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College Volleyball: Peterson notches 700th coaching win with CLC victory

Jane Peterson looks for career win 700 as CLC hosts Fergus Falls.

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Central Lakes College Head Volleyball coach Jane Peterson celebrates her 700th victory Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 against Minnesota State-Fergus Falls at CLC. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

The Central Lakes College volleyball team is a pretty calm bunch, but the atmosphere was anything but calm for a key match-up with Minnesota State Community & Technical College Wednesday, Oct. 20, in Brainerd.

The Spartans entered the game ranked No. 3 nationally, just ahead of fellow Southern Division foe Rochester Community College.

There is a good chance that the Raiders may see one of these two teams at the National Tournament and CLC prepared for that matchup with a thrilling 3-1 win in front of a packed house.

The win was also a major milestone for head coach Jane Peterson. In her 31st year of coaching with the Raiders, Peterson became just the 10th volleyball coach in NJCAA history to reach 700 career wins. She is No. 10 on the all-time wins list and No. 4 among active coaches in the nation.

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The two teams swapped wins in the first two matches and a 25-22 win in Game Three gave the Raiders a 2-1 advantage. They fell behind 19-12 in Game Four before staging a comeback to tie the game at 19. The two teams traded points after that and with the crowd on its feet, the Raiders came away with the 28-26 win to seal the victory.

“We are a mellow group but today we brought the hype,” said second-year hitter Haley Schleper. “At times a bunch of us would just remind each other to slow it down. Sarah (Bennett) had a really good day today and made sure everyone was calm and doing their job.”

Schleper did her job at the net, pounding out 18 kills, followed closely by Jamie Johnson who tallied 16. Assisting on the kills was Grace Peabody who talled 44 set assists.

The Raiders service game was potent. Despite 14 service errors, they were effective at putting the Spartans in tough spots in the service-receive all evening. Peabody led the way with three service aces and CLC finished with 10 for the game.

In Game One with the score tied at three the Raiders went on a five point run and a service ace from Gabbie Enneking gave them an 8-3 lead. MSCC pulled to within two points at 15-13 but they wouldn’t get any closer. Another ace from Jacey Rydberg made it 21-15 and the Raiders won 25-22.

In the second game the Spartans got out to a 10-5 lead but the Raiders tied it at 11 on an ace from Johnson. Minnesota State widened the margin to 18-12 and it proved to be too much with CLC falling 25-21.

The Raiders got off to a fast start in the third game with two kills from Schleper and two more aces from Enneking to lead 8-3. The lead got to 21-15 on an ace from Rydberg but the Spartans would not go quietly with the Raiders getting the win 25-22.

It appeared that there would be a fifth game as Minnesota State led 9-5 early in Game Four and increased that to 13-6. Trailing 19-12, CLC went on a seven point run that had the gym shaking to tie the score at 19. The Spartans went ahead 21-19 before Schleper knocked out a kill. But things were dire after that as the Raiders lost the next three points to trail 24-21. But two kills from Johnson and an attack error on Minnesota State and the game was tied at 24. With the contest tied at 26 the Spartans served into the net and had problems with the service-receive on the game winning point and the Raiders had the 28-26 win.

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The crowd was going wild as the team huddled to congratulate Peterson on her milestone.

“It was like Ken (Coach Miller) said to Haley and I during practice, this was like a trial run for nationals because this is a nationally ranked team,” Bennett said.“We just knew that we had to trust each other and to push each other to be better at every point.”

“We are more of a mellow team so we just like to take a deep breath before every game and go over our goals and this game we achieved that.”

Minnesota State 21 25 25 28
Central Lakes 25 21 22 26

Raider statistics
Haley Schleper 18 kills, 17 digs
Gabbie Enneking 2 ace serves, 9 digs
Sarah Bennett 2 set assists, 2 ace serves, 9 digs
Grace Peabody 1 kill, 44 set assists, 3 ace serves, 17 digs
Megan Rinicker 8 kills, 1 ace serve, 13 digs
Tori Plemel 2 kills, 1 dig
Jacey Rydberg 6 kills, 1 ace serve, 4 digs
Jaime Johnson 16 kills, 1 ace serve, 2 digs
Division: CLC 10-0. Overall: CLC 18-9. Next: Central Lakes hosts Hibbing noon Thursday, Oct. 21.

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