Royals close out 2014 season on high note
By Harry Lipsiea
At the start of the season, Lake Region State College volleyball coach Brigitte Freschette’s goal for her team in the 2014 campaign was simple.
“We want to peak at tournament time,” she stated in a Journal interview in August. “Our goal is to play our best volleyball in October.”
Based on the Royals’ performance at the sub-regional tournament Saturday and Sunday in Ironwood, Mich., Freschette’s goal was reached.
In the end, Lake Region State College placed second in the four-team field. It was clear that the players put together a spirited effort all weekend long, the coach pointed out.
“We played every single point,” Freschette stated. “The girls played their hearts out. As a coach, there is nothing more you can ask for.”
The tournament started exactly how the Lake Region State College squad wanted it to: a clean sweep. The Royals won by scores of 25-11, 25-13 and 25-15 over DCTC.
“We didn’t mess around, we didn’t lose focus,” Freschette stated. “The players came out and did exactly what they had to. I thought the passing, hitting and blocking were all strong.”
The semi-finals featured the Royals taking on NDSCS. It was a match featuring plenty of well-played volleys, but in the end the Wildcats won by scores of 25-14, 25-19 and 25-12.
“The scores don’t show it, but we played extremely hard,” the coach added. “There were a lot of great battles for points. It was a lot closer than the scoreboard showed.”
In a move on or go home situation in their next match, the Royals kept their season going with a three-set victory over Gogebic Community College. The team won by scores of 25-18, 25-19 and 25-18.
“We took care of business,” Freschette stated. “Again, I thought our players were very focused. It was a good win.”
The championship game featured a re-match between the Royals and the Wildcats. To win the tournament, however, Lake Region State College would have to beat their opponent twice. In the end, NDSCS won the first encounter in four sets by scores of 11-25, 30-28, 7-25 and 25-15.
“It was another great effort,” Freschette stated. “Our players went out there guns blazing and gave it everything they had. Give credit to NDSCS, they were the better team.”
With the loss, Lake Region State College’s season comes to an end. The team finished with a record of 17-25. Freschette was proud of how the squad improved and rallied late in the second.
“We played our best volleyball in the final two weeks,” the coach added. “I thought we really brought it at the tournament. I am very pleased with how this group came together this year.”
The Royals say goodbye to sophomores Abbey Braaten, Sara Schwanke, Randii Widmer, Alexis Longtin and Meghan Jorgenson.
“Our sophomores brought such a positive spirit to the team. At the end of the day no matter if it was a win or a loss, they were so optimistic and fun to be around. I can’t thank them enough.”
In addition to having a strong performance at the tournament, the Royals also had the top fan base in Ironwood, Mich.
“It was amazing,” Freschette stated. “Our fan turnout was so strong. I am so proud to be a Royal.”
The coach is now looking forward to a strong offseason.
“I’m excited about the future of Royal volleyball,” she stated.