Entries for month: September 2009

Blue Devils beat Anoka-Ramsey in five games

Riverland libero Katie Williams moves up on a shallow serve in game one against Anoka-Ramsey Wednesday night at Riverland Community College.

When the Riverland volleyball team had it’s backs to the wall, they just went with what had worked for them all night — attacking the net.

RCC (7-10 overall, 4-3 MCAC South) finished off a deciding fifth when Kate Krogh bashed home two of her seven kills to finish off the Rams (3-9 overall, 2-4 MCAC South).

The Blue Devils pulled out a 14-25, 25-23, 25-18, 18-25, 15-11 victory over Anoka-Ramsey in Riverland Gym Wednesday night.

A-R had burst out to an 8-4 lead in the deciding game and it looked like they had all the momentum, until Stephanie Neumann knocked home three straight points to close the gap to one.

Neumann, a 5-foot, 11-inch freshman from Medford, had 19 kills and three blocks on the night as she dominated the net for the Blue Devils.

“I actually heard them talking on the other side and once they said cross, I would hit line. Plus I had a height advantage, so that helps,” Neumann said. “It’s all about the passing. Once we get the pass (from setter Krissy Schemmel), we can finish it up.”

Once the Blue Devils starting rallying they didn’t quit, Katie Williams, who had 22 digs, and Kristin Vesel both made diving stops down the stretch to stall a couple of Rams’ attacks.

“Once someone’s on the floor we all pick up the pace. We all feed off each other,” Neumann said. “Once we really start playing as a team and pick everything up it all goes a lot smoother.”

RCC head coach Helen Jahr wasn’t worried about her offense being predictable.

“I always tell Krissy to keep going to Stephanie until they stop it,” she said.

The Blue Devils led the fourth game 13-2 after Abbie Curry served 12 straight points, but the Rams scored 22 of the next 25 points to take the game over.

After dropping the first game, RCC battled back early in the second game. The Rams took an early 10-8 lead, but Schemmel served six straight points to put her team up 14-10.

The Rams tied it up at 16, but Neumann responded with three kills in four volleys to put RCC back in control.

The win moves the Blue Devils into third place in the MCAC South, with the top four teams advancing to the state tournament. It has been three years since RCC has gone to state.

“Everybody’s real competitive in the conference, it’s just a matter of who shows up on that night,” Jahr said. “It was big for us to beat Anoka here, because it’s tough to win on the road.”

Krogh had 21 digs for RCC, Schemmel had 27 assists and Danyel Hythecker had three blocks.

Williams, a graduate of Hayfield, was named MCAC South libero of the week Wednesday. She had 43 digs (4.8 per game) for RCC last week.


Rochester holds off Riverland

Riverland’s three-game loss (11-25, 18-25 and 20-25) Wednesday night to Rochester Community and Technical College showed coach Helen Jahr her team is making its strides.

But it also showed the Blue Devils still have work to do.

“We have the talent to win,” Jahr said afterward. “There are a few mistakes, and they are coming at bad times, but we’re learning to be a better team each time we come out on the floor.”

The three games themselves are a reflection of that continued evolution. The Blue Devils were on their heals in game one and some of game two, but by game three they had come around to challenge RCTC.

The Blue Devils, having been picked at the net by RCTC’s fast-paced offense, loaded with slide and quick back schemes, began to anticipate better in game three.

Midway through the game, the Blue Devils held the lead until some of the mistakes came back to nip at the team. RCTC rolled up the match when Mikayla Valvick delivered three kills down the stretch, including the match winner.

Even still, game three showed Riverland isn’t a team to watch the matches pass them by.

“That is optimistic,” Jahr said. “We know they want to win, and there were moments of greatness even in a loss, but we’re giving away games and that has to change.”

Riverland is in the midst of a give and take situation. Their defense, particularly against RCTC’s left-side hitters, came up with the digs.

Kate Krogh had 14 digs, Katie Williams 12 digs and libero Mercedes Miklya had nine.

But that stat shows a hole in Riverland’s net defense.

