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Tom Mix, Published November 04 2012

Oakes mother-daughter combination heads into final Region tourney together

Oakes, N.D. - The last name Warren and Oakes volleyball are synonymous.

It helps that Kathy Warren has been the only head coach in the team’s

21-year history, but that isn’t where the Warren family’s contributions to the program end.

There has been at least one Warren daughter on the Tornadoes’ roster the last 11 years.

That streak will end after the conclusion of this season. Senior middle blocker Nicole Warren is the last of Kathy and Don Warren’s three daughters to play on the team. Kristen and Michelle Warren preceded Nicole on the team.

“It is an emotional time coming down at the end of the season,” Kathy Warren said. “It is going to be very different next year that is for sure.”

Oakes hosted and won the North Dakota Class B, District 1 tournament last week and hosts the Region 1 tournament, which begins at 3 p.m. today at Oakes High School.

On top of the district title, Kathy and Nicole also shared the unique distinction of being named District 1 coach and senior athlete of the year.

Oakes (26-9) plays District 2 No. 4-seed Northern Cass in the quarterfinals and hope they play as well as they did last week in front of the home crowd.

“I did not realize how much it affected our team, but it has added to the whole hometown feel, having the crowd behind you,” Kathy Warren said. “It makes it more special, playing in front of our crowd and not having to travel is nice.”

Oakes has made it to the North Dakota Class B state tournament three times. Its last trip to state came in 2005 when Kristen Warren was a junior and Michelle Warren was a freshman.

Kristen followed her mother into the coaching ranks and is the head volleyball coach at Fairmount-Campbell-Tintah. She played one season of collegiate volleyball and also ran track and field at Concordia.

Michelle is a junior at Mayville State and plays on the Comets volleyball team.

Nicole Warren, who also plays basketball, has had a standout season this fall. She has broken three school records over the course of the season – most notably the all-time kills and digs records.

“Nicole is an all around-athlete,” Kathy Warren said. “She is definitely our team leader. I’m very proud of what Nicole has accomplished and what our team has accomplished this year.”

Nicole has 1,345 kills entering the region tournament and eclipsed the old mark of 1,140 set by Steph Savey in 2003. She also has 1,269 career digs which topped Cindy Nash’s 1,064 set in 2004.

“It has been a very special season,” Nicole Warren said. “Being a senior and getting to play for my mom as my coach has been special.

“As a team we have really got on a roll at the end of the year and it really working for us. We are just going with it.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562