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College Volleyball: Raiders beat Vikings in 3 sets

The climb to the top of the mountain is a lengthy one, but staying at the top can be the biggest challenge. The Central Lakes College Raiders volleyball team reached the top of the rankings after finishing 3-1 at the Rochester Yellowjacket Invita...

Central Lakes College's Hailey Tihlarik dives for the ball Wednesday, Sept. 12, against Itasca at CLC. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery and Video
Central Lakes College's Hailey Tihlarik dives for the ball Wednesday, Sept. 12, against Itasca at CLC. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery and Video

The climb to the top of the mountain is a lengthy one, but staying at the top can be the biggest challenge.

The Central Lakes College Raiders volleyball team reached the top of the rankings after finishing 3-1 at the Rochester Yellowjacket Invitational and being voted No. 1 in the latest NJCAA Division III poll.

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, they faced the Itasca Vikings in a Northern Division match. The Vikings entered the game with a 2-7 record, while the Raiders stood at 11-1.

Led by 11 kills and three blocks from Maggi Fellerman, the Raiders displayed energy and defeated the Vikings in three sets by scores of 25-13, 25-13 and 25-19 to move to 2-0 in division play while the Vikings fell to 0-2.

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For more photos go to https://bit.ly/2Ok2pnm .

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Paige Wallevand tipped 23 set assists, and Hailey Tihlarik totaled 16 digs in the win.

The Raiders have played a lot of volleyball in the last three weeks, and couldn't have been blamed for coming out flat. However, they did just the opposite of that, getting off to fast starts and building a 10-2 lead in the first set and a 6-0 lead in the second set. Itasca finally was able to take their first lead in the third set at 1-0, but it was their only lead of the night.

"Jane (Peterson) always tells us to bring our own energy, and bring it onto the court, and get excited about things that we do, and that will make us play up to our level," Fellerman said.

The Raiders were a tired team on Saturday, Sept. 8, in Rochester and they fell to Northern Iowa Area Community College for the their first loss of the season.

Coach Jane Peterson was thinking about the energy level of her team going into Wednesday night's game.

"We were positive tonight," Peterson said of her team's performance. "We are not the highest energy team, and we are not super loud. A lot of us are shy, calm people and that is a good thing in that we don't get rattled. When we get tired like we did last weekend we really need to work to bring energy.

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"We have been working hard the last few weeks with just taking Sunday off, and that is it. So we will work hard tomorrow and then take a big break. It would be fun to play like NIAC (Northern Iowa Area Community College) when we are fresh and see what would happen."

The Raiders are off to a fast start at 12-1, and both Peterson and Fellerman credit team unity as one of the factors.

"I think the biggest thing is our togetherness," Fellerman said. "Most of us have been playing together the last three winters and we have really good chemistry. We all get along, and there is never any drama."

"Unity is one of things," Peterson agreed. "A lot of these girls have played together before and then some of the sophomores helped coach them last year so they knew each other. There was no one on the team who didn't know each other, and that helps with the trust factor."

Peterson also pointed out another factor that has played into their early season success.

"We have been a better team than 11 of the teams that we have played, and then one team that was better than us, beat us. Our record is what it should be."

For more photos go to https://bit.ly/2Ok2pnm .

 

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Itasca 13 13 19

Central Lakes 25 25 25

 

Raider statistics

Sydney Forbord 1 kill, 1 set assist, 2 digs, 3 blocks

Shelby Berg 4 digs

Cassie Smieja 8 kills, 2 ace serves, 5 digs, 2 blocks

Hailey Tihlarik 1 kill, 16 digs

Maggi Fellerman 11 kills, 3 blocks

Kaitlyn Luksik 4 kills, 1 ace serve, 4 digs

Kylie Porter 2 kills, 10 set assists, 2 ace serves, 2 digs

Alie Johanneck 3 kills

Paige Wallevand 3 kills, 23 set assists, 1 ace serve, 3 digs

Sydney Berg 3 kills

Carlie Schroeder 3 ace serves, 5 digs

Division: CLC 2-0. Overall: CLC 12-1. Next: CLC at Hibbing 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14.

Related Topics: COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL
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