Across the Minnesota College Athletic Conference , late September and early October provides teams the ability to focus on league play as teams look to pave their way into the Region XIII post-season. The Southern Division in MCAC Volleyball has provided some competitive equity this week, with M State posting a win over nationally ranked Ridgewater and Minnesota West moves to within striking distance of the top four, setting up an interesting final few weeks of competition in the run-up to NJCAA regional tournament action. St. Cloud Technical and Community College continued their winning ways, stretching their unbeaten streak to five matches as they prepare to take on the Spartans in Fergus Falls on Wednesday, October, 4th. In one of the most competitive weeks of the season, it's no surprise that several student-athletes had performances worthy of Player-of-the-Week consideration, and the following four have taken home the honor in their respective roles for Week 5 in MCAC Volleyball.
The volleyball squad at M State put together an impressive MCAC week of wins, and it could not have happened without the efforts of Sheyenne Gunderson. The Barnesville freshman takes home Setter-of-the-Week honors by doling out 108 total assists in wins over Ridgewater, Minnesota West and Riverland. When she wasn't setting up her teammates for success, Gunderson was collecting 24 digs and thumping 5 service aces, all in MCAC play. M State has a showdown with Division-leading SCTCC at home on Wednesday, and Gunderson will likely be counted upon to continue the Spartans winning ways.
The Minnesota West CTC Ladyjays picked up a big win over I-90 rival Riverland CC and stretched streaking M State to a 5-set conference tilt over the past week. MnWest was led by Andrea Hinkeldey, who had to battle through injury to register 25 kills and a .333 hitting percentage in their contest against the Spartans. The freshman from Heron Lake, Minnesota lines up as an outside hitter for the Ladyjays, and also led her squad with 23 total attacks, 8 digs and 8 kills in their 3-0 victory over RCC. For her efforts, Hinkeldey takes home Hitter-of-the-Week honors. Coach Marie Johnson and her squad will face Western Technical College and Anoka Ramsey Community College in Week 6 MCAC Volleyball action.
Defense wins championships, and M State's upward-trending play of late has built their success on that concept. Spartan defensive specialist Claire Mathiesen emulated that approach for coach Abby Crowser, helping her M State teammates work towards a perfect 3-0 week in MCAC action. Mathiesen had 19 digs against Ridgewater, 18 more against Minnesota West and another 14 in their squads win over Riverland CC. Along with the 51 digs for the week, Mathiesen was 38-of-40 from the serving line. The Battle Lake, Minnesota sophomore and her team will face off against St. Cloud Technical and Community College on Wednesday, October 4th at 6:30pm.
St. Cloud Technical and Community College sits atop the Southern Division at 8-0, and Anastasia Larson (Big Lake, Mn) has been an important part of that success over the past week. The Cyclones handed a 3-1 setback to RCTC on September 27th and earned a 3-0 shutout of Riverland on September 29th. Larson collected 17 kills and hit at a .469 clip in Week 5. Defensively, Larson also had 8 blocks at the net for SCTCC to go with 3 digs. Anastasia Larson is the MCAC Southern Division All-Around Player-of-the-Week and will help lead her team into a pivotal match on Wednesday, October 4th against M State in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Match time is set for 6:30pm.
Action photo courtsey of SCTCC Athletics
For full MCAC Volleyball Stats, Standings and more, visit: http://www.mcacsports.org/sports/wvball/index
To Follow Minnesota College Athletic Conference sports in 2017, please go to: www.mcacsports.org
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About the Minnesota College Athletic Conference
The Minnesota College Athletic Conference is the organizational body for NJCAA-affiliated two-year technical and community college athletic programs in the Minnesota State system. The mission of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference is to advance intercollegiate athletics by providing an engaging and supportive environment for success of our student athletes and competition among member institutions. The MCAC is committed to the guiding principles of encouraging the development and success of student athletes, promoting the integrity, honesty and loyalty to member schools as well as upholding the sustainability of conference athletic programs.