Jana Anderson plays volleyball, and basketball, with no fear, and her swashbuckling style fires up her Crosby-Ironton Rangers teammates and coaches alike.
There's a method to the junior outside hitter's madness.
"She's the most aggressive player on the team," said Ranger head coach Shelly Neprud. "She has learned to read defenses and place the ball this year. Defensively, she reads hitters well.
"Jana is a stronger player than most. On game point she still tries to kill the ball. She knows who she is playing against, which teams have the best blockers and how to place it over the block.
"The last two games we played against Pequot and Cass Lake, both went five games. Jana really stepped up and played aggressively throughout the whole match and played to win."
Anderson tallied eight ace serves, 11 kills, 18 digs and one block in the Rangers' 3-2 win over Pequot Lakes Oct. 20. The victory helped the Rangers finish 3-3 in the Mid-State Conference.
Two days later, in a 3-2 win over Cass Lake-Bena, Anderson recorded 1 ace serve, 11 kills, 25 digs and a block.
"Jana does play all around and is effective from any position on the floor," said Neprud. "Her serving has come a long way and she's being aggressive with it. You win games by playing defense and she's one of our quickest defensive players.
"Her excitement on the floor pushes the other girls to play harder and stronger. She's come alive encouraging her teammates."
Being a starting point guard on C-I's section final girls' basketball team and a two-year starter on the volleyball team have given Anderson a wealth of big-game knowledge. Neprud said nerves don't get to Anderson, who owns an .82 serving percentage (181-220) with 36 ace serves, 152 kills, 301 digs and 20 blocks.
"We worked on her approach this year and worked on her general attack all together," Neprud said. "Defensively, she's worked on her foot movement. She's worked at reading hitters more this year. Her biggest strength is her hitting ability and that's something she's worked the most on after practice."
Position: Outside hitter
Key stat: Finished with 43 digs, 22 kills, nine ace serves and two blocks last week.
Other notable performances:
Cross country: Kylie Beltz, Pequot Lakes, won the Birch Tree Conference in 17:22.
Kaitlyn Roth, Staples-Motley, wont he Howard Lake Invite with a 15:42.
Swimming and diving: Marissa Deml, Little Falls, won the 50- and 100-yard freestyles against Holdingford.
Stephanie Stumpf, Little Falls, won the 200- and 500-yard freestyles against Holdingford.
Megan Voss, Little Falls, won the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke against Holdingford.
Whitney Weisz, Little Falls, won the 50- and 100-yard freestyles against Willmar.
Tennis: Allie Carlson and Kaitlyn Davies, Aitkin, finished second in the Section 7-1A doubles tournament to advance to state.
Skye Coughlin and Emma Koskiniemi, Staples-Motley, finished second in the Section 6-1A doubles tournament to advance to state.
Volleyball: Rachel Mott, Pequot Lakes, had 11 kills, 13 blocks and 1 dig against Pillager.
Lacey Lindahl, Crosby-Ironton, finished with 63 set assists, 39 digs, seven kills and two ace serves last week.
Courtney Volkmann, Wadena-Deer Creek, had 20 set assists, 13 digs, nine ace serves and three kills against Frazee.
Katie Wangberg, Pine River-Backus, finished with 26 set assists, 13 digs, seven kills, two blocks and one ace serve against Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.
Emily Doss, Pillager, finished with 25 set assists, 14 digs, one block and one ace serve against Henning.
Lexi Hirsch, Little Falls, finished with 26 set assists, 24 digs and 10 kills against Sauk Rapids.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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