Devan Preimesberger sets the Crosby-Ironton Rangers offense in motion.
The senior setter had 27 set assists and two kills in a win over Pequot Lakes Oct. 1. She added 74 set assists, two ace serves and one kill at the Esko tournament Oct. 7.
"I prefer setting up the rest of the girls," the senior captain said. "The kills I'm happy about them because I'm not the tallest girl on the court. When I do get them, it's just a hole on the court."
Preimesberger stands all of 5-foot-3, but she's a giant reason the Rangers are enjoying success this year. The Rangers stand 3-3 in the Mid-State Conference, 11-13 overall. That's a large jump from last year's 0-4 and 6-18 records.
"(The seniors have) been playing together for two or three years and the juniors know what we've been doing. We have a really good bond this year. We're all friends and that's a good thing."
In 10 regular-season matches and three tournaments, Preimesberger has 468 set assists and a serving percentage of 97.6 with 18 ace serves. First-year head coach Arlen Bowen said his setter is also the best server on the team.
"These aren't just cream puff serves either," said Bowen. "She has good concentration. The better servers need that concentration and rhythm to keep hitting the ball hard and in the court."
Setting is the seniors' specialty. She's been the Rangers' setter for four years and has a connection with each hitter.
"The setter has to know what each hitter's tendency is," said Bowen. "I think that's one of her strong suits. She just knows her hitters very well. Most setters do, but when you have an experienced setter, you don't have to work on that very much."
Preimesberger said that simply talking with each hitter has helped get her hitters in the best possible position for an attack.
"They tell me where they want their sets and how high and how close to the net," said the senior. "It's not too tough but starting out it was a little hard."
Preimesberger was out for two games with shin splints and some of her hitters were injured, causing a slow start.
"Each week, we've added more to the offense," Bowen said. "Now she's starting to call more plays as she's quickly learning what each player can do in their position. Her experience last year, and her knowledge of her teammates, has helped her. It's been easy for me to add plays because she can pick them up quickly."
Preimesberger's knowledge comes from being around the sport most of her life. Volleyball has become a family affair. Her mother, Kim Preimesberger, is the junior varsity coach while her older sister, Jamie, is the freshman coach.
"I learned everything from my sister and my mom," said Preimesberger. "I would say it's a family thing.
"I started in first grade, just passing and setting to my sister."
Other notable performances:
Cross country -- Crosby-Ironton's Kim Beaman won the Ranger Invitational in 16:39.
Tennis -- C-I's Megan Beseres won all five of her No. 1 singles matches to lead the Rangers to four wins. Teammates Kate Gaffney and Angie Gaviglio also finished the week 5-0.
Volleyball -- Staples-Motley's Michelle Honek had 16 kills, 8 blocks and 6 ace serves vs. Park Rapids. Honek added seven kills, four blocks and four ace serves vs. Wadena-Deer Creek and 12 kills and 7 ace serves at the Nevis tournament.
Flecia Foster of Pequot Lakes had 11 kills, 11 digs, two blocks and 1 ace serve against C-I and 27 kills, 21 digs, four ace serves and three blocs at the Pierz tournament.
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