Across the Minnesota College Athletic Conference, late September and early October provides the opportunity for teams to pave their way into the Region XIII post-season. The Northern Division in MCAC Volleyball has provided some competitive balance this week, with several contests providing the backdrop to set up an interesting final few weeks of competition in the run-up to NJCAA regional tournament action. Central Lakes College continued their winning ways, stretching their unbeaten streak to four matches as they prepare to take on the NCTC Pioneers in Thief River 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 Mesabi Range College had a busy week in both MCAC and non-conference action; Alli Sandberg was a major factor in their offense in all matches. The Cook, Minnesota freshman takes home Setter-of-the-Week honors by doling out 66 total assists in wins over Gogegic Community College and losses to Rainy River and Hibbing. When she wasn't setting up her teammates for success, Sandberg was collecting 21 digs for coach Jojo Scott and her MRC teammates. Mesabi Range has a midweek match at home against Vermilion Community College on Wednesday, and Sandberg will likely be counted upon to help the Lady Norse climb back into the playoff picture.
The Pioneers of Northland Community & Technical College have reeled off five straight wins and are scheduled for a big match against rival Central Lakes this week. Recently, NCTC has been led by Shantel Verbout, who has been hitting consistently for coach Abdul Chamma and the rest of the Pioneer squad, registering 19 kills, along with 16 digs and 2 solo blocks against Itasca CC. The sophomore from Grygla, Minnesota lines up as an middle hitter for Northland and leads the MCAC in both Kills-Per-Set and Hitting Percentage. For her efforts, Verbout takes home Hitter-of-the-Week honors. Verbout's squad will face Central Lakes College, Mesabi Range and Vermilion Community College in upcoming MCAC Volleyball action.
Defense wins championships, and Central Lakes College unbeaten 8-0 Divisional mark speaks to their solid defensive play as of late. Raider middle blocker Kayla Larson reflected that approach for coach Jane Peterson, helping her CLC teammates work towards a four-match unbeaten streak and 1-0 week in MCAC action. Larson had 9 blocks in dominating the net against Fond du Lac and is tops in the Northern Division in Block Assists with 46. The Isle, Minnesota product and her team will face off against Northland Community & Technical College on Wednesday, October 4th at 6:30pm.
Hibbing Community College went 3-0 in Northern Division play his past week and Lexi Kudis (Zim, Mn) was an important part of that success for the Cardinals. HCC handed 3-0 setbacks to Vermilion and Gogebic, and added on a 3-1 win over Mesabi Range on September 29th. Kudis collected 13 kills and five blocks against the Lady Norse, as well as 12 kills and five blocks in the match against Gogebic. Against VCC, Kudis hit at a .583 clip with 8 kills. Lexi Kudis is the MCAC Northern Division All-Around Player-of-the-Week and will help lead her team into a pivotal match on Wednesday, October 4th against Rainy River Community College in International Falls, Minnesota. Match time is set for 6:30pm.
Action photo courtesy of MRC 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.