got into a rhythm from that point on, winning 25-14 in both the second and third sets to secure the match.
Osakis couldn’t slow down a BBE offense that found a nice groove through those final two sets. Hailey Braegelman worked the ball around to all her hitters for 36 assists. Brittany Roelike connected on 16 of those, while Becca Gruber and Kendra Braegelman added 11 and seven kills, respectively.
“It was hard,” Osakis’ Annalise Savageau said of trying to turn the momentum down the stretch. “We struggled with our blocking a little bit tonight. We’re usually pretty good at that, but we just couldn’t time it right.”
Defense wasn’t as much of a problem as generating opportunities at the net. Osakis struggled with that through long stretches on offense. That kept them on their heels as BBE was able to control the pace without the Silverstreaks getting many kill opportunities.
Sadlemyer finished with a team-high nine kills on the night. No other player finished with as many as five as Dani Chisholm collected four and Madison Forsell and Savageau each had three.
“One, I think our passing just wasn’t really on tonight,” head coach Kirsten Wessel said. “So that’s always going to be tough for the setters. Second of all, as we did set tight on the net, they have a good block up, and it’s hard to hit over a good block like that. We need to be able to get the sets up so we can really swing through and just be a little bit more aggressive.”
Being the aggressors will be important if Osakis meets the Jaguars again in a few weeks. The two teams will enter the 5A West tournament as two of the top teams in the subsection. The Silverstreaks know they can’t let BBE get into an extended rhythm if they want to give themselves a chance in a potential rematch.
“Game three there was about four, five plays in a row where they were just clicking and Braegelman just nailed one to the floor and kept them on fire,” Wessel said. “If we can keep them out of system and keep them from getting the ball set up like that, we can do a much better job in making them create errors. So I think we just need to do a better job of being confident and being aggressive at the net.”
BBE 3, Osakis 0
(25-23, 25-14, 25-14)
OSAKIS – Sadlemyer – 9 kills, 1 assist, 2 blocks; Mariah Backes – 1 kill, 3 assists, 6 digs; Chisholm – 4 kills, 1 ace, 17 digs; Brooke Sorenson – 2 kills, 1 dig, 3 blocks; Savageau – 3 kills, 7 assists, 1 ace, 12 digs; Rachelle Rajdl – 7 digs; Tayler Waldvogel – 25 digs; Ariel Chalmers – 1 dig; Josapha Haider – 2 digs; Mackenzie Staloch – 2 kills, 2 assists, 1 ace, 3 digs; Forsell – 3 kills, 1 ace, 4 digs