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A Prairie title tune-up

Osakis setter Mackenzie Staloch sets up to deliver an assist for one of her teammates during the Silverstreaks’ match against Browerville on Monday night. Staloch had 16 assists to go along with seven kills and 14 digs. The win for the Silverstreaks over the Tigers was their 21st of the regular season. (Echo Press photo by Eric Morken)

The Osakis volleyball team will take a little more momentum into tonight’s Section 6AA-North opener after rallying in the third set to sweep Browerville in the Prairie Conference title match on Monday night.

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The Tigers came in as the winners of the South Division at 8-2 with Osakis going 10-0 and winning the North. Both teams are recognized as champions of their respective divisions, but this was an opportunity to gain some bragging rights.

Osakis made sure it got that by winning 25-21, 25-12 and 26-24. The Tigers were one point away from forcing a fourth set before senior Annalise Savageau came to the serving line with her team trailing 24-18. She proceeded to serve eight straight points as Brooke Sorenson put the finishing touches on things with an emphatic kill that put Browerville away 26-24.

“Knowing her mentality, she doesn’t miss too many serves, especially at crucial points in time,” head coach Kirsten Wessel said of Savageau. “I was extremely confident that she was going to make it. I’m really confident in all our girls that do our serving for us, but of all people, she’s a senior and she’s also just a very smart server so I knew she could do it.”

The Silverstreaks used a dominant block to frustrate the Browerville offense, especially in the second set. Sorenson was the catalyst of that with eight blocks to go with the 12 kills she finished with. The Silverstreaks finished with 13 blocks total. “I think we have a pretty strong front row overall,” Sorenson said. “All of us can do good up there.”

Osakis definitely proved that against the Tigers. The Silverstreaks had four players finish with at least seven kills. Brittney Sadlemyer had nine. Savageau added eight to go along with 18 assists and 14 digs, and Mackenzie Staloch had seven kills, 16 assists and 14 digs.

Osakis trailed through the early portion of the first set but found a way to finish. The two teams were tied at 21 apiece before the Silverstreaks rallied off four straight points for the win. That set the tone for the night as they earned their 21st win of the season before welcoming in Long Prairie-Grey Eagle for the Section 6AA-North opener this Friday night.

“They had us down and we’ve always been able to come back and that’s one thing I like about this team,” Wessel said. “I knew we could do it as long as we kept serving the ball inbounds, and it’s nice to be able to come back and do that against a tough team.”

The win gives this team a little more confidence as the Silverstreaks get set to host Long Prairie-Grey Eagle in the 6AA-North opener tonight, Friday, at 7. Osakis is making the jump to AA after playing at the Class A level a year ago. The Streaks have positioned themselves well by earning the number two seed in the North with the possibility of hosting a second home playoff game next Tuesday if they can win tonight.

“We just have to keep playing how we are, good defense and keep our blocks up, which we did well tonight,” Savageau said. “That should help…I think [this win] will help into the tournament to keep our energy up and we should be able to do well.”

Osakis also has the comfort of having just played LPGE on October 15. The Silverstreaks won that match in three sets.

“We have to make sure we don’t overlook Long Prairie because they have nothing to lose,” Wessel said. “We need to come in strong.”

With a win, the Silverstreaks would have a possible matchup against third-seeded Melrose next Tuesday night at home. It would be a good challenge against an 18-8 Dutchmen team.

“We’ve seen them at JO tournaments,” Wessel said of Melrose. “We know that they have an outstanding hitter and setter, but we feel like we’re maybe a little more balanced and we may be able to conquer those one or two people.”

MATCH STATISTICS Osakis 3, Browerville 0

(25-21, 25-12, 26-24)

OSAKIS – Savageau – 8 kills, 18 assists, 1 ace, 14 digs; Madi Forsell – 2 kills, 2 digs, 3 blocks; Sorenson – 12 kills, 1 ace, 15 digs, 8 blocks; Staloch – 7 kills, 16 assists, 1 ace, 14 digs; Breanna Larson – 13 digs; Sadlemyer – 9 kills, 1 dig, 2 blocks; Abby Stroup – 8 digs; Alli Scherr – 1 ace, 12 digs; Ariel Chalmers – 4 digs; Taylor Spychalla – 1 kill, 1 assist, 2 digs

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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