With a little more game experience and a little more confidence, Katie Wangberg is doing a lot more.
The junior setter is filling the stat sheet and helping the Pine River-Backus Tigers to a 14-8 overall record.
Wangberg opened her week with a 39 set-assist, 29-dig, 13-kill, six ace-serve, three-block performance in a 3-2 win over the Pillager Huskies Oct. 6.
In a 3-0 win over Blackduck Oct. 8, Wangberg posted 19 set assists, 12 digs, nine kills, three ace serves and two blocks.
Her 47 set assists, 38 digs, 20 kills, six ace serves and four blocks helped the Tigers to a 2-1 record in the Nevis tournament Oct. 10.
"I think I've become a lot smarter and more aggressive," said Wangberg. "Now that I'm older and more experienced I know what to do. I know what helps the team and what doesn't."
School: Pine River-Backus
Key stat: Finished last week with 105 kills, 79 digs, 42 kills, 15 ace serves and nine blocks.
Wangberg said she didn't know what to expect heading into the season. As a setter she was pleased to have her top two hitters from last year back in Crysta Christensen and Kendra Hamilton, but has been pleasantly surprised by the varsity newcomers.
The three-year starter said the season has been a rollercoaster ride with winnable games slipping away surrounded by big victories. As the setter she feels responsible for the outcome of those games.
"It's my job to control the floor and to play smart," said Wangberg. "I need to know the strong and weak points of our team and the other team at each point in the game.
"I actually enjoy the pressure. I enjoy having control most of the time. Being more experienced, I can handle it."
Wangberg said she's improved at reading defenses and with help from her coaches has become quicker at recognizing weaknesses.
"I've improved each year and each game," she said. "As we play a team I just learn during the game what's open and what's not. Our coaches will let me know what's open and what's not."
Last season, Wangberg was named to the Dispatch All-Area team. She collected 101 kills, 224 digs (10th in the area), 69 blocks, 535 set assists (second in the area) and 41 ace serves.
"I just worked on becoming stronger and learning our weak points and our strong points better," said Wangberg. "I just worked on my overall game. I'm trying to get better and improve every game."
Other notable performances:
Cross country: Kylie Beltz, Pequot Lakes, won the United North Central Invite with a 16:59.
Soccer: Melissa VonItter, Little Falls, collected 37 saves in a 1-1 tie with St. John's Prep.
Swimming: Kaitlin Boerner, Little Falls, won the 200-yard individual medley and 100 backstroke against Rocori.
Stephanie Stumpf, Little Falls, won the 200- and 500-yard freestyles against Rocori.
Whitney Weisz, Little Falls, won the 100- and 200-yard freestyles against Sauk Rapids.
Tennis: Angela Villella, Pequot Lakes, picked up her 100th career victory against Little Falls.
Volleyball: Alayna Kabanuk, Little Falls, finished with 15 kills, 12 digs, three ace serves and 0.5 blocks against St. Cloud Tech.
Kelsey Meyer, Pierz, had 40 set assists and 26 digs against Maple Lake.
Jackie White, Pillager, finished with 29 kills and 28 digs at the Mora tournament.
Jana Anderson, Crosby-Ironton, collected 34 digs, 19 kills, 10 ace serves and three blocks at the Mora tournament.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.
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