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New season brings time to grow for Kelliher-Northome volleyball team

The 2013 Kelliher-Northome Mustang Varsity volleyball team.

After finishing the 2012 season with a second-round playoff loss to No. 2 seed Mahnomen, the Kelliher-Northome Mustangs look to turn a young team into a seasoned unit by the end of the fall.

"This year, we need to continue to work as a team and improve individual skills," Mustangs coach Chelsy Elhard said.

Tanyssa Olafson returns as team captain and letterwinner. Kelly Heck, Bree Lindley, Sadie Fraley, Jackie Pierson, Teresa Weidenborner and Michaela Williams also return with varsity letters.

"We have a small team," Elhard said of the 10 varsity players. "But each player brings something special and unique to the court."

She added that opponents should keep a watch out for the different strengths that the individual players each bring to the table.

"I have a really good feeling about this season," Elhard said. "We continue to improve. There has also been a lot of improvement even during the offseason."

Despite ending the season in the second round of the playoffs last year, the team shows promise. According the Elhard, the team needs to work more cohesively and improve its focus during matches.

"We need to play as a team, grow as a team and not let the little mistakes during a game bother us," she said. "We continue to move forward."

The Mustangs were on the road Wednesday, Aug. 28 to take on the Cass Lake-Bena Panthers at Cass Lake-Bena High School.

The home opener is 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, in Northome against Clearbrook-Gonvick.