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College Volleyball: Raiders run record to 9-0 with win in home opener

Wednesday was student success day for Central Lakes College and the Raiders volleyball put on an exhibition of successful volleyball play as they swept Fond du Lac in the home opener and moved their record to 9-0.

Wednesday was student success day for Central Lakes College and the Raiders volleyball put on an exhibition of successful volleyball play as they swept Fond du Lac in the home opener and moved their record to 9-0.

Led by 25 set assists from Ashton Kapphahn and by 22 service aces as a team, the Raiders rolled the Thunder by scores of 25-5, 25-10, and 25-8 to move their division record to 4-0 while Fond du Lac moved to 0-4. Central Lakes entered the game ranked fourth in the latest NJCAA Division III poll.

A capacity crowd was treated to a solid effort from the Raiders who could have been excused for not putting their best foot forward against an overmatched opponent.

"These kind of games are harder than most of the other ones," said Ashley Abear, a sophomore who plays the Libero position. "We have to make sure that we are all focusing and still playing 100 percent which we should be playing regardless of who we are up against."

She was also appreciative of the energy that the crowd provided the team. "That was super fun," Abear said. "I know we had a lot of fans out this year. It is always fun to hear that cheering in the background."

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With the exception of Kapphahn's 25 set assists, no other player's stats really stood out. However, CLC as a team put out some impressive numbers. They recorded 25 kills, coming from eight different players, led by Journee Howard with six and Ellen Stromgren with five.

They also recorded 22 aces as the Raiders confounded the Thunder all night with their serving game. Eight different players recorded ace serves, led by Jenny Skoog with seven and Rachel Mathias with four.

The Raiders have great depth this year as head coach Jane Peterson noted it as one of the team strengths coming into the season.

"We have two players that are injured but everyone else got a chance to play and played effectively," Peterson said. "The people that aren't playing need to practice and be ready to go in. This was a good night to practice that. The intensity maybe wasn't where it would be, but I am trusting everyone on the team right now that the will go in and execute."

Abear also spoke about the depth of the team and the focus that the team played with.

"We have been aggressive with our serving and we have a lot of different options with our offense. We always have girls that come in and they are ready to play," Abear said. "I think we all work hard in practice and everyone is always ready to play and they are pumped up."

Central Lakes didn't allow the Thunder to ever get comfortable in their offense. The Raiders didn't allow runs of two or greater in the first match while going on a 12 point run to get the win in the first game.

In the second game the Thunder did have a two point run twice, but it came with CLC holding a 16-4 lead.

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In Game Three, the Thunder fell behind by a score of 15-5 after runs of five, four, and three points by the Raiders and they couldn't recover from that falling 25-8. CLC didn't allow any runs in the final game.

After the Labor Day weekend the Raiders will host Northland, an opponent that is having a struggle in the early part of the season but that has traditionally been a strong team.

Wednesday night's win was the ninth for the Raiders and it was just as important as all of the others this young season.

"They have a really good understanding not just of the game but of competition," Peterson said of her squad. "They know the challenges and they know that the teams they played last weekend are teams that we are better than. They have had a little practice of knowing you are going to win, and knowing how to win."

Fond Du Lac 5 10 8

Central Lakes 25 25 25

Central Lakes statistics

Justyne Litzau 1 ace serve

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Jenny Skoog 3 kills, 7 ace serves, 1 dig

Alex Lucken 2 ace serves, 2 digs

Ashley Abear 4 digs

Kaitlynn Christen 3 kills, 2 blocks

Ashton Kapphahn 1 kill, 25 set assists, 2 ace serves, 1 dig

Ellen Stromgren 5 kills, 1 block

Hannah Geroux 1 dig

Faith Kassulker 1 kill, 1 block

Journee Howard 6 kills, 2 ace serves, 3 digs, 2 blocks

Lakyn Anderson 2 ace serves, 2 digs

Rachel Mathias 2 kills, 4 ace serves, 2 blocks

Britta Torgerson 4 kills, 2 ace serves, 6 digs

Division: CLC 3-0. Overall: CLC 9-0. Next: Northland at Central Lakes 6:30 p.m. Sept. 9.

Related Topics: COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL
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