“The kills on the outside were indicative of a hard digging game,” Jahr said. “But we needed to stop it at the net. We had two ace blocks all night from the left side.”

Offensively, Riverland was led by Stephanie Neumann with eight kills while Kelsey Brink and Krogh each had seven kills.

Setter Krissy Schemmel had 23 set-assists as well as 12 digs on the night.

Riverland is now 2-2 in conference play (5-9 overall) and will be on the road Friday night in Worthington to face Minnesota West.

By Eric Johnson Contact) | Austin Daily Herald

Published Thursday, September 17, 2009


Riverland drops division volleyball match

Staying close to a tough division opponent wasn't enough to prevent the Riverland volleyball team from getting swept in Wednesday night's home match.

Middle hitter Kylie Dykes of Rochester Community and Technical College celebrated her birthday by banging in points against the Lady Blue Devils of Riverland in the three-game sweep.

Led by the strong play at the net from Dykes, the Lady Yellowjackets of RCTC beat the Lady Devils in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference, South Division volleyball match by scores of 25-11, 25-18, 25-20.

The loss stopped a two-match division winning streak for the Lady Devils and left them with a 2-2 record in the MCAC South.

"I thought we had the third game, but our mistakes came at a bad time," Riverland coach Helen Jahr said. "Still, we're learning to be a better team. The girls played well together, they just need to finish games."

After the relatively easy win in the first game, RCTC had to overcome an early deficit in the second game. Alyssa Franzen made a kill to stop a Riverland run for a 17-13 lead, but the home team kept it tight. Kate Krogh had a late kill to cut the deficit to 23-27, but the Lady Devils would get no closer and trailed 2-0 in the match.

Krissy Schemmel served in a winner to start the third game and the Lady Devils had a 1-0 lead. Dykes followed with a kill for RCTC to tie the game. A kill from Kelsey Brink gave Riverland back the lead and it would remain a see-saw affair.

For a time, it looked like the Lady Devils might pull away. Mercedes Miklya went on a four-point service run to give Riverland a 14-9 lead. Dykes made a kill, but Riverland rallied and extended its lead. Schemmel had a service winner for a 16-10 lead.

Dykes responded with a four-point service run to close the gap. It took most of the third game for RCTC to finally usurp the lead from Riverland.

"They're a scrappy team and strong on defense, so it was a challenge for our offense," RCTC coach Carolyn Bell said. "We picked it up in our patterns and got back in the game."

The Lady Jackets eventually pulled away from a 19-all tie and scored five straight points to take control. The Lady Devils missed twice on crucial service opportunities down the stretch.

"Our blocking statistics were really low, which means we had to work harder defensively because the blocks didn't stop their big hitters," Jahr said. "RCTC runs a fast offense, but our girls kept fighting the whole way. I feel like our mistakes gave them those final two games, so at least those are problems we can correct."

Riverland (5-9 overall) travels to Worthington for a division match against Minnesota West on Friday night.

RCTC 3, Riverland 0

RCTC 25 25 25

Riverland 11 18 20

RCTC: Alyssa Franzen 8 kills, 3 blocks; Kylie Dykes 9 kills, 4 blocks; Janine Atkinson 8 kills; Jennifer Henke 19 digs, 2 ace serves; Courtney Lermon 33 set assists.

Riverland: Stephanie Neumann 8 kills; Kate Krogh 7 kills, 14 digs; Kelsey Brink 7 kills; Katie Williams 12 digs; Krissy Schemmel 23 set assists; 12 digs.

Notes: RCTC is 12-2 overall, 3-1 MCAC South.


Blue Devils put on a hit parade against St. Cloud Tech

With some prime set-ups, the Riverland hitters had a field day against St. Cloud Tech in a 20-25, 28-26, 25-21, 25-10 win in Riverland Gym Wednesday.

The Blue Devils (2-5 overall, 1-1 MCAC South) had four different hitters come up with more than eight kills in the four-game win and setter Krissy Schemmel was a primary reason for that success as she had 36 set assists.

“It’s a big boost to have hitters all over the court,” said Schemmel, a sophomore from Mankato West, who also chipped in 19 digs and one ace serve. “We can start from anywhere and I know that they’re going to hit it. We’ve got strong team with a lot of communication.”

