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AOW: Strahm assisting in Vikings' league success

October 16, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

No matter how a good a volleyball team is, no matter how talented, it is only as good as its setter.

Among Imperial Valley League setters, one of the best is Holtville High's Michelle Strahm.

In 3-0 set wins over Palo Verde and Imperial, Strahm finished with double-doubles in both contests. On Oct. 9 against Palo Verde, the 17-year-old senior finished with 15 assists and 10 points leading the Vikings to a 15-7, 15-13, 15-8 win. She followed that with a better performance against rival Imperial on Thursday with 21 assists and 12 points as Holtville won 15-12, 15-5, 15-4.

"Imperial had been doing really good so far this year and I expected it to be a good match," said Strahm, a team captain. "That was a pretty big match because it was Imperial. Just to hear that name, Imperial … we always get up for that one."

Still, the magnitude of the Vikings' next match is 10 times greater. At 6 tonight Strahm and her teammates will take on defending IVL champion Brawley.


While Holtville has had plenty of success with Strahm setting up her hitters, including three Desert Mountain League championships, the thorn in the team's side has been Brawley.

"Ever since I was a freshman we haven't been able to beat them. So now that we're in the same league, this match is just huge," said Strahm, whose Holtville team switched from the DML to the IVL this year. "We've been looking at this one all year. We've been playing to beat Brawley. That's one of our goals for this year. If we play together and play from the heart, we have a chance."

While Strahm and her teammates have been playing as well as almost any team in the Valley, she thinks her squad has lacked consistency.

"That's probably our biggest problem. We get up, then we get down. We just can't seem to keep our play up for a whole game," said Strahm. "Part of that is me. I really don't think I've been setting as well as I could have. I've made a few bad sets. But we just have great hitters that've saved my bad sets. If it wasn't for my passers and setters, I wouldn't be anything."

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