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Prep Athlete of the Week: Vikings’ setter putting up big numbers while trying to get team back to state

October 6, 2012
By Travis Andries ( , Marshall Independent

Coming into the season, Minneota setter Megan Larson was looking to improve her game to raise her team's play.

With just a few weeks left in the regular season, the Vikings are the third-ranked team in Class A with a 19-2 record and Larson leads the area with 575 set assists.

And if Larson has her way, Minneota won't be done playing any time soon.

"I want to see us make it to state," Larson said.

Minneota head coach Steph Hennen said much was expected of Larson in her second year as a starter for the Vikings.

"We had a lot of confidence in Megan. She did a great job for us last year," Hennen said. "We knew that she was going to continue to get better for us.

"She's a year older. I think she had a good JO season and she's more confident in her role. I think she also has confidence in our girls, and that helps."

That confidence is evident, as the Viking setter is leading one of the top teams in the area with solid distribution. The top four hitters for Minneota - Taylor Reiss (288 kills), Molly Hennen (182), Shelby Corbin (93) and Hanna Prellwitz (67) are getting the job done at the net.

"It makes it a lot easier knowing that Taylor, Molly and Shelby can put the ball away," Larson said. "To pull the block in, it makes other teams a lot easier to hit on. If they focus on Taylor or Hanna, the others get a 1-on-1 and it's a lot easier to hit."

Added Hennen, "We believe we have a lot of offensive weapons. On any given night, any one of five hitters could be the kill leader. I think Megan has confidence that they can all score and that makes her job a bit easier."

Confidence is important no matter where a player is on the court, but when that player runs the offense, she really need to be ready. Hennen said that Larson is always set to go.

"It's like the quarterback of the football team, what we compare the setter to. She has to be on and has to set it all up for us," Hennen said. "She has to run our offense. We can't do anything without a pass, but we also need her to keep doing what she's doing. She's making good decisions."

For the junior, passing was a concern coming into the season after the Vikings lost a major component to the receiving game.

"Since we didn't have Kelsey (Hennen) anymore, we really had to work on passing," Larson said.

Larson has made her impact on more than just setting this season. She is third in ace serves (29) and blocks (13), and is fourth in digs with 157.

That ability doesn't just happen for Larson.

"She's a good kid," Hennen said. "She stays after and works on things she thinks she needs to work on. (Wednesday) she stayed after and worked on some defense."

Hennen sees a desire to succeed in Larson, something she sees in many of her players.

"I think my girls all have a real desire to win and a desire to carry on the strong tradition of Minneota volleyball," Hennen said. "They all work hard to make good things happen."



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