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Sattler brings new-look approach to Cass Lake-Bena

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sports Bemidji, 56619
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The Cass Lake-Bena volleyball team will have a new look this fall as LeAnn Sattler has assumed the head coaching duties.

Sattler is familiar with the program, however, as she coached in the middle school ranks last season and also attended the varsity games whenever her schedule allowed.

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"I know the personnel," she said. "I know that these kids are willing to work and to learn. When I ask them to do something (in practice) they are eager to do it."

A year ago the Panthers compiled a 9-15 record and many players who saw extended time on that team return.

Among that cast are seniors Joy Smith (middle hitter), Nicole Collins (middle hitter), Steph Masten (libero), Cora Tsuji (setter), Ciarra Villier (right side), Kayle Brunelle (right side) and Jordan Jackson (outside).

Other seniors who are expected to contribute this fall include Teresa Porter (setter), Danielle Gendron (outside), Alisha Smith (outside) and Kallie Kohlhoff (outside).

Completing the roster are junior Kit Rousu (outside) and sophomores Brandi Dahmen (outside) and Janelle Peacock (middle).

"We started the season with 30 players in grades nine through 12," Sattler said. "We also have another 10 to 15 in the seventh and eighth grades. It's nice to have that many kids in all of the year classes involved.

"It should be a very fun year," Sattler said. "I'm looking to at least match last year's record but I'm hoping we do better. I'm anxious to see how the girls improve."

CL-B began the season with a 3-2 loss to Deer River. Today the Panthers will host Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.

Patricia Gerchy brings a wealth of experience to her new head coaching position at Blackduck. Her resume includes two years of high school coaching, 12 years at Mount Marty College, two years at Mayville State, a season at Bemidji State and seven years at St. Cloud State.

Her main task, according to the coach, is to instill in her players the team concept. She said they must learn to trust one another on the court, perform their roles to the best of their abilities and to believe in themselves.

"My biggest challenge this year will be getting the student athletes to perform their skills fundamentally correct," she said.

"We have a great group of young ladies who are open-minded and very willing to work hard. When playing volleyball there needs to be a lot of talking and this team, so far, communicates very well on the court," Gerchey added.

Among Blackduck's leaders are senior co-captains Alex Ziegler (setter) and Oxana Pfannenstein(outside hitter).

"These two young ladies lead very well by example," Gerchey said. "They are steady athletes with a good work ethic."

The junior cast includes Brook Mistic (outside), Katie O'Rourke (outside), Morgan Jung (outside), Tiffany Jones (setter) and Caitlin O'Brien (outside).

Sophomores on the squad include Kristi Mills (outside), Madison Liapis (outside), Shelby Sorheim (setter) and Sadie Radke (defensive specialist). The freshman cast includes Michela Holmgren (outside), Sasha Pfannenstein (outside) and Alex Arp (middle).

The schedule includes home matches against Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig, Laporte, Bigfork and Remer. The Drakes also will participate in tournaments at Pequot Lakes and Bagley.

Kelliher-Northome posted an 8-13 record last fall and new head coach Chelsy Elhard was greeted by six returning players. Among them are seniors Rachel Chaffin (right side), Megan Halverson (setter) and Kristen White (outside), juniors Katey Lutz (right side) and Kaylee Fisher (defensive specialist) plus sophomore Kelly Heck (setter).

Halvorson had 60 set assists last fall while Lutz contributed 55.

K-N visits Laporte tonight and will be home Sept. 20 against Blackduck.

Power at the net could lead Laporte to a winning season as the Wildcats return seniors Kelli Corson, Leah Nelson and Valynncia White in the front court. Also back is senior setter Edie Johnson.

"All of them played Junior Olympic volleyball during the summer and came (to fall practice) ready to go," said Laporte coach Tammy Day. 'Kelli and Leah are powerful middle hitters and Valynncia puts everything down."

