Area Female Athlete: Monson shines when C-I needs boost
Things were looking bleak. The Crosby-Ironton Rangers were suffering through a four-match losing streak, their longest of the year. Senior Kylie Monson was suffering through a back injury, but was ready for a Sept. 25 Mid-State Conference match a...
Things were looking bleak.
The Crosby-Ironton Rangers were suffering through a four-match losing streak, their longest of the year.
Senior Kylie Monson was suffering through a back injury, but was ready for a Sept. 25 Mid-State Conference match at Staples-Motley. Monson collected eight digs, seven kills, six ace serves and one set assist helping C-I to a 3-0 victory.
One night later, Monson had her best game with 24 digs, 19 kills, five ace serves and one set assist to lead C-I to a 3-2 win over Pillager.
"Kylie played two of her best matches of the season last week against Staples-Motley and Pillager especially after coming off a back injury the previous Thursday suffered during the Detroit Lakes match," said C-I head coach Brad Hollenhorst. "She did a nice job taking it easy for three days and getting herself to a place where she could play and play well.
"I felt the Pillager match was her best match of the season. She took early advantage offensively attacking the line and tipping to open holes on the Huskies' side. She had probably her best serve receiving match really allowing our entire team to play a lot of offense.
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- Year: Senior
- School: Crosby-Ironton
- Sport: Volleyball
- Position: Outside hitter
- Highlights: Finished with 24 digs, 19 kills, five ace serves and one set assist against Pillager
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"Through sets two and three without Shyanne Loiland in the lineup, she handled the bulk of the swings and kept finding kills and seeing the court well. She was a very big part of why we were able to come back in that match and kept believing we could find a way to pull out a win."
Monson is no stranger to overcoming adversity. Standing just 5-foot-3 Hollenhorst was honest with her when they met four years ago.
"I remember telling Kylie, my first year, she'd never be a varsity outside unless she could get herself a foot over the net," Hollenhorst said. "Over the next few years she worked extremely hard to increase her vertical up over 30 inches to earn a starting spot."
Monson did the work. Last season she finished with 174 kills. She added 275 digs, nine set assists, 23 blocks and 26 ace serves.
This season she's tallied 148 kills, 214 digs and 37 ace serves
"I did a lot of offseason work," Monson said. "I played a lot of Junior Olympics. I was in the weight room every single day after volleyball practice. In the summer, most of the time, was when I lifted a lot.
"I couldn't tell right away that what I was doing was working, but the next year, when the season came around, right away in the beginning the first two matches, I could really tell that the time I put in really worked well for me."
Monson is a four-year varsity player, who has become the voice of the Rangers on the court. Hollenhorst said she is the one being heard.
"You hear her all the time making the right reads and keeping people going regardless of the match's outcome," Hollenhorst said. "I appreciate that the moment isn't too big for her. She wants the ball when it matters most and that's what a captain and a leader should be demanding.
Monson's biggest goal this season was to create a team.
"I really wanted to be a leader for my team this year," she said. "I wanted to encourage better attitudes toward the game and each other. I really wanted to reenforce having fun whether we are winning or losing.
"I feel like our team this year has a better bond than it ever has really. I'm definitely having the most fun my senior year. I wish I could have had this experience my previous years."
Other notable performances:
Cross country: Abby Motschenbacher, Wadena-Deer Creek, won the Deer River Invite in 21:15.
Swimming and diving: Alice Foote and Rachel Josephson, Little Falls, each won two events against Alexandria.
Volleyball: Shyanne Loiland, Crosby-Ironton, finished with 18 set assists, 13 kills, five digs, five blocks and one ace serve against Staples-Motley.
Claire Ganley, Pequot Lakes, finished with 20 digs, 15 kills and three ace serves against Walker-Hackensack-Akeley and 22 kills, 18 digs and two ace serves against Grand Rapids.
Sydney Berg, Little Falls, finished with 16 kills, 15 digs, two blocks and one ace serve against Milaca.
Morgan Glenz, finished with 27 kills, 14 digs and one block against Menahga.
Maggie Schmit, Pillager, finished with 73 set assists, 34 digs, six ace serves, four kills and one block during the Bertha-Hewitt Tournament.