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Tom Mix and Chris Murphy, Published August 23 2013

Metro high school volleyball preview capsules


Coach: Tessa Tysver (sixth year)

Last season: 21-9 overall,

6-0 in Heart O’ Lakes Conference. Heart O’ Lakes champions.

Who’s gone: Mandy Mercil, Katie Highness, Hannah Young, Kelly Bergee, Bailey Fuchs, Kinzie Molstre, Madison Geiser, Sierra Senske and Haley Dean.

Key returners: Amy Bentow, Sr., middle hitter; Caitlin Ash, Sr., outside hitter; Taylor Bjerke, Sr., defensive specialist.

Coach’s comments: “We lost nine seniors to graduation, so we will have a lot of new faces on the court this season. They will be a young group, but we have a lot of talent and athleticism at the net. We will work to become more consistent throughout the season and to be able to compete with the top teams in our section by the end of the year.”


Coach: Char Lien (15th year)

Last season: 15-14

Who’s gone: Lexi Johnson, Amber Dorow.

Key returners: Amber Gunkel, Sr., setter; Maddie Swanson, Sr., outside hitter; Alyssa LaFlamme, Sr., middle hitter; April Johnson, Sr., middle hitter; Emily Tollefson, Sr., right-side hitter; Kayla Dalquist, Sr., right-side hitter; Olivia Ostlie, Sr., outside hitter; Bailey Lund, Sr., defensive specialist; CeCe Borgen, Sr., outside hitter; Bailee Gulseth, Jr., libero; Emily Uglem, Jr., outside hitter.

Coach’s comments: “This is probably the deepest bench I have ever coached with nine seniors on the team and having four returning starters from last year’s squad. We have multiple players at each position, so if one player is off, we have another ready to step in without missing a beat. We have essentially picked up where we left off last season and look to increase our competitive edge in order to win more of those close battles we have had in prior years. Our biggest challenge will be eliminating unforced errors and communicating on the court, especially in the early part of the season.”

Moorhead Park Christian

Coach: Julie Faul (second year)

Last season: 6-18-1

Who’s gone: Kennedy Stromme, Kelsey Kowalski.

Key returners: Allison Jorgensen, Sr., middle hitter.

Coach’s comments: “We just want to be competitive. We are going to be kind of young and it’s a bit of a rebuilding year for us, but we are also now in a conference that we were not previously in, so we’re going to be playing teams that we haven’t seen before. We just want to stay competitive each game.”

Fargo Davies

Coach: Missy Wilson (first year)

Last year’s record: 26-13 overall, 13-5 Eastern Dakota Conference (seventh place at state tournament)

Who’s gone: Kali Erickson, OH (all-state first team, all-EDC); Emily Woodbridge, MB; Alana Grabarkewitz, OH; Mackenna Bachmeier, DS.

Key returners: Katelyn Olson, Sr., S (all-state second team, all-EDC); Kinsey Papachek, Jr., OH (all-EDC); Jaiden Langley, Soph., RS/S.

Coach’s comments: “The girls will have some challenges facing them in the beginning for the season, including personnel, positions and skill development. But their positive attitudes and work ethic will help them persevere. We need to be patient at the beginning and focus on the growth that occurs throughout the season.”

Fargo North

Coach: Brooks Dockter (first year)

Last year’s record: 30-7 overall, 14-4 EDC

Who’s gone: Kira Larson, MH (all-state first team, senior athlete of the year, ND Gatorade Player of the Year, all-EDC); Courtney Johnson, RS/S; Taylor Preston, libero (all-EDC); Destinee Thorstensen, OH; Sally Fischer, OH; Abbi Duncan, RS.

Key returners: Kelsie Schmiess, Sr., S; Emma Bergeron, Sr., MH.

Coach’s comments: “The biggest thing for us will be overcoming the loss of a large and talented senior class. The girls have to look at that as an opportunity to prove themselves on the court. Our kids are really excited to get rolling and that has been a huge positive. Initially, we’ll be looking for our defense to carry us. Our offense will take a while with all the new faces.”

Fargo South

Coach: Andrea Hummel (first year)

Last year’s record: 7-24,

3-15 EDC

Who’s gone: Kelsey Elness, MB; Lindsey Klug, OH; Nevada Wilson, DS; Katie Elness, OH.

Key returners: Emily Stroup, Soph., S; Kaitlyn Anderson, Sr., S; Maddie McConn, Sr., MH; Anna Lawley, Jr., MH.

Coach’s comments: “We want to be a competitive program, and we’d like to eventually be in the conversation of being one of the top four teams in our conference. We hope to improve from last season and make some strides off of that.”

Fargo Shanley

Coach: Curtis Johnson (third year)

Last year’s record: 24-10, 16-2 EDC (EDC regular-season champions, fifth place at state tournament)

Who’s gone: Miranda Allex, OH; Haley Brenner, OH (all-EDC); Amy Freeberg, S (all-EDC); Madison Little, OH; Jessica Anderson, MH; Carly Mickelson, MH.

Key returners: Alivia Fraase, Jr., MH (all-state first team, all-EDC); Summer Buchholz, Jr., OH.

Coach’s comments: “We have a lot of open positions. We’ll have a lot of competition within the team to fill those positions, which is always a good thing. We are an inexperienced team, but at the same time, we are an athletic team. We should get better as the season goes along and our expectations are always to qualify for the state tournament.”

West Fargo

Coach: Paula Pierson (seventh year)

Last year’s record: 21-16 overall, 12-6 EDC (Fourth place at state tournament)

Who’s gone: Christina Bruenjes, MB (all-state second team, all-EDC); Andrea Klug, S; Jolene Woodbury, libero; Ashley Cambronne, DS; Katelyn Jipson, OH.

Key returners: Amanda Levin, Sr., MH (all-state second team, all-EDC); Shelby Gustafson, Sr., OH; Courtney Suppa, Sr., OH; Kennedi Sand, Soph., RS.

Coach’s comments: “Early on in the year we’ll be focusing on competing in the conference. We hope to be one of the four teams of the Eastern Dakota Conference to qualify for the state tournament. To accomplish that we will have to have our leaders step forward. We have a lot of talented hitters returning so our serve receive and passing will be key to take advantage of our strong players at the net.”

Fargo Oak Grove

Coach: Jennifer Lopez (first year)

Last year’s record: 31-7 (Region 1 runners-up)

Who’s gone: Anna VandeVoort, OH; Alexis Martinson, RS; Hanna Klinefelter, MH; Adrienne Frilje RS.

Key returners: Jenna Zaeske, Sr., OH; Hannah Kelley, Sr., MH; Taylor Lang, Sr., libero; Sam Kounovsky, Sr., MH; Symone Jacobs, Sr., S; Kirsten Bokinskie, Jr., OH.

Coach’s comments: “After a successful season last year, we have many players returning to the lineup who are anxious to improve upon last year’s finish. Our offense has the potential to be very versatile, and we will look to use that to our advantage. Also, our success will be directly linked to our consistent defensive mindset. Oak Grove hopes to be in contention with the top teams in Region 1.”