As the early season scrimmages and matches play out in the 2017 volleyball season, several teams head off to Labor Day holiday tournaments and tri-matches, while some squads are looking to use the three-day hiatus as a chance to rest and train. A quick look around the Minnesota College Athletic Conference volleyball ranks as Week Two marches on to a close.
Despite having a couple of highly-ranked teams in the MCAC South, 2017 looks to be shaping up to far more than a two-horse race for the Division championship. Additionally, a couple of teams will likely be still working towards finding the right pieces to improve as the season wears on. Anoka-Ramsey is looking to capture their first win, as they dropped a pair of matches in the middle of the week, losing to Riverland Community College and to NJCAA Division II Dakota County Technical College, 3-0, at DCTC. RCC's match against the Golden Rams was their only action of the week, as they prepare for a showdown with local rival Rochester CTC next Wednesday, 9/6. Rochester traveled to Minnesota West where they lost, 3-2, in Worthington. The win was the first action for Minnesota West this fall. The Yellowjackets will compete at the College of DuPage tournament in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, where they will see five different NJCAA opponents from the Land of Lincoln.
Opening up their 2017 season, Western Technical College dropped a 3-0 decision to Ridgewater College at home on Wednesday 8/30 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Ridgewater has yet to drop a match, or a game for that matter, in 2017. Like RCTC, Ridgewater will also compete at the College of Dupage over the holiday weekend, squaring off against COD and Madison College, among others. The Warriors will be looking to continue to raise their game in that time period, as an important MCAC match against M-State Fergus-Falls looms on Wednesday, 9/6. M-State is sitting on wins over Northern Division foes Rainy River and Itasca C.C., as well Anoka-Ramsey. A pair of contests against the JV teams of Mayville State and Concordia serve as the final tune-ups for M-State's match against Ridgewater.
Last but not least in the Southern Division is St. Cloud Technical and Community College, who takes a 5-1 record into their tri-match at Central Lakes College, where they will take on both CLC and North Dakota State College of Science. Those contests are scheduled for 5:30pm/7:30pm in Brainerd.
The Northern Division also looks to have some movement early on in the season, as teams sort out line-ups though several matches. Northland CTC chalked up wins over Lake Region State and Itasca CC, and plays a pair of MCAC North contests over the weekend, at Fond du Lac and Mesabi Range. Itasca sits 2-5 on the young season, with wins over Gogebic and Anoka Ramsey. ICC will be idle over the weekend and face local foe, Hibbing C.C. on Wednesday, 9/6. In a match featuring two first-year coaches, Hibbing opened up the Sara Matuszak-era with a win on home court, dropping Vermilion CC, 3-0. VCC's new head coach, Krystal Brodeen, will open up the home portion of their schedule hosting NCTC Friday and Central Lakes on Saturday.
Central Lakes is off to one of the better starts of any team in the MCAC, sitting at 5-1 overall. Their home tri-match against SCTCC and NDSCS will prove to be a good test for the Raiders, heading into the holiday weekend. After dropping a pair of matches to the start the season Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College will be idle over the break, as is Rainy River C.C. until their mid-week match against each other next week. RRCC is 2-3 on the young season so far. Like CLC, Mesabi Range College has also competed five times in 2017 so far, and currently sits 3-2. After back-to-back losses, the Lady Norse have reeled off three straight wins, and will look to hold onto that momentum for a while, as they are next slated for action on Friday, Sept. 8th when they host CLC.
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Story courtesy of MCAC Sports. Photos courtesy of Daily Globe, Austin Daily News & CLC