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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The Osakis volleyball team got a confidence-boosting win on Thursday night as the Silverstreaks beat a team that sits second in the current 6AA-North QRF rankings. Pierz (19-7) came to town as one of the top teams in the subsection with Sauk Centre (25-2). Osakis (13-9) is currently sixth among the eight teams in that same field, but the Silverstreaks showed what they're capable of when they are at their best. Osakis won the match in four sets, 23-25, 25-23, 25-19 and 25-16.
Six down, two to go. The road to a perfect regular season for the Alexandria football program goes through a 4-2 Rocori team on Friday night as the Cardinals take to the road for the second straight week. Alexandria won't take the Spartans lightly after they spoiled the Cardinals' homecoming last season in a 24-15 game. The Spartans went all the way to the Class 4A state semifinals in 2015 and are having another nice season after beating Bemidji 27-7 last week.
The Minnewaska tennis team has come up big at the biggest moments in the Section 6A Tournament the last two seasons, and nothing changed this fall. The Lakers once again proved to be the best of the field in winning the section title with a 6-1 win over Osakis on Wednesday in Sartell. It's the third straight trip to the state tournament for this Lakers program.
VOLLEYBALL Alexandria at St. Cloud Apollo, 7 p.m. Osakis vs. Pierz, 7:30 p.m. Brandon-Evansville at Underwood, 7:15 p.m. Minnewaska at BOLD, 7 p.m. Parkers Prairie at Rothsay, 7:15 p.m. BOYS...
The Alexandria boys and girls soccer teams know where they will open up the playoffs after the 8A subsections were set by the QRF on Wednesday. The Alexandria girls (6-6-4) got the third seed in the North half and will host sixth-seeded West Ottertail United (3-9-1) at 7 p.m. on Thursday at AAHS. The winner of that game takes on the winner of second-seeded Detroit Lakes (8-7-1) and seventh-seeded Crookston (2-13-1) at the high seed on Saturday. East Grand Forks (9-4-3) got the first seed in the North, while Sartell-St. Stephen (10-4-2) is the top seed in the South half.
HALL OF FAMERS Alexandria natives Angie Converse-Grove and Stacey Niedenfuer-Crosby are members of the 2016 Hall of Fame Classes this year.
The Osakis volleyball team wrapped up the Prairie Conference championship on Tuesday night after sweeping Long Prairie-Grey Eagle on the road. The Silverstreaks (12-9, 9-1 Prairie) took care of things with relative ease, winning 25-17, 25-18, 25-17 to finish as the only one-loss team in either the North or South half of the league standings. Senior Kayla Sorenson led the way with 14 kills and six blocks at the net. Morgan Staloch added seven kills, while Hannah Lien had a team-high 17 assists and Staloch had seven digs.
The Alexandria volleyball team ran into the top team in the Central Lakes Conference on Tuesday night and fell in a 3-0 sweep at the hands of Rocori (21-4, 10-0 CLC). The Spartans got 15 kills and 17 assists from Eleanor Holthaus as they secured 25-15, 25-19 and 25-20 wins. Morgan Holthaus finished with 17 assists and added six kills herself. The Cardinals (8-16, 4-6 CLC) got nine of their 30 kills from McKenzie Duwenhoegger. Abby Pohlen added six and Tori Jesertiz and Jordyn Lamb each added five. Kayla Feldhake had 30 assists, and Syri Williams had a team-leading 14 digs.
The Brandon-Evansville volleyball team was a point away from a sweep on Tuesday night. Instead, the Chargers gave fans in Parkers Prairie a much more dramatic ending between two of the top three teams in the Little Eight Conference. Brandon-Evansville won the first two sets 25-15 and 25-20. The Chargers seemed to have all the momentum at that point after ending set two on an 18-7 run.
The Alexandria boys soccer team ran into one of the best teams in Class AA on Monday night as the St. Cloud Tech Tigers dropped the Cardinals 5-0 in the final game of the regular season for both teams. Tech (16-0, 11-0 CLC) got two goals from Ali Abdirahman and one apiece from Faisal Deqow, Edgar Waldusky and Ahmed Hussein. The Tigers controlled the pace of play, allowing just two shots for the Cardinals that were turned away by Bryan Helminick in the shutout.