Lakers have up and down season
The Detroit Lakes volleyball team had an up and down season, where they could play right with the top teams, but also play down to less-talented ones.
The Lakers finished the season with a 7-16-2 record, but were highly competitive throughout the season.
"We had moments where they all worked together and everything clicked perfectly, but we also had moments that you could easily see they hadn't all been playing together before," said DL head coach Jim Wood. "We had the ability to play r.ight with the best teams on our schedule and take them to very close games.
"The same thing happened with the teams which weren't quite as talented, we still seemed to play right at their level."
That path of the season is typical for a young team, which had just four seniors on the roster, including setters Marissa Bridgeman and Emma Wood, along with right side hitters Megan Lindquist and Brooklyn Thompson.
"Our seniors really had a good year when it came to leading the team," Wood said. "Both our setters, Marissa and Emma (Wood), were very consistent, especially when our passing game was hot.
"Megan Lindquist was a solid right side all year and had many strong kills. Brooklyn Thompson always seemed to play error free."
The Lakers will have a host of experienced players returning for the 2013 season, including middle hitters Trisa Hutchinson and Shay Nielsen, along with hitters Megan Ostlie and Jenna Field.
"All will be experienced and talented and are second or third year starters," Wood added. "Along with Sierra Braukman and Katie Larson as setters, we should be a very well-rounded team.
"We have some extremely talented young ladies coming back to play next year and I believe we will surprise many teams."
Junior Julia Taylor also developed on the right side, while three defensive players gained seasoning in Hanna Gedrose, Alex Engkjer and Sophie Wood.
The strength of the Lakers was in the middle with Hutchinson and Nielsen, who each were main contributors on the offensive attack.
"Both were very consistent and always gave 100 percent," the DL coach said.
"The two of them gave us numerous reasons to jump out of our chars in excitement, where it be outstanding hitting or big blocks."
The area DL will need to improve on is blocking.
"One of our weaknesses this season was our inability to close our block and this made it difficult on our defensive players to read the hitters and be positioned correctly," Wood said. "I believe we have a few girls who will be able to pass quite effectively next year, so with a little more work on our blocking, I believe we will have a very well-rounded team."