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College Volleyball: Raiders clinch division

With a Northern Division title on the line, the Raiders dominated Rainy River with an attack and service game on their way to a 3-0 win Friday at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.

Central Lakes College’s Kayla Larson hits the ball over the net Friday against Rainy River. Kelly Humphrey/Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery
Central Lakes College’s Kayla Larson hits the ball over the net Friday against Rainy River. Kelly Humphrey/Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery

With a Northern Division title on the line, the Raiders dominated Rainy River with an attack and service game on their way to a 3-0 win Friday at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.

Rachel Mathias pounded out 15 kills and knocked back nine blocks, while the Raider defense stymied the Voyagers' best hitter Maddie Filipiak, who was named Offensive Player of the Week last week.

"We served really well which meant that they couldn't do what they wanted to do, and we blocked well, which is so frustrating to a hitter," said CLC head coach Jane Peterson. "Last time we played, Rainy River swung away and it worked."

The Raiders entered Friday's game with an 11-1 division record. Rainy River entered with a 10-2 record. The last time the two teams met, the Raiders lost in three close sets in International Falls.

After taking last weekend off, CLC had an extended period of time to get ready for the Voyagers.

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"We took three days off and we practiced hard Monday and Tuesday and a little on Thursday and worked on specific parts of the game and what we needed to do to beat Rainy River," said Peterson. "It was nice to have an extended amount of time to work on that."

For the first time in the 2016 season the Raiders served better than 90 percent with Lakyn Anderson leading the team with four ace serves. She also tallied 22 set assists with teammate Kaitlynn Christen tipping 10 assists.

"We didn't have any lapses on serving or on serve-receive," Peterson said. "If you win the serve-pass game you can beat good teams. We only missed on three serves tonight, which was big."

The two teams were ranked in the top 10 in the latest NJCAA Division III poll with the Raiders ranked seventh and the Voyagers ranked 10th.

The serving game started a run for the Raiders in the first game as Anderson broke open a close game with two aces to give CLC an 11-7 lead. It built to 14-8 on a kill from Mathias. An ace from Cozette Eastman finished off the 25-19 CLC win.

The Raiders built a 5-0 lead in Game Two on a block from Mathias. They led 14-6 on a kill from Britta Torgerson. Two more points via the block came from Mathias and Becca Jensen to make it 17-9. It ended on a combined block from Jensen and Kayla Larson to give the Raiders a 25-11 win.

There was no letting up for CLC in Game Three as they built a 14-8 lead on a kill from Mathias. Sierra Nori's ace gave the Raiders a 23-15 lead and they went on to close out the game at 25-16.

"There weren't a lot of long rallies so we didn't have a lot of digs," Peterson said. "We stopped the ball at the net so many times and they probably haven't had that happen before. They are a scrappy team and we took them out of their game."

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Next weekend CLC will host the Region 13B tournament with the winner advancing to the national tournament. The Raiders will be the No. 1 seed.

Rainy River 19 10 16

Central Lakes 25 25 25

Central Lakes statistics

Sierra Nori 1 ace serve, 2 digs

Kahlen Manthey 4 digs

Baylee Grenier 2 set assists

Kaitlynn Christen 7 kills, 1 dig, 2 blocks

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Morgan Melby 11 set assists, 3 digs

Cozette Eastman 3 kills, 1 ace serve, 3 digs

Kayla Larson 4 kills, 1 block

Britta Torgerson 7 kills, 1 set assist, 2 ace serves, 1 dig, 4 blocks

Lakyn Anderson 22 set assists, 4 ace serves,

Becca Jensen 4 kills, 5 blocks

Rachel Mathias 15 kills, 2 digs, 9 blocks

Division: CLC 12-1. Overall: CLC 18-11. Next: No. 1 Seed Central Lakes hosts No.4 Seed (TBD) in the semi-finals of the Region 13B tournament, 6 p.m. Friday.

Related Topics: COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL
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