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Braves counting on senior leadership

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sports Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Isaiah Hahn is counting on a senior-dominated lineup to lead the Menahga volleyball team to a successful season.

Of the nine players starting the season on varsity, seven are seniors. However, only two of the nine return as starters from a team that went 1-5 in Park Region Conference play and 5-19 overall, including a loss to Bertha-Hewitt in the first round of the Section 5A tournament.

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Leading the Braves this season will be the two returning starters: senior outside hitter Tarah Cleveland and junior middle hitter Jenny Skoog.

In the 16 non-tournament matches last season, Cleveland had 121 digs, 71 kills and 17 set assists while putting 215 of 227 serves in play with six aces. Skoog also played in all 16 non-tournament matches and compiled 102 kills, 29 sets assists, 90 digs and 16 solo blocks while putting 51 of 76 serves in play with four aces.

Looking to replace the spots vacated by the graduation of Delanie Weyer, Beth Tormanen, Alicia Ahlf, Arielle Pihlaja and Kelsey Christofferson will be seniors Maria Tormanen, Shannon Skoog, Erica Lopez, Morgan Clements, Taylor Harsha and Tarrin Mickelson and junior Kendra Dresow.

Skoog played in 11 non-tournament matches last season and had 16 digs, three kills and two set assists and will start at outside hitter.

Tormanen will start as a right-side hitter after going 14 for 16 in serves with four aces and recording 22 digs in 12 non-tournament matches last season.

Mickelson is projected as the starting setter with Clements starting as a right-side hitter.

Harsha, Lopez and Dresow will provide depth.

"We graduated some key players from last year and their court knowledge and experience will really be missed. However, this year we have a lot of seniors who I believe will bring a lot of positive leadership to our program," said Hahn. "Unlike past years, we have a pretty senior loaded squad this year, so I am really looking forward to some great senior leadership. One of my highest expectations is to be disciplined and consistent. I believe the keys to meeting these expectations are doing the "little things" well and doing them every time for every game. This includes having a good serving percentage, a strong defense and consistent passing. If we can do this, the sky's the limit."

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