After two scrimmages, in front of very boisterous crowds, the DCB Ladyjacks volleyball team is excited to start the 2019 season.
The Ladyjacks will play their first match at home vs Lake Region State College on Wednesday Sept. 4th at 7:00pm at the Woodshed. The Ladyjacks will make it three home dates to open the season with games scheduled at 3:00pm on Friday Sept. 6th vs Assiniboine College of Brandon, Manitoba Canada and a 7:00pm match vs Trinity Bible College.
The Ladyjacks have 30 matches, 8 at home, including tournaments at NDSCS, Lake Region and Mason City, Iowa.
Let's take a look at the 2019 rendition of the DCB ladyjacks volleyball team.
The team is coached by 2nd year coach Mike Smith of Saskatchewan, Canada. Smith is optimistic about the team this season. "We are much bigger then the last few teams we have had here at DCB and we have a pretty fast and powerful team. I'm not saying we will win x amount of games but we will be very competitive. We are in a tough conference and there are no guaranteed playoff spots, so we have a lot of work to do. I really like the make-up of the team and i am really excited to get things started."
The team returns 7 freshman but OH Kiara Hamel (Archerwill, SK) will be out for the season with a hip injury. Top point getter Michelle Krahn (Pilot Mound, MB) returns at OH while Bottineau resident Lexi Gullett returns as one of the teams middles. Smith plans to use Gullett in a few roles. "Lexi is likely in a three person rotation at middle but will likely not leave the floor much. She has been one of our top players in the back row the past month and I will not hesitate to use her at any position. "
Karrien Marteniuk (Lloydminster, SK) and Sarah Marshall ( Saskatoon, SK) give the team two very good Liberos/DS. "Sarah had an outstanding year last year and Karrien has been one of our best players so far this fall. I think these two have a chance to be two of the best back row players in our conference," added Smith
Taryn Roberts (Bangor, SK) will also see time at OH and as a Libero/DS. She started last season at OH and finished the season as one of DCB's top defensive players. Cassandra Nagy (Dubuc, SK) will see time at Right Side and can move to OH or Middle if needed. She is a solid blocker and has found her stride as a hitter throughout the first month of practice.
Shonte Seale is a huge jumper out of Barbados and will lead a very strong group of newcomers. Seale is a decorated athlete already having represented her country internationally in both volleyball and Netball. "Shonte is a special athlete. She has a huge vertical and will be a big part of our success, stated Smith. Seale will start at OH joining Krahn and Roberts.
Fellow Barbados native Tiandre Stuart (sophomore transfer from Barbados Community College) at 6'1" gives the team a presence in the middle it hasn't had for several years. Stuart, also a member of the Barbados National team program, will start at one middle and will join Gullett and 6'2" Memphis, Tennessee newcomer Rachel Brown as a dominant net presence. Brown sat out last season due to an injury and is rounding into form after being off the floor for a year.
RS hitter Masaya Archbold comes to Bottineau from Ramstein, Germany. Archbold's father was stationed there in the army but her family is now based back in the USA in Kansas. She gives the Ladyjacks an attack from the right side with consistent power. She can easily slide over to the middle or outside if needed.
One of the first recruits to sign with the Ladyjacks in the winter was Farmington, New Mexico's Samantha Harris. "We needed to make sure we had a top quality setter. I recruited Sam early and told her she would be able to come here and do what she does best, run the offense. She was one of the top high school setters in the state of New Mexico in both high school and club volleyball. She has not disappointed so far in practice," added Smith.
A trio of North Dakota freshman round out the roster. Bottineau High grad Antonia Eide will compete for playing time at RS while Rebekka Bummer (Crosby, ND)will backup at Middle. New Rockford's Carli Lies will backup Harris at setter. "Toni will have a chance to help us initially as a server and has hit the ball pretty well in the front row. Rebekka gives us some depth in the middle and Carli will see action as our backup setter. All three have exceeded my expectations so far this fall and have worked their butts off," said Smith.
The Ladyjacks are coming off a 5-25 season. Despite this Smith feels there is enough talent to challenge for a playoff spot in 2019. "Our goal is to make the playoffs and go from there. Top five is where we need to be. Then it comes down to one game to make it to Regionals. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us but this is a great group of young ladies. They are very hungry for success and I know our school community and the volleyball community in Bottineau that supports us so well is excited to see some great volleyball this season at the Woodshed. Wednesday's opener will be loud and the atmosphere will be unreal! It will be a lot of fun. can't wait!" stated Smith.