The Central Lakes College Raiders volleyball team got a taste of what it's like to have a bull's-eye on its back as it went 2-1 in pool play at the Minnesota Community College Conference state volleyball tournament Friday at Northland College in Thief River Falls.
Teams were gunning for the Raiders right from the start. They defeated Riverland 2-1 but ran into the nation's fourth-ranked Division III team, the Ridgewater Warriors, who dispatched CLC in three straight games. The Raiders bounced back to beat Itasca 2-1 to finish the day.
CLC finished second in its pool and moved on to face Rainy River or Mesabi on Saturday in the championship semifinals.
No matter how the Raiders finish the state tournament, they will play for the Region 13B championship Nov. 8 because they won the North Division regular season title.
"It took all day to get going," Raiders coach Jane Peterson said Friday. "We weren't playing our best and we struggled a little bit. But we persevered and we're hoping for a new start in the semifinals."
Lane tenCate led the Raiders' attack. The freshman middle hitter pounded out 34 kills in the three matches to go along with 28 digs and 11 blocks, all team highs. Kristin Olson wasn't far behind tenCate as she finished with 31 kills. Setter Abby Leach directed the offense, dishing out 105 set assists.
Entering the tournament, Peterson set goals for the team. Despite the less-than-stellar play, the Raiders did accomplish one goal.
"We did serve over 90 percent," Peterson said, "which was a goal coming in, but there's more to the game than just serving."
Peterson said in the championship round, every team's record is 0-0, regardless of what it did the previous day. And with the poor showing against the Warriors, the Raiders are hoping for another chance to prove themselves.
"They know that losing isn't any fun," said Peterson. "Hopefully they'll be able to focus better (Saturday). Ridgewater had a more varied attack than we've faced and we hope to face them again."
MCCC pool play results
CLC def. Riverland 30-17, 30-26, 29-31
Ridgewater def. CLC 30-25, 30-19, 30-28
CLC def. Itasca 30-22, 27-30, 30-20
Abby Leach 2 kill, 105 set assists, 3 aces, 17 digs, 3 blocks
Jodie Solinger 18 digs
Tracy Bell 5 aces, 13 digs
Shannon McCarthy 26 kills, 2 aces, 8 digs, 9 blocks
Lane tenCate 34 kills, 5 aces, 28 digs, 11 blocks
Aubrie Anderson 11 kills, 2 digs, 6 blocks
Dana tenCate 4 aces, 18 digs,
Kristin Olson 31 kills, 11 digs, 6 blocks
Kelly Holmgren 3 aces
Jenny Skiba 22 kills, 26 digs, 4 blocks, 2 aces
Overall -- CLC 22-8. Next game -- CLC was in semifinals at Northland College, 10 a.m. Saturday.
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