The expectations at Central Lakes College are high for this year's volleyball team. For those who know the program, this should come as no surprise.
Raiders volleyball, under the leadership of head coach Jane Peterson, now in her 17th season, has put together an impressive resume, particularly since the turn of the millennium.
From the year 2000 to 2006, Central Lakes College volleyball has the following to boast: Five North Division championships, five Minnesota Community College Conference state championships, six Region 13B championships and six National Junior College Athletic Association top-three finishes, including national titles in 2000 and 2001.
Peterson said the formula to the program's success in recent years is fairly basic.
Jane Peterson, in her 17th season, has built CLC Raider volleyball into an impressive program. Brainerd Dispatch/File photo » Purchase reprints of this photo.
"We've had good players and we have coaches who care. That's pretty much all there is," she said. "It sounds pretty easy but it takes a lot of work."
In regard to the expectations for 2007, Peterson said it is too early to set specific goals.
"The expectations are always the same no matter who shows up that we try to achieve excellence and that we try to be as good as we can be," she said. "So we try to be successful, we try to have fun and we try to just get better."
29 - FERGUS FALLS, 6:30 p.m.
31 - at Iowa Lakes
1 - at Iowa Lakes
7 - MESABI RANGE,
8 - VERMILION, noon.
12 - NORTHLAND,
15 - at Ridgewater, TBA.
19 - at Itasca, 6:30 p.m.
21 - at Rainy River, 6:30 p.m.
24 - at Hibbing, 6:30 p.m.
29 - at NDSCS tournament, TBA
5 - at Vermilion, 6:30 p.m.
6 - at Mesabi Range, noon.
10 - at Northland, 6:30 p.m.
12 - HIBBING, 6:30 p.m.
13 - RAINY RIVER, noon.
16 - ITASCA, 6:30 p.m.
18 - TOURNAMENT, TBA
20 - Playoff if necessary
26-28 - MCCC state
tournament at Willmar
2 or 3 - Region 13B tournament at North No. 1
16-17 - NJCAA national tournament at Rochester
Head coach: Jane Peterson, 17th season
2006 finish: 11-1 conference, 23-3 overall, 10-1 postseason
Sophomores: Jill Wizik (S), Heather Feldewerd (MH), Lisa Kurtz (S/H), Heather Kapinos (L), Krista Meyer (OH).
Assistant coaches: Ken Miller, Heidi Hahn
The task of extending the string of success this season will be left to a team of 10 (five sophomores and five freshmen), down from 15 players a year ago.
Included in the corps of returning sophomores is 2006 NJCAA Division III All-American Lisa Kurtz, along with second-team All-MCCC player Krista Meyer.
Heather Kapinos, a sophomore with 153 digs last season, said the transition process between returning members and incoming freshmen has been smooth.
"I feel like we've bonded sooner than last year," Kapinos said. "A smaller team makes the process a lot easier."
The Raiders will get a chance to test their early season chemistry Wednesday night as they host MSCTC-Fergus Falls in the season opener. The match will also mark the opening of the conference schedule.
Peterson said it's difficult to predict the major players in the MCCC, year in and year out, given the revolving door nature of athletes participating in junior college athletics.
"There are reputations but you never know," she said. "I know that we have good enough players to be one of the best teams. But am I ready to say we're going to be the best? No. I would hope to be but I can't say."
Jill Wizik, who compiled 105 set assists last season, said there are unspoken goals of achievement among team members for the upcoming season.
"We all have expectations we've set for this team," she said. "We don't have to necessarily say it ... we all know it."
TY RUSHMEYER may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5865.
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