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Tom Mix, Published November 14 2012

Transfer tandem helps lead Davies to state

Fargo - The Fargo Davies volleyball team is only in its third season as a program, so “new” is not exactly a foreign concept to the Eagles.

Every high school team goes through roster turnover year to year, but this fall, Davies’ lineup got a jolt with the addition of two transfer athletes – senior Kali Erickson and junior Katelyn Olson.

Erickson – a 5-foot-10 outside hitter – transferred from Newport News, Va., after her father accepted a position at Sanford Health. Olson – a 6-foot setter – arrived from Grand Forks Central this summer after her father, Todd, was named activities director for Fargo Public Schools.

“That has been the fun part about this team,” Davies head coach Heather Stuberg said. “Everything is brand new.

“Kali coming in to be that powerful, go-to hitter was big for us, and anytime you have a returning all-conference player (Olson) that moves into town, it is pretty fun.”

The infusion of Erickson and Olson into the Davies lineup helped the Eagles to a

23-10 record during the regular season and a fourth-place finish in the Eastern Dakota Conference.

The pair also helped the Eagles clinch their first North Dakota Class A state tournament berth.

Davies (25-11) plays Bismarck Century at 6 p.m. today in the quarterfinals at the Minot State Dome.

“I knew it would be competitive, and they definitely had a solid team here,” Olson said of transferring from Central, which is a member of the EDC. “It was a really easy transition and all the girls are super nice. That made it really easy.”

Erickson’s transfer to Davies from Denbigh Baptist Christian High School was more of a culture shock.

“It is very different here,” Erickson said. “I come from a really small school, so I was worried, but I absolutely love it here. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

Erickson has had a standout season for the Eagles, posting a team-high 405 kills, 38 blocks and 53 ace serves.

She eclipsed the 1,000 kills milestone earlier this season and has 1,227 career kills.

“I knew it was going to be tough fitting in with a new team and feel out everyone’s playing style,” Erickson said. “But we have had a really nice season.”

Olson’s height makes her a versatile player at the setter position. She has 876 assists this season along with 99 kills, 66 blocks and 48 ace serves.

“Both of our setters last year were seniors,” Stuberg said. “We had a couple juniors and seniors that were going to compete for it, but once we knew Katelyn was coming in the wheels started to turn on what offenses we could run with a 6-foot setter.”

Erickson and Olson jelled well with the Eagles existing returning core of Brook Hildre, Kinsey Papachek and Mackenna Bachmeier.

“We have had a good year,” Olson said. “We have had some ups and downs, but we have beaten some really good teams. We are really looking forward to the state tournament.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562