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A lot of change was expected for the Osage volleyball team following a 2018 season that saw the Green Devils reach the Class 3A semifinals.

Osage not only had to replace seven seniors, including the setter and libero off of last season’s squad, but they also were in need of a new coach.

On top of those, the Green Devils were hopeful that the school construction project – including the new gym – would have been completed by the time the season started.

The construction project did not quite make the deadline, so temporarily the Green Devils remain in their old facilities.

Bryan Tabbert took over as coach, and a number of new faces are in the lineup, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the success.

On Tuesday, Osage rolled to a 3-0 win over Central Springs in its home opener and improved to 2-0 on the season.

Set scores were 25-5, 25-3 and 25-12.

“I am impressed how they have come together as a team,” Tabbert said. “We’ve got a great future.”

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Tabbert certainly did not inherit an empty cupboard, especially with Class 3A second-team all-state hitter Dani Johnson returning.

If anything, though, the Green Devil offense seemed potentially more potent than a season ago with Johnson, a junior, combining with fellow junior Paige Kisley, sophomores Kaebre Sullivan and Meredith Street and freshman Claudia Aschenbrenner up front.

Ellie Bobinet, a junior, has taken over the setter duties and has benefitted greatly from the depth up front.

“Ellis is just going to keep getting better,” Tabbert said.

Against the overmatched Panthers, Osage put together runs of 10 consecutive points or more in each set.

The Green Devils return to the court on Thursday when they travel to St. Ansgar for their third consecutive Top of Iowa Conference match to open the season.

Central Springs (1-4) returns home to face North Butler on Thursday.

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