Article by Chris Harris, Devils Lake Journal Sports, October 3rd, 2019
Citizens band radios, more commonly known as CB radios, work by turning the dials until the proper frequency is received, loud and clear. Despite the loss Wednesday, Oct. 2 to North Dakota State College of Science, Lake Region State College was able to tune in to a signal that worked best for them.
The Royals fell to Division II's 19th-ranked Wildcats in four sets, but it was how the NJCAA volleyball match was lost that demonstrated what the Royals are capable of.
"Effort and talking about effort and playing kids that just wanted to try harder. And that is what changed," Royals head coach Brigitte Greywater said. "And the second we knew we were unified, you saw all six players hustle to the opposite side of the court because they didn't want a play to die."
"That's when I knew they were buying into what effort is and by buying into that effort, they can play up to their potential."
After being completely outmatched in the first two sets, losing 19-25 and 14-25 respectively, the Royals (6-16, 1-5 Mon-Dak) turned up the energy in the third set. Trailing by three, Lake Region scored five straight points. A Sydney Hertlein kill tied the set at 15, Rachel Hill's ace gave the Royals the lead and a second kill by Hertlein put the Royals up two. After the Wildcats (14-4, 5-1) took a one point advantage after a kill by Gabby Hahn, Jexley Porrata's kill tied the set again, at 21-all. The two teams exchanged points but the Royals ended the set on a 3-0 run that saw Hertlein tie it at 23 and Hill end it with an ace for a 25-23 game three victory.
The fourth set was nip and tuck. After the Wildcats went ahead 22-18, the Royals rallied to tie the score at 23-all after a Porrata block. Lily Pyle's kill gave the Wildcats the lead but a Porrata kill tied the set. The Wildcats scored the final two points to win the set 26-24 ending the match.
"Playing the No. 19 team in the country, pulling a set after we kind of got our butts kicked by Bismarck [State College] last week (LRSC was swept by the Mystics on Sept. 25), that's huge for us. They put the effort in, they went for it. And once they were finally unified, I said to them, 'go play wide open,'' said Greywater.
"You have been trained, we've practiced now let your body do it and that's what they did."