Thunder volleyball looking for first winThe Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College volleyball team has been within striking distance of a win this season, but multiple attack, service and unforced errors have plagued a much-improved Thunder team this season. FDLTCC (0-7) let leads slip away against all three of their opponents in a three-match home stand last week.
CLOQUET – The Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College volleyball team has been within striking distance of a win this season, but multiple attack, service and unforced errors have plagued a much-improved Thunder team this season. FDLTCC (0-7) let leads slip away against all three of their opponents in a three-match home stand last week.
The Thunder – which have just two wins in school history – have lost to Vermilion twice already, as well as Itasca, Anoka-Ramsey, Gogebic, Hibbing and most recently to Rainy River Saturday afternoon in Cloquet. They’ve only posted four set wins in 21 attempts. Still, Thunder Coach Loran Wappes said he’s been pleased.
“We have been competitive in all of the matches we have played,” said Wappes, who has been with the program for all three years of its existence and is now in his first year as head coach, taking over for now-
assistant Laura Sylvester. “Several times we’ve been in striking distance only to have multiple errors prevent us from winning. We need to learn to have confidence in ourselves and be able to finish a match.”
Highlighting the young season so far was Cloquet native Rachel Sanda being named the Minnesota College Athletic Conference Libero of the Week. The sophomore captain leads the conference with 6.33 digs per set, and last Wednesday, broke her own school record with 38 digs in a four-set loss against visiting Vermilion.
“She’s a little short,” said Wappes, laughing, about his defensive commander. “But Rachel is a standout player who can do it all. She’s a hard worker, who communicates and moves very well. And she passes with precision.”
Along with Sanda – who posted 80 digs in their last three home matches – sophomores Rita Aspinwall (77 set assists) and Holly Nelson (28 kills and 13 blocks) of Wrenshall were solid performers. Cloquet’s Amber Gregg, a sophomore outside hitter who leads the conference in ace serves per set, also notched 25 digs and 18 kills.
Facing Itasca, FDLTCC was in Grand Rapids Wednesday evening when this edition of the Pine Journal went to press. They’ll next travel to the St. Cloud Technical and Community College Invitational Saturday morning, with game time set for 9 a.m.