Blue Devils looking for strong season

Published 10:12 am Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mercedes Mikyla hits against the wall during a go of wall-ball at Riverland volleyball practice Tuesday morning. -- Eric Johnson/

The Blue Devils are hoping to get back to the state volleyball tournament this fall, and with six returnees on board, their chances look good.

“I’m feeling really confident. I think we’re solid in every position,” Riverland Community College head coach Helen Jahr said. “They know what it’s like to go to state and it’s a very real goal that they can achieve if they work hard.”

RCC will bring back a good part of its front line as Stephanie Loverink returns along with Danyel Hythecker and Abbie Curry. The team also has a couple of solid freshman up front in Jessica Reuvers of Faribault and Liz Schmidt of Mankato Loyola.

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“It looks pretty good so far. We’re all working together as team and I think everybody has a real positive attitude,” Loverink said. “I think last year the attitudes weren’t as positive as they should’ve been and that kind of hurt us. Hopefully this year everybody has the same attitude and we can pull together.”

In the back row, RCC returns libero Mercedes Mikayla and setter Kristin Vesel. Hayfield grad Brittany Dahl will also fill in at setter.

Stephanie Loverink sets during practice at Riverland Community College Tuesday night. -- Eric Johnson/

“Brittany is a real confident setter so she shouldn’t have any issues putting the ball where it needs to go,” Jahr said.

Jahr said the plan is for her squad to be firing on all cylinders by the time the season opens at the Fergus Falls Tourney next Saturday.

“To come out strong at Fergus is important,” she said. “It’s a place where everyone gets a good look at you and it’ll be important to set the tone there. Although we’ve had successful seasons in the past, we need to set the precedent that we’re a force to be reckoned with.”

Riverland has two Austin grads on its roster — Loryn Poole and Robin Arjes.

The Blue Devils will open their home schedule against Ridgewater Saturday, Sept. 4 at 1 p.m.