There are no juniors on the roster but the list of returning sophomores includes Kara Shardick, Kimberli Corson and Mikaela Clyde. Also on the team are sophomores Jacey Hegg, Talia Molash and Mikaela Kloehn plus freshmen Neka Davis and Madisson Larson.

Digging has been a problem for Laporte during the past few seasons but Day believes the Wildcats are improving in that area.

"We seem to be reading the ball better," she said. "If we get a touch we can get the ball to the spikers and then we'll do well."

Laporte opened the season with a 3-1 victory over Remer, a team the Wildcats had defeated only once during Day's 15 years on the bench.

"One of my goals this year is to beat the teams we've never (or seldom) beaten before," Day said. "Teams like Nevis, Pine River and Remer."

Last fall the Wildcats finished at the bottom of the Northwoods Conference standings but this year Day believes Laporte could move into the top three.

"We have the skills to excel this season but we need to put things together during the games," she said. "I expect us to have a winning season."

With five returning letterwinners on the roster the Bagley volleyball team is hoping to improve upon last year's 6-20 record.

"This year our first goal is to win seven matches and then we'll go on from there," said Bagley coach Rebecca Rud. "We also would like to defeat some of our rivals like Clearbrook-Gonvick and Fosston."

The returning letterwinners include seniors Kylie Gerbracht (middle hitter), Savannah Kaiser (middle), Sierra Spray (outside) and Andrea Hood (setter). The other seniors on the roster are Cassidy Ham (setter) and Meghan Kaiser (setter).

The juniors include Bridget Amiot (middle), Jasmin Nelson (middle) and Hannah Neeland (setter) while the sophomore returning letterwinner is Kari Skersick (outside).

"There may be some teams with more talent but it's going to be fun to see how we put everything together this year," Rud said. "The girls have been working hard in the gym and we are taking a one-step-at-a-time approach to the year."

The coach is seeing improvement during the early going, especially with the serve.

"I'm hoping serving will be a strength," she said. "We're working on developing consistency. We need to take advantage of what we can control and serving is one part of the game that a team can control.

"This is my fifth year as head coach and this is one of my most enjoyable years," Rud said. "We have a good bunch of girls who are working hard. It's going to be a fun year."

The Warriors have only two seniors on their roster, outside hitters Mari Cobenais and Chelsey Redbear.

The junior class is represented by setters Faleisha Desjarlait and Marissa Wind, middle hitters Gracelyn Perkins and Shayla Hardy plus outside hitters Robyn Cook and Shauntay Roy.

Sara Seki is the lone sophomore and Tatianna McClain and Seleasha Roy are the freshmen.

Completing the roster are eighth grader Avery Holthusen and seventh grader Grace White.

Red Lake is scheduled to have eight home matches. The first will be Sept. 14 against Nayahshing. Other scheduled home events are against Cass Lake-Bena (Sept. 15), Indus (Sept. 19), Laporte (Sept. 22), Circle of Life (Sept. 29), Blackduck (Oct. 4), Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig (Oct. 6) and Fond du Lac (Oct. 13).

Y pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

The Warriors have only two seniors on their roster, outside hitters Mari Cobenais and Chelsey Redbear.

The junior class is represented by setters Faleisha Desjarlait and Marissa Wind, middle hitters Gracelyn Perkins and Shayla Hardy plus outside hitters Robyn Cook and Shauntay Roy.

Sara Seki is the lone sophomore and Tatianna McClain and Seleasha Roy are the freshmen.

Completing the roster are eighth grader Avery Holthusen and seventh grader Grace White.

Red Lake is scheduled to have eight home matches. The first will be Sept. 14 against Nayahshing. Other scheduled home events are against Cass Lake-Bena (Sept. 15), Indus (Sept. 19), Laporte (Sept. 22), Circle of Life (Sept. 29), Blackduck (Oct. 4), Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig (Oct. 6) and Fond du Lac (Oct. 13).

pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

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Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
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