Greater Grand Forks High School Notebook: Wave competitive with young lineup
East Grand Forks Senior High has remained competitive while going through a youth movement in volleyball this season. The Green Wave are 11-16 and sitting in fourth place in the North Subsection 8AA standings. Final seeding will be complete early...
East Grand Forks Senior High has remained competitive while going through a youth movement in volleyball this season.
The Green Wave are 11-16 and sitting in fourth place in the North Subsection 8AA standings. Final seeding will be complete early this week. If Senior High maintains its No. 4 position, it will host a first-round match Thursday.
"We're looking forward to next year in that we don't graduate anybody who has played a lot," Senior High coach Sara Schnathorst said. "But we still want to go out strong this year.
"Our goal has been to be playing our best in October, and we have been. We haven't always won our matches, but we've been competitive in most of them. You hope that can carry over into the playoffs."
Karly Nelson, a 5-foot-4 sophomore and the only member of the team who saw extensive playing time in 2010, has been the Wave's most consistent hitter. Senior High's other top hitters of late have been 5-6 junior Aubrie Carlstrom and 5-9 sophomore Ellen Potter.
"We've relied pretty heavily on Karly," Schnathorst said. "She gets her big hits. But she also is a smart hitter, finding open spots on the court and getting her tips.
"But in our last 4-5 matches, we've had several girls who have contributed in kills, blocks and service aces. We have good height and the potential to be a good hitting team. Right now, we're playing good defense and we've become a very good serving team."
Eagles seek consistency
East Grand Forks Sacred Heart is looking for consistency as the Section 8A volleyball tournament approaches.
The Eagles are 2-13-2 and likely will be in a play-in match Thursday when the tournament opens. Pairings will be determined early this week.
"Setting consistency has been a problem," Sacred Heart coach Leah Marti said. "And sometimes that's because of the passes the setter is getting. We have good hitters. And our setting has improved."
Brittany Hammond, a 5-11 senior, has been the Eagles' top hitter. Marti said Lindsey Marek and Stacy Remer have been solid all-around players, as has Haley Peters at libero.
"We've had some adversity," Marti said. "We've had some injuries and, as a result, kids are adjusting to playing different positions.
"But we're still optimistic. Even with kids coming in and out of the lineup and others adjusting to position changes, we've been competitive in most of our matches."
Jones faces test at state
Jessamy Jones has dominated Minnesota Section 8A girls tennis this fall. The East Grand Forks Senior High junior is 35-0 and has yet to lose a set.
Jones cruised through last week's 8A singles tournament, winning the title for the second straight season. But Senior High coach Jim Wyatt says Jones may have benefited from being pushed harder as she prepares for her third straight appearance in the state tournament, which begins Wednesday in the Twin Cities.
"You know every player at state is as good as anybody you've played all year," Wyatt said. "Some will be better than anybody you've played. You always want to have your players pushed before they get there.
"Jessamy has had some close sets. But she is such a competitor. You don't worry about her mental makeup. If it gets close, she'll fight through it."
Jones is no stranger to the state tournament. Nor is she a stranger to success there, finishing fourth last season and winning the state consolation title in 2009.
East Grand Forks Senior High is concentrating on improvement, not state berths, in the Section 8A cross country meet. The meet will be held Friday at Bagley, beginning at 4 p.m.
Senior High's roster is young and inexperienced. It has been a season in which the Green Wave have struggled to get runners in the top 10 in races. But Senior High coach Kristy Aune has measured success in ways other than places and title contention.
"We've had a difficult year," Aune said. "We have some kids with talent who haven't made strong commitments. But we have other kids who have worked hard. They're now beating runners who were beating them earlier in the year.
"We talk about realistic goals. We want the kids to continue to move up in the pack, getting better times and keep beating more kids who we weren't beating earlier in the year."