Lake Region State College Volleyball has made significant strides over the last two seasons.

It’s up to those involved in a young athletic program to develop that program, to build it from the ground up, leaving no doubt that the program will remain standing strong even after it’s initial members have left.

Judging how Lake Region State College Volleyball did not even exist two seasons ago, the state of the program now is a massive testament to those who were there from the beginning.

Considering how the Lady Royals have transformed from a last-place, 4-29 Mon-Dak club in their inaugural season last fall to to what they are now: a 28-12 Mon-Dak conference contender, it seems that this program is carrying a bit of momentum, and according to LRSC head coach Brigitte Freschette, that will only continue for her team.

“The next step is to win it all,” Freschette said. “If you go from where we first started to where we finished this season, I think that Lake Region will only continue to improve.”

The Royals only had girls on their squad last season, which was a huge factor in the team’s disappointing record. But this year, that number was nearly doubled as 14 players came out for the team this season, and that depth only made the Lady Royals more competitive.

They finished the year with a  .700 winning percentage, more than 575 points higher than the mark they registered in 2012. They started the season winning 14 of their first 16 games, and they also defeated NDSCS twice, the program’s first-ever wins against the Wahpeton school, including a dramatic 5-set thriller that saw the Lady Royals win the crucial last set 15-13 in front of the home fans.

It seems that Lake Region State Volleyball has no other direction to go but up, continuing to build a program that has already had it’s share of early success.

Now, the next step will be to introduce even more talent to this already promising team. But, according to Freschette, raw skill will not be all she’s looking for in potential recruits. Even more importantly, new players will need to exhibit a willingness commit to what Lake Region State Volleyball is all about.

“Recruiting the right student-athletes is very important for maintaining a successful program,” Freschette said. “Not only do they have to be competitors, but they have to be willing to learn and to buy into the program Lake Region has developed. It’s not my program. The program is what these players make of it and what they’re taking away from their experience here.”

Freschette, who initially offered to coach the team for free in order to get it off the ground, has commended her players for how close they’ve become throughout the course of the year, how they’ve bonded and how that togetherness has strengthened their team this season.

“That’s where I feel this program is going,” Freschette said. “As a coach and a recruiter, you have to sell yourself and your team.

“Right now, this program is selling itself.”