Roseville volleyball ends slide with big victory

Following a season-opening victory, the Roseville Area High School volleyball team lost four matches in a row. That’s not something that has happened to the Raiders much in recent seasons but it didn’t put them in panic-mode.

Roseville snapped that losing streak on Sept. 13 with a three-set victory over a ranked section rival. Head coach Greg Ueland didn’t label the tilt against North St. Paul a make-or-break match but the victory came at a good time.

“It’s been a while where we’ve been on a run where we’re losing like that,” said Ueland. “I don’t think it was a matter of how badly we needed it. I think it’s more for ourselves. I think the girls needed it for themselves.”

In advancing to the state tournament the past four seasons, Roseville has gone up against North St. Paul in the section playoffs three times. Beating the Polars now doesn’t guarantee anything down the road but Ueland said it is a match on which the team can build.

“I don’t think it was, ‘The season is over,’ if we lose this match,” Ueland said. “I think for our psyche, it was a great win. In the long haul, I hope this is going to be something that we look back on and really appreciate.”

North didn’t seem like the team that Roseville would want face while trying to snap a four-match losing streak. The Polars entered the contest 8-0 and had lost just one set in those eight matches. That hot start had North ranked ninth in Class AAA in the coaches association poll.

“With North, we knew they were going to come with a great team and a great game plan,” said Ueland. 

Roseville, which began the season ranked in the top 10 before dropping out, took down North 25-20, 27-25, 25-21 in probably its best performance of the season.

“I think we did the little things better than we’ve done them all season,” Ueland said. “That allowed us to really run our offense. We had a lot of people firing on all cylinders on offense.”

Having its full lineup back and completely healthy also helped. Senior setter Bre Maloney missed a couple of early matches with a hand injury and newcomer Julia Deyak began the season with an ankle injury that hindered her performance some.

All three sets were close throughout as neither team was able to build much of a lead. The largest cushion for either team at any time in the match was five points and that happened only once, right at the end of game one.

In game two, Roseville found itself trailing 24-20 before senior Alivia Garbe rattled off three-straight kills and senior Addie Jones served up an ace to even the set. North went ahead 25-24 but two more kills by Garbe and one from Deyak closed out the set win.

Game three was the tightest of the match — the first time either team led by more than two was when Roseville got a kill from Deyak to make it 23-20. North answered with a kill to make it a two-point match but then back-to-back errors gave the Raiders the set and the match.

The victory improved Roseville’s record to 2-4 and provided the Raiders with a spark heading into the start of Suburban East Conference play this week. Roseville opens at Forest Lake on Tuesday and then hosts East Ridge on Thursday. 

Roseville is also in action this week at a tournament at Apple Valley. Among the teams expected to compete are seven of the top 10 teams in last week s Class AAA coaches poll and the No. 1 team from Class A.

Of the 16 teams in the tournament, Roseville has already played two this season. The Raiders opened the season with a 3-0 loss to eighth-ranked Prior Lake and also dropped a 3-0 decision to fifth-ranked Hopkins.

Roseville’s strength of schedule also had something to do with its four-game losing streak. In addition to Prior Lake and Hopkins, the Raiders also lost to Rosemount and Osseo. Their other victory this season came against Totino-Grace, the team Roseville beat in the 2015 section final.

“Our schedule is so tough and we do it for a reason,” said Ueland. “We want to play the best. To be the best, you have to play the best. We have no regrets with the schedule or the losses but it’s taught us a lot.”

 

Maloney’s milestone

The match against North was also memorable because of a milestone reached by one of Roseville’s seniors. 

Bre Maloney became only the seventh Minnesota high school volleyball player to reach 4,000 set assists. Maloney got No. 4,000 in the second set when she set up Garbe for a kill. 

 

Concordia Academy

The Beacons’ overall record might not look that impressive but they picked up a nice victory to close out last week’s schedule. Concordia Academy retained a share of first place in the Tri-Metro Conference with a come-from-behind win over DeLaSalle on Sept. 15.

The Islanders won the first two sets before Concordia (3-0 in conference, 5-3 overall) stormed back to win the next three and the match. The final set scores were 23-25, 20-25, 25-20, 25-10, 15-4.

The win kept the Beacons tied for first in the Tri-Metro with St. Croix Lutheran, which beat Fridley on Sept. 15 to improve to 3-0.

Concordia has a busy schedule this week. The Beacons hosted Cretin-Derham Hall on Sept. 19 and return to conference play on Sept. 22 with a trip to Columbia Heights. Over the weekend, Concordia is headed to Burnsville to participate in the Class AA Showcase at the Midwest Volleyball Warehouse.

Nine of the 10 teams in last week’s Class AA rankings are playing in the Showcase, as are three of the six teams that received votes but did not make the top 10. Concordia Academy was ranked 10th last week.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

Tri-Metro Conference volleyball standings
(Through Sept. 15)

 

Concordia Academy     
St. Croix Lutheran     
DeLaSalle      
St. Agnes      
Holy Angels       
St. Anthony Village      
Visitation      
Brooklyn Center      
Columbia Heights      
Fridley 

Conf.

3-0
3-0
2-1
2-1
1-1
1-1
0-1
0-2
0-2
0-3

Overall

5-3
7-0
8-2
3-2
8-1
2-6
4-4
1-5
1-4
1-4

Games behind

-
-
1
1
1 1/2
1 1/2
2
2 1/2
2 1/2
3

 

 

 

 

 

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