The Blue Devils trailed 19-11 in the first game, but they finished strong to pull within 23-20 after Stephanie Neumann had an ace serve, two kills and a block kill down the stretch.

It set the tone for a night where Neumann, a freshman hitter from Medford, would finish with 17 kills to lead all RCC hitters.

The Blue Devils trailed 10-4 in the second game, but rallied behind the hitting of Neumann and Kate Krogh, who had nine kills on the night. RCC led 24-21, but SCT took a 26-25 lead before Kelsey Brink knocked in a kill to keep Riverland alive. The Blue Devils closed out the game with a side-out and a violation on SCT.

“We had a slow start, but usually we pick it up,” Schemmel said. “We were hitting the ball harder, snapping our wrists and playing like a team more and more.”

RCC trailed the third game 16-14, but took a 21-20 lead on a kill by Tiffany Kasper, who had nine kills and two ace serves on the night. RCC scored the last two points of that game on a kill by Neumann and a dig by Kristin Vessel that sailed past the SCT defensive front for a point.

The Blue Devil closed out game four in convincing fashion, winning 25-10. RCC head coach Helen Jahr said that Schemmel, who made a return from a knee injury on Saturday gives the team a lot of leadership.

“(Krissy) takes charge and she makes clutch plays to keep momentum,” Jahr said. “She’s a sneaky, smart player who mixes up the offense for us.”

Schemmel’s knee has held up so far.

“It’s feeling good,” she said. “I just fight through it and I don’t worry about it.”

Brink had eight kills, five set assists and one ace for RCC, Danyel Hythecker had eight blocks, Mercedes Miklya had 15 digs and Katie Williams, who is a 2007 graduate of Hayfield, had two ace serves.

By Rocky Hulne | Austin Daily Herald

Originally published 09:51 p.m., September 9, 2009
Updated 09:51 p.m., September 9, 2009


Riverland volleyball team shows signs in loss to Ridgewater

After a slow start, the Riverland Community College volleyball team showed some strong signs of life in a 25-10, 23-25, 25-17, 25-22 loss to Ridgewater in Riverland Gym Saturday.

The Blue Devils (1-5 overall, 0-1 MCAC) had a chance to win the fourth game as they tied it up at 21 after a kill by Tiffany Kasper and a serve that Ridgewater couldn’t handle by Abbie Curry, who served four straight points to tie the game. But RCC had a missed serve and dropped ball slow them down as Ridgewater clinched the match.

“We made some mental mistakes and I don’t really feel like Ridgewater beat us, I didn’t think they were unbeatable,” RCC head coach Helen Jahr said. “We had some serve receive errors and coverage issues. Those are errors that young players make.”

After scoring just 10 points in the opening game, the Blue Devils stormed to a 19-13 lead in the second game. After Ridgewater, which was the Division III National Runner-Ups last season, scored four straight to pull within 24-23, Curry, a freshman from St. James, slammed down the deciding point.

“I am pleased,” Jahr said. “I think it’s early for us yet and I think you’ll see a different team in two weeks. We’re getting better every day.”

Krissy Schemmel, a sophomore setter from Mankato West, made her season debut for the Blue Devils after suffering a knee injury right before the season. She had 17 assists.

“I’m glad Krissy’s back and I think she did a nice job,” Jahr said. “But she’s not one hundred percent and you can see balls that she would’ve normally had that she had to let go. It was something we sacrificed today but she’ll get better.”

Kate Krogh had 21 digs, 10 kills, an ace, and a block for the Blue Devils, Kelsey Brink had seven kills and a block, Mercedes Miklya had 20 digs and one ace, Katie Williams had an ace, and Curry and Danyel Hythecker each had a block.

Stephanie Tillman, an All-American Middle Hitter for Ridgewater had two block kills and two aces in the first game. She also had the decding kill to end game five.

By Rocky Hulne Contact | Austin Daily Herald

Originally published 03:33 p.m., September 5, 2009
Updated 03:33 p.m., September 5, 2009