On Saturday (11/5) the Tigers' many attributes were on display at Southwest State University, Marshall. This time it wasn't a sweep but who cares? We won 3-1 over Jackson County Central.
Winning Section 3AA puts us in the state spotlight again. I'm practically getting exhausted writing about our volleyball and football teams. Let's acknowledge too our high-achieving girls cross country runners: Maddie and Meredith Carrington.
Click on the link below to read about the football Tigers' 36-16 win over Albany at SCSU. I put up this post Saturday morning on my companion website, "Morris of Course." And thanks as always for reading. - B.W.
Our volleyball team cruises into state with a 25-3 record. The scores in our Saturday success were: 25-17, 7-25, 25-23 and 25-19. The scores indicate there was actually a fair amount of suspense for fans of the Tigers to deal with. What happened in game 2? And then game 3 looked to go either way. But we found the tools to win that pivotal game 3, and then we parlayed that momentum.
Now we're anticipating state where the curtain opens on November 10. The site will be Xcel Energy Center. We have the No. 5 seed among the eight teams.
Our first challenge will be to face No. 4 seed Concordia Academy of Roseville. Sigh - it sure sounds like a private school. This is a persistent controversy in prep state-level play in Minnesota: whether private schools might have some unreasonable advantages. My own personal opinion is that they do. Remember those years when "Christ's Household of Faith" or "chof" was in the state hoops tournament regularly? It struck me as improper. We needn't be squaring off against Christ. Some people described that school, perhaps unfairly, as a cult.
When I was a kid, we heard about the "state independent tournament" for basketball, which came across as an obscure afterthought to the regular public school tournament. I guess the Catholics went to work lobbying over time. It worked. Well, maybe we can beat Concordia Academy on Thursday. Last year we went 1-2 in the state tournament, good for sixth place.
Coach Fehr suspects there was more pressure on the Tigers this year. There was a level of expectation. The nightmarish game 2 saw some "shanked passes," coach Fehr told the media. Ouch. Our Minnesota Vikings did some shanking on Sunday too. Hitting errors became a woe for a time. The Tigers got their ship righted by, among other things, getting the ball up to setting specialist Karly Fehr more effectively. We got a greater range of options for setting up the attack.
The MACA weapons went to work. It was mission accomplished in this 3-1 outcome. "We have four or five hitters we can rely on," Fehr told the media. "It's always somebody different stepping up."
There was just one serving ace and that was by Brooke Gillespie. Karly Fehr chalked up 40 set assists. Two Tigers each had two ace blocks: Ashley Solvie and Jenna Larsen. These Tigers each had one blocking ace: Karly Fehr, Jenna Howden and Nicole Solvie. Riley Decker set the pace in digs with 20. Karly Fehr came through with 15 digs. This list is rounded out by Gillespie (8), Cassidy Fehr (7) and Koral Tolifson (5).
On to the crowd-pleasing hitting department. Here it was three Tigers each with double figures in kills in just a four-game match. Gillespie pounded down 15 kills, Ashley Solvie had 14 and Jenna Howden contributed eleven. Nicole Solvie came at JCC with seven kills. Karly Fehr had two while Jenna Larson and Koral Tolifson each had one.
Wow! We'll all be watching the excitement carry into state in the "big city."
Darlene Olen was devoted to the American Legion Auxiliary. I typed many press submissions from her, and I always heard her voice in my head as I typed! It was a voice that immediately made you like her.
I had her as a Sunday school teacher at First Lutheran Church in the early 1960s. I always had contact with her around Memorial Day. The Morris paper in those days put out a "bulldog edition" on the Friday leading into the holiday weekend. The week before the holiday was thus a very hectic time, and once it was over, the peaceful atmosphere of Memorial Day really took over for me. Darlene would compliment me on my press coverage of Memorial Day. I appreciated that. One year the theme was "freedom isn't free." We discussed that.
Darlene has left us now, her worldly concerns now behind her. I can still hear her disarming, reassuring voice in my head. I'll never forget it. Darlene Olen, RIP.