College Volleyball: Raiders cruise to victory over Vermilion
Playing with great energy the Central Lakes College Raiders, led by sophomore Sam Schlangen, thundered past Vermilion 3-0 Saturday afternoon and moved their Northern Division record to 2-0.
After a tough tournament in Willmar last weekend, the Raiders evened their overall record at 3-3 by winning 25-8, 25-12, 25-10.
Schlangen showed a strong service game with 10 service aces and also pounded out six kills in the win. In the first and second games, she started with runs of eight and seven points to put Vermilion in a hole to start.
"I think it has gone well. It would be nice to have more wins but I think it is a building point," Schlangen said of the start to the season. "We have awesome defense and our freshmen are stepping up when they need to and they know they have a role to fill. It is great to see.They are a great group of girls."
It has been a grueling early part of the schedule for the Raiders as they have played six matches in eight days against some strong competition. The hard work has paid off as it was a confident and well-conditioned team that took to the court on Saturday.
"I feel like we are really well prepared. We just have really good volleyball experience and probably more so than the other team," said CLC coach Jane Peterson. "We have worked hard at being physically prepared because we are an athletic group. They are willing to work hard and no one is complaining.
"We are also mentally together and it is an easy group to work with."
Schlangen also recorded 10 set assists for the match. Sophomore Alyssa Hamilton finished with five kills while sophomore Shelby Uphoff led in the kills category with seven.
As a team the Raiders finished with 15 ace serves, which is a big part of Peterson's offensive strategy.
"It is a huge part of our offense and it was last year too," Schlangen said ace serves. "It helps your team and gets people ready. You get a free ball over and it keeps our team in control of the game."
Game One saw Schlangen and the Raiders run off eight straight points to grab an 8-0 lead. Schlangen recorded five ace serves during the run. Vermilion only managed one run of three points and was never able to get back into the match as the Raiders prevailed 25-8.
Game Two was more of the same as Schlangen served two more aces and the Raiders built a 7-0 lead and it grew to 10-1. With their passing game and strong defense, CLC never let Vermilion hit its stride, giving up only one 3-point run, to take the second game 25-12.
In Game Three, Vermilion led 4-2 as the Ironmen were able to get Schlangen off of the serving line, but the Raiders then outscored them 23-6 to take the third game.
"We were really happy to start out with that," Schlangen said of the team's first six matches. "Our conference is good but it is nice to see teams that are bigger, stronger, and faster and to keep up with them. We know that is the level that we need to be at if we want to go far."
If CLC is to have a successful season, passing is going to be one of the key areas the Raiders need to excel at. They made good strides in that direction Saturday.
"Both (Friday) and (Saturday) were slower-paced games than last weekend, which does make it easier to be good passers," Peterson said. "Our players like Ashley Abear and Cassie Shave have both done a great job of being in charge and taking the balls they need to take. They have had very few serve/receive errors. They might not make perfect passes all the time but it is going to be better then I thought.
"We are trying to be fast because we aren't that big and will require good passing."
Vermilion 8 12 10
Central Lakes 25 25 25
Alyssa Hamilton 5 kills, 1 set assist
Kelly Pearson 1 kill, 3 digs
Ashley Abear 1 ace serve, 5 digs
Sam Schlangen 6 kills, 15 set assists, 10 ace serves, 5 digs
Ashton Kapphahn 2 kills, 8 set assists, 1 ace serve, 1 dig
Shelby Uphoff 7 kills, 1 ace serve
Jenny Skoog 4 kills, 3 digs
Journee Howard 1 kill
Ellen Stromgren 3 ace serves, 9 digs
Cassie Shaver 1 kill
Division: 2-0. Overall: 3-3. Next: CLC vs. Harper at Rochester Tournament 3 p.m. Friday, CLC vs. Rochester at Rochester Tournament 5 p.m. Friday.