Osseo stopped a three-match losing skid with a 25-16, 25-18, 25-21 win at Maple Grove in Northwest Suburban Conference volleyball Oct. 4.
It was a fun night of high school volleyball as there was a large crowd and the student sections were active and vocal. For the Orioles, the win was sweet because it avenged last season’s disappointing three-game loss to their crosstown rival.
“It’s always fun to play a rival team like Maple Grove and it was super exciting to beat them especially after losing in three last year,” Osseo junior outside hitter Lindy Oujiri said.
The Orioles roared to a 16-0 start this season, something that didn’t surprise Oujiri.
“After only losing one player last year, it was super easy to come back after playing off season and have close connections as a team right from the get go,” she said. “It also helps that we’re all really good friends and hang out outside of volleyball.”
Osseo’s winning streak came to a halt when it lost to No. 1 Champlin Park and Wisconsin’s No. 1 River Falls in the STMA Invitational and to 10th-ranked Wazyata. The Orioles bounced back with a solid win over the Crimson.
Osseo’s winning formula has been a diversified attack featuring six strong hitters and a solid defense of blocking and back-row play.
Orioles coach Mani Burian installed a one-setter, faster tempo offense this season with senior Corissa Fuhrman spreading the ball to Oujiri, seniors Kate Achenbach, Kelsie Sealock and Emily Rossing, junior Hannah Carmon and sophomore Riley Stichter. Oujiri leads Osseo with over 200 kills but with so many other weapons, the other teams cannot just focus on stopping her.
“Being able to spread the ball and run a fast tempo helps a ton with finding seams in the block and putting it down,” Oujiri said. “We have a lot of strong hitters that can see the block too and the back row behind us always tells us what’s open which is a big help.”
The Orioles end the regular season this week and will look forward to next week’s section tournament. The Orioles want to do much better than last year when they lost to Rogers in the first round. At 18-4, they should earn a high seed and may get another shot at the Rebels.
“I think we all just need more confidence and to give it our all,” Oujiri said of how Osseo should play against CP. “We need to have stronger blocks too because they have a lot of good hitters and it’s hard to play defense if the block isn’t there.”