They'll be in St. Cloud for the Best Western Kelly Inn Huskies Volleyball Classic.
The Minnesota Crookston volleyball team heads back on the road for their final four non-conference games of the season. The Golden Eagles will compete in the Best Western Kelly Inn Huskies Volleyball Classic, hosted by NSIC rival St. Cloud State University. After winning their regular season opener in five sets over Wisconsin-Parkside, the Golden Eagles dropped three straight, including two five-set thrillers against Lake Superior State and Northern Michigan. This weekend, the Golden Eagles will play two ranked teams in 14th ranked Wheeling University and 21st ranked Michigan Tech, who defeated the Golden Eagles in three sets last Friday night. The Golden Eagles and the Cardinals of Wheeling University will do battle at 9 A.M., on Friday Morning.
• ACE, ACE IN YOUR FACE. It may be early, but one improvement the Golden Eagles have seen this year have been at the service line. In 2018, the Golden Eagles were 15th in the NSIC in service aces with 102 services aces in 98 sets. This season, through just four matches and 18 sets, the maroon and gold are 6th in the conference with 33, good for almost two service aces per set. A big reason for the improvement so far as been senior Meli Rodriguez. The Sarchi, Costa Rica native leads the team with 10 service aces, after not having a single one last season.
• ALI “ACES" SCHUELER. Speaking of service aces, Schueler is seventh in the conference in aces per set. Although Rodriguez leads the team in aces, Schueler has 0.54 aces per set. Kassandra Springer of Sioux Falls has a whopping 18 aces, which puts her at 1.50 aces per set.
• REMATCH. Last weekend, the Golden Eagles played two teams that they will see this weekend as well. Michigan Tech and Lake Superior State head to St. Cloud, Minn., and much like last week, will see the Golden Eagles. Both the Huskies and Lakers defeated the Golden Eagles in three and five sets, respectively. This weekend, the Golden Eagles will look to avenge those losses and get quite possibly a statement win over 21st ranked Michigan Tech.
• NO INVITATION NEEDED TO THE BLOCK PARTY. There usually isn’t an invitation to Kaitlin Sikkink and Lauren Wallace’s block party, however if you’re an opponent, that usually is a party you don’t want to attend. The Sikkink and Wallace duo were outstanding preventing attacks in the first four games of the regular season. The two combined for 22.0 blocks on the weekend, led by Sikkink’s 14.0, which leads the team through the first weekend. Sikkink was especially dominant in the first game of the regular season, in a win over Wisconsin-Parkside, where she recorded 6.0 blocks. The two will look to continue their strong start to the season this weekend.
• ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM. Sophomore outside hitter Porsha Porath showed glimpses last season of being a very good player in the future for head coach Sarah Rauen. This past weekend, Porath proved that those glimpses weren’t just a flash in the pan. The Windom, Minn., native collected 45 kills on 179 attacks on her way to the Keweenaw Classic All-Tournament team. Porath collected double-digit kills in three of the four games, including a season-high 16 against the Wildcats of Northern Michigan. Last season, Porath finished the season with 147 kills through 28 matches and she is well on her way to that mark this season.
• DOUBLE DUTY. Deaira Gresham, a junior from Maplewood, Minn., had a fantastic weekend as well in Houghton, Mich. Gresham also finished the weekend with 45 kills, which is tied for Porath for the team lead. More impressive might have been her defensive numbers, however. Gresham is second on the team with 39 digs through four matches and had a career-high 19 digs in a five-set loss to Northern Michigan. Gresham plays all six rotations and will look to continue her solid all-around play this weekend in St. Cloud.
• SABRINA IS SOLID. Sabrina Leuer was another Golden Eagle who had a solid weekend in the Upper Peninsula. The redshirt senior from Hamel, Minn., collected 12 kills on 45 attacks and had six against the Rangers of Wisconsin-Parkside. Leuer was a force defensively as well, collecting 7.0 blocks over the first four games.
Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles
Head Coach: Sarah Rauen
Record at UMC: 12-48 Season at UMC: Third Season
Best Western Kelly Inn Huskies Volleyball Classic
St. Cloud State 4-0
Bemidji State 3-1
Michigan Tech 3-1
Lake Superior State 2-2
South Dakota Mines 1-3
Wheeling University 3-1
Friday, Sept. 13
Mountian East Record.....0-0
Head Coach: Christy Benner
Lake Superior State
Friday, Sept. 13
Head Coach: Dave Schmidlin
Saturday, Sept. 14
Head Coach: Matt Jennings
South Dakota State School of Mines and Technology
Saturday, Sept. 15
Head Coach: Lauren Torvi-Prochazka