By Matt Nielsen - Devils Lake JournalHead Coach Brigitte Freschette will have a much easier time putting a team together this year as 14 players will be on the Lake Region Sate College volleyball team roster.
Last year's team only had eight players which made competing the first year tough. The team finished with a disappointing 4-29 record which was partly due to having a brand new team.
"It's nice to have the ability to do game-like drills and scrimmages in practice this year. I think it will really help the team out and it is something we couldn't do a lot of last year," said Freschette.
Last year was the first year the Royals competed in volleyball since 2003. The first year of recruiting is never easy, and when she took the job, "We had to recruit to a new program with no recent history which isn't easy."
Year two was a lot easier for Freschette in the recruiting game because she had a lot more to work with. The team welcomes in nine freshmen to go along with the four returning sophomores. Two more sophomores joined the team this fall after transferring from other schools. Maddi Johnston (Rocanville, SK) and Jasmine Lafournaise (Russell, MB) have a year of experience under their belts and are hoping to contribute right away.
Coach Freschette knew that last year wasn't going to be easy but is looking forward to improving this year and believes she has a lot of talent on the team. "We had good passing last year but needed more swings and the swings are finally here this year," said Freschette.
Returners from last years team are Megan Beattie (Hannaford, ND), Rachel Frelich (Devils Lake, ND), Josie Knowski (Devils Lake, ND), and Molly Nienhuis (Lawton, ND). The sophomores know that they have a better team this year and are concentrating on winning regionals. They stated that the freshmen are adapting well which is important to help the team excel. It is important for them to get used to each other so that they can compete at a high level.
Freschette praised how hard the team has worked so far in the first two weeks of two-a-day practices and how they have gelled as a young team. "The girls get along really well and are already forming a great team."
The Royals will be in their second season in the Mon-Dak Conference which carries some "stiff" competition. Coach Freschette stated that the conference is awesome and she is looking forward to the competitiveness of all the teams.
Lake Region will open the season on August 27 at home against Presentation College with a scheduled start time of 7p.m. Home games will be played at the Devils Lake SportsCenter.
The returning players said that they are looking to playing Bismarck State College and the North Dakota State College of Science because of the competitiveness these two teams bring. Look for the Royals to improve dramatically in this years Mon-Dak standings.