Blue Devils beat Anoka-Ramsey in five games

Published 9:05 pm Wednesday, September 23, 2009

When the Riverland volleyball team had it’s backs to the wall, they just went with what had worked for them all night — attacking the net.

RCC (7-10 overall, 4-3 MCAC South) finished off a deciding fifth when Kate Krogh bashed home two of her seven kills to finish off the Rams (3-9 overall, 2-4 MCAC South).

The Blue Devils pulled out a 14-25, 25-23, 25-18, 18-25, 15-11 victory over Anoka-Ramsey in Riverland Gym Wednesday night.

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A-R had burst out to an 8-4 lead in the deciding game and it looked like they had all the momentum, until Stephanie Neumann knocked home three straight points to close the gap to one.

Neumann, a 5-foot, 11-inch freshman from Medford, had 19 kills and three blocks on the night as she dominated the net for the Blue Devils.

“I actually heard them talking on the other side and once they said cross, I would hit line. Plus I had a height advantage, so that helps,” Neumann said. “It’s all about the passing. Once we get the pass (from setter Krissy Schemmel), we can finish it up.”

Once the Blue Devils starting rallying they didn’t quit, Katie Williams, who had 22 digs, and Kristin Vesel both made diving stops down the stretch to stall a couple of Rams’ attacks.

“Once someone’s on the floor we all pick up the pace. We all feed off each other,” Neumann said. “Once we really start playing as a team and pick everything up it all goes a lot smoother.”

RCC head coach Helen Jahr wasn’t worried about her offense being predictable.

“I always tell Krissy to keep going to Stephanie until they stop it,” she said.

The Blue Devils led the fourth game 13-2 after Abbie Curry served 12 straight points, but the Rams scored 22 of the next 25 points to take the game over.

After dropping the first game, RCC battled back early in the second game. The Rams took an early 10-8 lead, but Schemmel served six straight points to put her team up 14-10.

The Rams tied it up at 16, but Neumann responded with three kills in four volleys to put RCC back in control.

The win moves the Blue Devils into third place in the MCAC South, with the top four teams advancing to the state tournament. It has been three years since RCC has gone to state.

“Everybody’s real competitive in the conference, it’s just a matter of who shows up on that night,” Jahr said. “It was big for us to beat Anoka here, because it’s tough to win on the road.”

Krogh had 21 digs for RCC, Schemmel had 27 assists and Danyel Hythecker had three blocks.

Williams, a graduate of Hayfield, was named MCAC South libero of the week Wednesday. She had 43 digs (4.8 per game) for RCC last week.