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The Drill: By any other name, HL-O/F's Untiedt is a leader for volleyball

Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda volleyball player Sam Untiedt is an all-purpose star for a deep Coyote volleyball team

Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda volleyball player Sam Untiedt practices a set.
Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda volleyball player Sam Untiedt practices a set.
Tim Middagh/The Globe
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FULDA -- We found Sam Untiedt practicing volleyball in Fulda the other day with her Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda high school team.

Technically, her name isn’t Sam. It’s Samantha.

But Samantha is three syllables long. That’s too long a name, apparently, for when she’s on the volleyball court and there’s a loose ball careening near an open spot on the floor.

Hence, this comment:

“I guess everybody’s just always called me Sam. Samantha is kind of -- I don’t know, it’s longer -- so when we’re in a pinch it’s always, ‘Sam! Sam!’ No, I don’t mind.”

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It’s understandable that her Coyote teammates look to Sam Untiedt in those nervous moments. The HL-O junior is an outstanding volleyball player and a very important team leader. As far as her playing abilities go, she’s both a setter and an outside hitter. She’s probably one of the most versatile performers in southwest Minnesota, in fact, in that she not only sets up her teammates and hammers home the spike, but she is an outstanding server and digger, too. She’s actually something of a scrambler, and very much like the rest of the team, which she calls “scrappy.”

Untiedt’s abilities were highlighted perfectly last year when she participated on a 15U Kairos club team based in Sioux Falls, S.D. The team participated in a national tournament in Florida and Untiedt’s team won her age group’s national championship.

“Which was really cool,” Untiedt told us recently with her characteristic smile. “A crazy experience. I never thought that someone from, like, such a small town -- and there were so many of us on that team from this area -- it was just a really great experience, and I actually got tournament MVP.”

As an HL-O/F player, Untiedt sees her role on the 2022 team as a facilitator.

“Someone that everyone can come and talk to. Just a happy, positive person. What really makes a team is the friends aspect of it and being a good leader. Someone you can look up to,” she said. “We have a great team aspect (on HL-O/F). We’re all really good friends, so that makes it a lot easier.”

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Sam (or Samantha) Untiedt is this week’s The Globe Drill subject. You can see a video of her on The Globe website at www.dglobe.com . Here’s a sample of the interview:

QUESTION: What do you enjoy doing the most on the volleyball court?

ANSWER: “For me, the most fun, I would say, is defense. Not, like, blocking, because I’m five-eight. So the blocking is not really my thing, I just do what I can to help out. But I would say defense, going to go get chase balls or stuff like that. That’s really my favorite.”

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QUESTION: What’s the most important advice you’ve received as an athlete?

ANSWER: “The most valuable piece of advice that I’ve gotten is that when you make a mistake, you can take it one of two ways. You can either learn from your mistake or you can continue to wallow in it. That’s something that’s really helped me.”

QUESTION: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

ANSWER: “I would say a lot of people don’t know that I’m left-handed. So I actually hit and I play all my sports with my right, but I am left-handed. So I write and I eat and I brush my teeth with my left hand, but all my sports -- I hit, I serve -- with my right hand.”

Related Topics: THE DRILLVOLLEYBALL
Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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