Royals notch another MonDak Conference win on home court
By Harry Lipsiea
With Sub-Regional tournament exactly a week away, it,s important for a team to be going into the event held in Ironwood, Mich., with some momentum. For the Lake Region State College volleyball team, they couldn’t be peaking at a better time.
“We are playing our best volleyball right now,” Bridgette Freschette, Lake Region State College head volleyball coach, told the Journal Thursday evening. “I don’t think I could ask for any more as a coach right now.”
The Royals’ performance Thursday night showed how far the team has come. The team swept Dakota College of Bottineau, a squad that pushed Lake Region State College to five sets last month, at the Devils Lake Sports Center.
Lake Region State College jumped out to a nice start and never looked back. The team ultimately earned a victory by scores of 25-14, 25-19 and 25-21. With the win, the Royals improve to 3-4 in the conference.
Lake Region State College dominated the first match using strong serving and crisp passing to set up looks inside for the team’s hitters.
“Our passing has improved so much,” Freschette stated. “It’s very clean right now and our hitters are jumping right into the pass. I am very excited about how smooth our passing game is.”
The Royals’ momentum continued into the second set as the squad’s middle row overwelmed the defense of the Lumberjacks. Lake Region State College took a 16-9 advantage early after kills by Alexis Longtin and Abbey Braaten.
Dakota College of Bottineau battled back with several aces and defensive plays. It, however, wasn’t enough as the Royals held on for the win. A Cody Shwaluk kill helped the team wrap up the victory.
The Royals led early in the fifth set jumping out a 14-5 advantage. The Lumberjacks, however, battled back to tie the game up at 20. Lake Region State College, however, didn’t back down winning the final four volleys to win the set and match.
“It was just another solid effort tonight,” Freschette stated.
Shwaluk led the way with six kills while Longtin had five kills. Madison Taylor, Meghan Jorgenson and Abbey Braaten each added four kills. Jorgenson had six blocks while presley Paintner had three. Ali Joslyn had three aces and 14 digs. Ranae Fafard had two aces and 18 assists. Sara Schwanke had nine assists.
The Royals will now take a few days off, practice hard for two days and prepare to host Bismarck State College Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. The match has major post-season implications.
“It’s a huge match for us,” Freschette said. “If we can win, we will go into the sub-regional tournament in pretty good shape. I am pretty pleased with where we are now. Pleased and impressed. The girls are really playing together.”