Lake Region State battles for the victory over the Lady Jacks, winning the match in four sets.

They had to work for it, but Lake Region State came out on top Wednesday night as they defeated Dakota College 3-1 at the Devils Lake Sports Center.

LRSC head coach Brigitte Freschette chalked the team’s performance up to the strong defensive effort her players exhibited throughout the match.

“We blocked extremely well tonight,” Freschette said. “We have had struggles with our block, but I thought our team was outstanding tonight. We probably had more blocks tonight than we’ve had in a while.”

After a first-set victory, the Lady Royals seemed poised to double their lead with another, but it did not come easily as the Lady Jacks kept LRSC honest throughout the match.

Dakota College jumped out to an early 7-3 lead in the second set, showing the home squad that they weren’t going to lay down. However, despite a spirited effort, the Lady Royals, led by first-year Abby Braaten, who had 13 kills and seven digs for LRSC, charged back with ferocity, going on a 19-9 run to take firm command of the set and the match once again.

LRSC went on to win that second set, 25-21, giving the team a 2-0 lead and tipping the balance of the match strongly in favor of the Lady Royals. But Dakota College wasn’t ready to conceded defeat just yet. In fact, in the third set, they punched back.

The Lady Jacks took another early lead in the third set, but this time, they would not relinquish it despite LRSC’s best efforts. The Lady Royals had the Dakota College lead down to two points at one point (19-17), forcing the visiting team to call timeout. But after the break, the Lady Jacks played inspired volleyball en route to them taking the third set, 25-20.

This introduced a crucial fourth set to the match, something that Lady Royals were desperate to win. After going up 2-0, the last thing LRSC wanted was to give their opposition a shot for the comeback victory in a decisive fifth set. They knew they needed to take care of business in the fourth.

“We had to focus on battling back and staying consistent,” Freschette said. “It’s difficult to lose a set and get your morale back up. But I thought the girls did a great job of that tonight.”

And they did. The Lady Royals did not trail once in the fourth set, cruising to 25-15 fourth set victory, clinching the match for the home team.

Braaten led the Lady Royals with her 13 kills while sophomore Megan Beattie led the team with 19 digs and two service aces.

Lake Region State Volleyball will host the Royals Invitational this weekend in Devils Lake with matches scheduled for Friday and Saturday. A full schedule of this weekend’s matches will be posted in tomorrow’s Journal.