Raiders push unbeaten streak to 7
Paige Wallevand's 10 kills and nine set assists were a big part of a Northern Division win for Central Lakes College Wednesday evening over the Northland Vikings.
The Raiders won 3-0, earning a season sweep against the Vikings and nailing down their seventh win in a row.
CLC entered the week ranked sixth in the latest NJCAA poll and improved their division record to 11-0. One of the big factors in their winning streak has been improving their quickness on the defensive side, leading to more offensive opportunities.
"Our defense has definitely has improved with our quickness in getting to more balls, and that would involve blocking also," said head coach Jane Peterson. "Kayla (Larson) has been so dominating at the net in some of these matches and it is very frustrating for a hitter when they can't get it around her."
Wallevand has also grown her game as the season has moved on and it has show in the box score. Wednesday she had two ace serves and six digs to go along with her kills and set assists.
"I think that my hitting is really starting to come around," Wallevand said. "Baylee (Grenier) and Morgan (Melby) are really good at getting the ball to me and the passes have been great, which has improved my hitting."
The defense has been a work in progress over the season and the improvement has shown in the last seven matches, with the Raiders losing just two sets. Both of those lost sets came in a 3-2 match win at home against Hibbing in late September.
The unbeaten streak started with a 3-0 win over Itasca Sept. 20.
"We've really worked on getting faster and being in position when the other team hits the ball and we are also working on getting faster with our offense," Wallevand said.
Peterson is also impressed with the overall ability of this team to learn. That has paid off for them in putting together a 16-5 overall record as they head into a stretch including three more division matches and two tournaments, with one of those coming in Devils Lake, N.D., this weekend.
"Sometimes it takes it a while with a new defensive system they are learning and the other jobs that you have to do," Peterson explained. "We have been focusing on defense and getting balls up, but our offense has also gotten a lot faster. We are trying to not be satisfied with big slow sets and we are going to keep working on that. This is really a good group of learners and it is a fun teaching environment."
Itasca 8 20 16
Central Lakes 25 25 25
Kahlen Manthey 1 ace serve, 13 digs
Maddy Stall 1 set assist, 2 ace serves, 6 digs
Hannah Peltier 4 kills, 2 digs, 1 block
Baylee Grenier 8 set assists, 1 dig
Cassie Smieja 5 kills, 4 digs, 2 blocks
Brooke Jerger 1 dig
Morgan Melby 9 set assists, 1 ace serve
Kaitlyn Luksik 1 kill
Kayla Larson 6 kills, 1 dig, 1 block
Alie Johanneck 1 kill, 1 block
Paige Wallevand 10 kills, 9 set assists, 2 ace serves, 6 digs
Becca Jensen 5 kills, 1 dig
Carlie Schroeder 2 ace serves, 1 dig
Division: CLC 11-0. Overall: CLC 16-5. Next: CLC at Devils Lake, N.D., Tournament: CLC vs. Bismarck 11 a.m. Saturday, CLC vs. Dakota County College 2:30 p.m. Saturday, CLC vs. Williston 11 a.m. Sunday, CLC vs. Dakota College Bottineau 2:30 p.m. Sunday.