by Bob San
Osseo-Maple Grove Sports
The Maple Grove volleyball team’s post-season run ended in a Section 5 quarterfinal loss to top-seeded Osseo Thursday, Oct. 24.
The Crimson were riding a nine-match winning streak after their four-set victory over Rogers in the section first round. But they ran into a skilled and balanced Osseo team and the result was a quick three-set defeat.
“It was not the showing I was looking for from the team,” Crimson coach Sean Haugen said. “We did play better in the second set, but unfortunately it was not enough.”
While disappointed his team could not make a better showing against Osseo, Haugen was pleased with his young team’s play during the season.
“The season overall was very good for us,” he said. “We finished with a 19-10 overall record, a very good record for my first year as the head coach.”
Three Crimson enjoyed strong seasons.
Senior Kayla Crane finished with 204 kills and a .334 hitting percentage, had 361 assists, 30 service aces and 116 digs.
Sophomore middle hitter Lauren Bright had 155 kills and a .416 hitting percentage. She led the state in solo blocks with 83 and finished in the top four in total blocks with 100.
Junior libero Amber Demenge led the conference in total digs with 515 for the regular season and ended the season with 564 total digs. She also set a new record for digs for a match with 45 digs against Rogers in sections.
The Crimson will lose Crane, Kelsey Botkin, Courtney Medick and Taylor Johnson to graduation but will return a good nucleus of young players.
“We have lots of room for improvement and I like some of the young players that can make an impact in the future,” Haugen said. “I really enjoyed my first season running the program and look forward to next year.”