Playing on all cylinders

What to look for as the Huskies push forward

Nathan Deason , Writer

 

Young talent with senior leadership is the story for Owatonna Huskies Volleyball. The Huskies, sitting at an overall record of 15-­10, are coming off wins against Buffalo, Andover, Minneapolis Southwest and a loss to Bemidji in the St. Michael­ Albertville tournament, as well as a home win against Albert Lea on Oct. 13. The Huskies wrap up their season with a trio of games in the next two weeks. First, they match up for a conference game against Albert Lea at home on Oct. 13. Then, they host Bethlehem Academy for an out of conference game on Oct. 19. The Huskies wrap up their regular season as they travel to Austin High School for their final Big 9 matchup on Oct. 22. This year, the Huskies’ Varsity roster consists of twelve girls. However, only three of the twelve are seniors. Captains Carli Langeland and Elise Oppegard, along with Karissa Hilstad make up Owatonna Volleyball’s 2016 graduating class. Junior Lexi Langeland and sophomores Syd Schultz and Olivia Spatenka played key roles last season, and the story is the same this year. Statistically, the Huskies light up the scorecard across the Big 9 conference. Lexi Langeland secures a Top 5 spot in both attack­kills and total blocks. Her older sister, Carli Langeland, tops 5 in serving aces. Oppegard tops the leaderboard in the Big 9 for total blocks, while teammates Karissa Gregory and Schultz also crack the Top 5. Complete stats across the Big 9 can be found at Maxpreps.com. After their final regular season game at Austin, the Huskies have their eyes set on the section tournament. Wins in their last games could be crucial and give them the energy boost and positive attitude every team envys going into the post­season. Carli Langeland said, “Practices have become more intense and our team chemistry needs to be at a maximum.” After a five day break, sections begin on Oct. 28, and conclude on Nov. 7, at the Rochester Civic Center. The winner of the section 1AAA tournament will punch their ticket to this year’s Minnesota State Volleyball Tournament division AAA at the Excel Energy Center Nov. 12­14. Langeland also stated, “We can’t lose to teams that we know we’re better than.” That will be key as the Huskies continue to stride to their ultimate goal. The last time Owatonna made the state tournament was 2012.