ROCHESTER — Three Central Lakes College Raiders reached double digit kills and Kylie Porter added 47 set assists in a 3-1 victory over Harper in the fifth-place match of the NJCAA Division III National Tournament Saturday, Nov. 16.
“I’m proud of this team,” Raiders head coach Jane Peterson said. “Fifth place is nothing to be ashamed of. After we lost Brookhaven (in the quarterfinals), I thought we refocused and really played well the last two games. Ken (assistant coach Ken Miller) and I were talking after the tournament and there wasn’t anyone who didn’t contribute. We weren’t disappointed in anyone’s play.”
Sydney Berg collected 17 kills, four digs and a block. Nicole Korton tallied 11 kills, eight digs and an ace serve and Maggi Fellerman added 10 kills, six blocks and three digs for the Raiders, who opened with a 25-19 win in the first set.
Harper, seeded seventh for the tournament, regrouped and won the second set 25-23.
Porter and the fifth-seeded Raiders rallied for a 25-23 third set win. Porter added a kill, and eight digs to her 47 assists.
Haley Schleper added eight kills, two digs. Hailey Tihlarik finished with 26 digs and four ace serves and Jade Porter added 12 digs for the Raiders who outlasted Harper for a 28-26 win in the fourth set.
The Raiders finished the season 21-14 and fifth in the nation. Berg made the all-tournament team.
“A lot of people don’t know some of the things that this team had to overcome,” Peterson said. “I told the team it was an honor to coach them. I honestly don’t know what our record is. You take away those forfeits and who knows what our record it is, but this team literally shows that records don’t mean much. We just finished 3-1 at the National tournament and finished fifth. That’s pretty impressive.”