PREP VOLLEYBALL: Area teams wrap up at Jimmy John’s Classic
MARSHALL — Multiple area teams wrapped up play at the Jimmy John’s Classic on Saturday, with Russell-Tyler-Ruthton, Westbrook-Walnut Grove, Dawson-Boyd, Lakeview and Murray County Central all taking part in the two-day tournament.
The Lakers won their pool play Friday to advance to the Gold Division on Saturday by defeating Cedar Mountain 2-0 (25-11, 25-8) and WWG 2-0 (25-17, 25-21). On Saturday, Lakeview opened with a two-set win over Brandon Evansville (25-20, 25-19) before taking out Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop 2-0 (25-16, 25-8) and Litchfield (25-8, 17-25, 15-10) to capture first place.
LeAnn Stensrud led the way for the Lakers with 67 total kills while Savanna Louwagie added 31. Sidney Geistfeld led in digs with 42 total while Louwagie added 28. Kaitlin Fischer led in set assists with 123 total while Bradlyn Gniffke led in blocks with five.
Lakeview coach Stephanie Hennen said she was pleased with their passing and defense throughout the tournament and felt their hitters have shown a lot of confidence with their attacking as well.
“I think we passed pretty well and our defense has really stepped it up quite a bit. We’ve been trying to serve spots, so we miss every once in a while, but we’re trying to serve more aggressively and keep other teams out of system,” Hennen said. “Our hitters have been going up and are not afraid to swing, so that’s been great but we could work a little bit more on our blocking and our coverage of their hitters but we’re getting there.”
Lakeview will face TMB on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.
The Knights won their pool play Friday to advance to the Gold Division on Saturday by defeating Hills-Beaver Creek 2-1 (19-25, 25-10, 15-11) and Heron Lake-Okabena 2-0 (25-19, 25-12). On Saturday, RTR opened with a three-set win over undefeated Adrian (17-25, 25-16, 18-16) before taking out KMS 2-0 (25-20, 25-15) and RRC in the third-place game 2-0 (25-20, 25-13). The Knights took third because they lost a set to Adrian.
RTR coach Daynica Brown said she felt her team has learned how to battle when facing a deficit, especially against more challenging teams and added she was pleased with their defensive performance as well as serving.
“I think in general we learned how to battle. For example, Adrian was up at times and they’re a good team and were undefeated, so to learn to come back when you have a deficit, to learn to be mentally strong,” Brown said. “Our defense has been doing a really good job of getting underneath the ball. Serving, Kylea (Baartman) had a fantastic first couple of games on Saturday, she was constantly aggressive and had a lot of aces and then in the front she’s been swinging hard as well as the rest of my hitters.”
Baartman led the way for the Knights with 40 total kills while Haley Muenchow added 32 and Madison Witte had 20. Kalleigh Carr led in digs with 56 total while Mckinley Schreurs added 32 and Madison Wendland had 29. Schreurs led in set assists with 110 while Witte led in blocks with seven.
RTR will face YME on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.
The Chargers began their pool play on Friday with a split, defeating Cedar Mountain 2-0 (25-18, 25-16) before falling to Lakeview 2-0 (17-25, 21-25) to stay in the Gold Division. WWG then fell to Litchfield 2-0 (15-25, 15-25), MACCRAY 2-0 (19-25, 10-25) and CMCS 2-0 (16-25, 14-25) to take 12th place.
No stats were available at press time.
WWG coach Meghann Westover said she felt they were playing at a slower pace and didn’t do an effective job of attacking but added they’re hoping to use their matches against faster teams to help improve their team going forward.
“Honestly, we were pretty slow and didn’t put the ball down like we normally do. Our passes were off which causes our set to be off and then our hitters our off, so it didn’t go as well as it should,” Westover said. “We’re going to be playing teams that are quicker and we need to learn to play quicker with them. We have a very quick team but it’s not something that we don’t see a lot in our conference, so I think it’s something that we can use going forward to help us.”
WWG will face Mountain Lake Area/Comfrey on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.
The Blackjacks went 0-2 in pool play on Friday with a pair of 2-0 losses to Brandon Evansville (20-25, 14-25) and Red Rock Central (15-25, 17-25) to move to the Brown Division on Saturday. Dawson-Boyd defeated Renville County West 2-0 (25-14, 25-11) before falling 2-0 to Heron-Lake Okabena (22-25, 24-26) in its first two games on Saturday. The Blackjacks went on to capture fifth-place with a 2-0 victory over Worthington (25-20, 25-18).
Assistant coach Hailey Osland was pleased with the team’s ability to correct its mistakes but would’ve liked to have seen more consistency throughout the tournament.
“I think that we’ve worked really hard to overcome little mistakes, but we have to continue and push through the whole entire game,” said Osland. “We’ll push really hard for five points then kind of give in to the other team a little bit. So, we need to work on staying consistent and pushing the whole time.”
Karoline Dahl paced the team in kills with 39 while Megan Mamer added 25, Avery Bartunek had 23 and Amelia Olson had 17. Dahl also led the way in digs with 35 while Olson added 33. Kyndall Franzky led the team in set assists with 97 total while Olson led in blocks with five.
Dawson-Boyd will take on Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley today at 7:30 p.m.
The Rebels went 0-2 in Friday’s pool play games with a 2-0 loss to MACCRAY (19-25, 15-25) and a 2-1 loss to Springfield (25-22, 16-25, 12-15) to move to the brown division on Saturday. MCC then lost in three sets to Hills-Beaver Creek (15-25, 25-16, 11-15) and Worthington (16-25, 25-16, 14-16) before tying Cedar Mountain (27-25, 26-28) and Renville County West (25-19, 20-25) in the round robin.
Coach Kate DeLong identified the team’s defense as a major strength throughout the tournament.
“We’ve really worked a lot on our defensive end scrambling,” said DeLong. “Going on the floor, getting the ball up and just knowing if you give 110% that second and third player will be there to get the ball back over on the other side of the court. I think they did a great job of that Friday and even Saturday. They’ve really proven that if we can get it up even on that first ball we’re going to get it back over the net.”
Shelby Christensen led the way for the Rebels in kills with a total of 34 in the tournament while Bryn Hoekman added 29 Brianna Schmitz had 21. Christensen also paced the team in digs with 54 while Amber Boock and Brynn Graphenteen each added 50. Graphenteen led in set assists with 63 while Emily Rohrer led in blocks with 12 and Bryn Hoekman added eight.
MCC will face Adrian Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. on its home court.