8-5 Osseo spikers get ready for second half of the season

Osseo finished off the first half of the season with an 8-5 record overall and a 4-1 record in Northwest Suburban Conference volleyball.

The Orioles finished off their non-conference schedule with a trip up to Nevis Sept. 8. Nevis finished second in the 2011 Class A state tournament and is led by Concordia St Paul recruit Riley Hanson.

Phillis Webb gives Osseo a big boost when she returns from an injury. (Photos by Rich Moll)
Phillis Webb gives Osseo a big boost when she returns from an injury. (Photos by Rich Moll)

Osseo made this a team building/bonding trip up north. They headed up on Friday night and had a short practice at Nevis high school before taking a hayride to the Nevis football game. Then the teams chatted around a bon fire at the In We Go Resort on the 8th Crow Wing.

The next morning the two teams met up for breakfast at the local cafe before battling it out in the gym. Nevis avenged last year’s loss by defeating the Orioles 3-1.

Junior setter Megan Pekarek directs the Osseo offense in a recent match.
Junior setter Megan Pekarek directs the Osseo offense in a recent match.

The Orioles returned home from Nevis and had to prepare for rivalry week. Osseo hosted district rival Park Center Sept. 11 and prevailed 25-17, 25-16, 25-15. On the night Megan Pekarek did an outstanding job of spreading out the offense and chipped in four dump kills. Jackie Jones and Hannah Pekarek each had 6 kills and Shiah Sanders added 5 more. Senior Captain Phillis Webb returned to the line up for the first time this season because of a stress fracture in her leg to chip in two kills.

Two nights later, Osseo drove south on 81 to battle the Maple Grove Crimson. Maple Grove was 7-2 overall and 2-1 in the NWSC going into the match but Osseo came away with a 25-15, 25-19 and 25-19 win.

In game one Osseo jumped out to a 7-2 lead behind kills from Jones and Webb and 2 aces from Megan Pekarek. Maple Grove climbed back to close the lead to 8-7. Osseo went on another run to extend the lead to 15-8 with kills from Janay Morton, Sanders, and Hannah Pekarek. Maple Grove never threatened the rest of the way in game one but Osseo closed it out on a Morton kill.

Hannah Pekarek provides solid all-around play for the Orioles.
Hannah Pekarek provides solid all-around play for the Orioles.

In game two Osseo started off where they left off and shot out to a 16-4 lead with a huge run on Jones’ serve. With the offense working on all cylinders, four players combined for 10 kills on the opening run. Maple Grove found their rhythm and battled back to close the gap to 21-16 but the Orioles sealed a 25-19 win on a Jones kill and a Webb block.

Game three was a battle from the start. Maple Grove went out to an early lead until Osseo tied it at 13 on a Sanders kill. Maple Grove tied it up at 15 and Osseo took the lead for good on a Morton kill. Osseo extended the lead to 23-17 behind two blocks and two kills from Webb and held on for a 25-21 win.

On the night Jazlynn Tanielu set the tone defensively with some great digs and solid serve receive. The offense was led by Jones with 10 kills. Sanders and Webb added 9 each. Webb also had four blocks.

The Orioles went to Farmington’s 16-team tournament and opened with No. 16 Prior Lake. The Orioles held an 11-10 lead in the decisive third game, but could not hold the lead and lost 12-15. Prior Lake went on to take second place in the tournament.

The Orioles then fell to Lakeville South in the second round. Osseo then faced off with White Bear Lake in the third round and took care of business 25-12, 25-12.

In the last round of the day Osseo finished the day on a high note defeating St. Charles 25-11, 25-18.

Junior setter Megan Pekarek was named to the All-Tournament team.

A key four-game win over Andover finished off the first half of season. In this rivalry Osseo last beat Andover in 2003 behind Krista VandeVenter and Holly Price so last Thursday’s win ended an eight-year drought.

Game one started with Andover taking a 5-0 lead on four Osseo errors. Osseo chipped away at the lead and tied it up at 12 on a Morton block. The Orioles capped an 8-3 run to make it 20-15 on a Megan Pekarek ace and held on for a 25-18 game one victory on a Sanders kill.

In game two Andover once again came out strong and took an 11-6 lead. Osseo slowly cut into the lead and got it to 22-22 on a Megan Pekarek kill. Andover went on to win game two 25-23 taking advantage of three Osseo errors to close out the game.

Game three was a battle from start to finish. When Webb tied the score at 14-14 on a thunderous kill, it was the 12th tie of game three. Osseo took the lead for good after that kill and went on to win game three on a Megan Pekarek kill 25-23.

The teams again battled back and forth in game four as a sideout battle until Andover took a short-lived lead at 11-8. A Morton and Megan Pekarek double block gave Sanders and the Orioles the serve back. Sanders would go on to run off 11 straight points to give Osseo a 20-11 lead before Andover could side out. Osseo went on to end their eight-year drought against Andover and took game four 25-15.

This week Osseo only has one match at Elk River Thursday before their second have schedule gets really hectic with 12 matches from Oct 2 – Oct 20.