They'll play in the Keweenaw Volleyball Classic.
The Minnesota Crookston volleyball team kicks off their 2019 schedule with the Keweenaw Volleyball Classic by Country Inn & Suites Radisson. The Golden Eagles will see a lot of talented teams in the tournament, including host team Michigan Tech. The Golden Eagles will look to rebound from a four-win season a year ago and it starts in Houghton, Mich.
• SIKKINK IN THE MIDDLE. Kaitlin Sikkink, the Redshirt Senior from St. Charles, Minn., returns for her fifth and final season for the Golden Eagles. Last season, Sikkink had 146 kills on the season, but her presence was felt most when the opponents were on the offensive. Sikkink had 53 blocks on the season, which led the team. Sikkink will look to continue that success this season for the maroon and gold.
• PORSHA POWER. Last season, the Golden Eagles liked what they saw from freshman Porsha Porath. The sophomore from Windom, Minn., had a solid season in her first season as a Golden Eagle. Porath played in 21 matches last season and was second on the team with 147 kills. The second year Golden Eagle had seven games with double-digit kills, including a season and career high 14 against Minnesota State last season. The Golden Eagles will look to Porath to have an even better second season.
• BLOCK PARTY. The Golden Eagles were a very effective team at the net a season ago. The Golden Eagles finished the season with 38 solo blocks and finished the season with almost 1.3 blocks per set. The Golden Eagles return Sikkink and Meli Rodriguez, as well as newcomer Abbie Peterson, who will also look to contribute to the block party.
• DEJA VU. When the Golden Eagles play Wisconsin-Parkside for the first game of the regular season on Sept., 6, the Golden Eagles will be looking for some repeat. Last season, Minnesota Crookston defeated the Rangers in four sets to start the season off 1-0. In order to do that same thing this season, the Golden Eagles might have to look at one number: 43. That’s how many kills the Golden Eagles had as a team in last season’s regular season opener. That was the sixth most kills the Golden Eagles had in one game last season.
• DOMINANT DEAIRA. Deiara Gresham, the junior from Maplewood, Minn., will look to carry over her success from her second season into her third season. Gresham led the team in total kills last season with 233 and at times, looked like a dominant force for the Golden Eagles. In her first four games played last season, Gresham had 55 kills including 17 kills against Bemidji State and 15 against Lake Superior State University. In a game against Northern Michigan, Gresham hit just three errors on 25 total attacks and finished that game with a .320 hitting percentage. There’s no doubt that Gresham has the potential to be a dominant player, now it’s all about reaching that full potential.
• NOTHING GETS PAST ALI. Ali Schueler returns for her final season as a Golden Eagle. The redshirt-senior from Howards Grove, Wis., was solid last season in the backrow. A season ago, Schueler had 18 games with double-digit digs, including nine straight games with double-digit digs, a streak that lasted four and a half weeks. Schueler had a season high 24 digs in a loss to MSU Moorhead last season. Those 24 digs is the second most digs she has had in one game in her career as a Golden Eagle. For the season, Schueler led the way with 325 digs, which led the Golden Eagles.
• SYD THE KID. Last season, Sydney Kruisselbrink was the main setter for the Golden Eagles and although there were some tough times, head coach Sarah Rauen has to like what she sees from her junior setter from Rochester, Minn. Kruisselbrink finished the season with 735 assists and 7.5 assists per set last season. Kruisselbrink had a game to remember in a five-set marathon against Minot State. The lefty setter finished that game with 42 assists, which tied her season high. Kruisselbrink also managed to get eight kills on just 15 attacks in that game against the Beavers as well.
Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles
Head Coach: Sarah Rauen
Record at UMC: 11-45 Season at UMC: Third Season
Keweenaw Volleyball Classic
Lake Superior State
Southwest Minnesota State
VIDEO STREAM/LIVE STATS
All Michigan Tech matches will be streamed through Huskies Live.
All matches will also have live stats available through the links on the schedule above.
WISCONSIN-PARKSIDE. The Rangers will have a game under their belt before they play the Golden Eagles, as they take on the Marauders from the University of Mary earlier in the morning. In the last matchup between these two teams, the Golden Eagles defeated the Rangers three sets to one.
HEDMAN AT THE NET. The Rangers lost a lot of talent from last years squad, but Rachel Hedman returns and will look to carry the load offensively for the Rangers. Hedman finished with 297 kills on the season, including nine against Minnesota Crookston last season.
FAMILIAR FOES. These two teams are no strangers two each other. These two squads played against each other last season early on, as the Golden Eagles came out on top in that one. Minnesota Crookston will look to repeat that same result this season.
MICHIGAN TECH HUSKIES. The Huskies start their season by playing eight consecutive NSIC programs, including playing the Golden Eagles twice in less than a week. The Huskies will start off the season with nationally ranked Southwest Minnesota State. Michigan Tech was 23-7 last season.
JUNIOR DUO. The Huskies return a lot of talent from a 23 win season last year, including juniors Olivia Ghormley and Anna Jonynas. The two combined for over 700 kills a piece last season, including Ghormley’s impressive 518 kills. The Huskies are very good offensively and these two are a big part in that offensive attack.
UTLAK STOPS THE ATTACK. Along with Ghormley and Jonynas, Megan Utlak is a standout junior, but rather than getting a point for her team, she stops the other team from getting a point. Utlak finished the year with 4.52 digs per set, which was sixth in the entire GLIAC Conference last season.
LAKE SUPERIOR STATE. The Lakers finished last season with just five wins. The Golden Eagles defeated the Lakers three sets to two, which was one of seven straight losses to start the season for LSSU. The Lakers are no stranger to playing five set matches. Last season, the Lakers played in 13 matches that went to five sets and went 4-9 in those matches.
REID RETURNS. Amanda Reid returns for the Lakers this season after leading the team with 310 kills on the season. The senior led her team in a number of offensive categories, including kills, attacks and kills per set. Expect Reid to play a big part in what the Lakers do offensively this season.
THINGS CHANGE. This season, the Golden Eagles will have to replace two players who were numbers one and three in digs last season. Paige Gotham and Mikala Williams graduated last season, but not before leaving behind 784 combined digs behind them. That is a lot of digs to replace for the Lakers, but if they want to have a better 2019, someone is going to have to step up in the backrow.
NORTHERN MICHIGAN. The Wildcats are coming off of a 16-11 season a year ago and were at one time, ranked in the top-25. A season ago, the Wildcats came out of the gate playing great volleyball, winning their first nine matches, but faltered down the stretch, winning just seven out of 18 to close out the season.
YEAH, SHE’S GOOD. Senior Sarah Kuehn returns as one of the Wildcats go-to players offensively. As a junior, Kuehn finished with 276 kills and 2.5 kills per set. Kuehn also finished with 107 blocks.
YACK(O) ATTACK. In her first season in Marquette, Mich., libero Alli Yacko had a big impact for the Wildcats. Yacko’s biggest impact for her team maybe came from behind the service line. Yacko finished the season with 33 service aces, which led the team by a pretty wide margin. She had a season and career high of five aces against Southern Indiana and had three games of four service aces.