By Bob San
Although the 2017 Osseo High volleyball team has an almost brand new roster, developing team chemistry will not be an issue for Oriole coach Mandi Burian.
The reason is that many of the Orioles have played volleyball together since they were little. Burian is hoping that this familiarity with each other will help the Orioles overcome their inexperience.
“We have a young, inexperienced team (with only one senior) that really gets along well,” she said. “Most of them have played together, just not at the varsity level.”
The only returning varsity starters are junior outside hitter and captain Kate Achenbach and sophomore libero Taylor Quan.
“They form a strong base for our defense,” Burian said.
Two newcomers to varsity filling leadership roles are senior captain and setter Aleah Techam and junior captain outside hitter Kelsie Sealock.
“Aleah is doing a great job leading part of the offense and Kelsie is a new starting force that really sparks a lot of energy for the team,” Burian said.
Other members of the varsity squad are juniors Hannah Carmon, Emily Rossing, Emily Arends and Corissa Fuhrman, sophomore Lindy Oujiri and ninth grader Riley Stichter.
The young Orioles showed early that they will be a competitive team. They rallied from a 0-2 deficit to defeat a top 15 team in Waconia in the season opener. Oujiri led Osseo with 17 kills.
“We started off with a fight after being down 0-2 against Waconia,” Burian said. “The team just proved that they can stay together and compete. We have good ball control, which will help us in tight games. We are really excited for a growing and fun season.”
The Orioles went on to lose to St. Michael-Albertville and beat Park Center. They next visit Andover Thursday, Sept. 14, and host Maple Grove Tuesday, Sept. 19.
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