Article by Chris Harris, Devils Lake Journal Sports, August 29th, 2019
Admittedly, Lake Region State College head volleyball coach Brigitte Greywater said that through the Royals first five matches, her team was playing the ghost of last season's success. But something clicked for the Royals against Trinity Bible College Wednesday night inside the Sports Center that may have, for at least one night, changed the season's trajectory.
"They're making it their team," Greywater said. "I think we were living in the shadow of a year ago, and we were nervous and we were told that you have to win. And it was just such a high expectation and they loosen up and decided it was their squad. And maybe they have to win in a different way."
The Royals defeated the Lions in straight sets, ending a three match skid that saw Lake Region win only one set during the losing streak.
"They decided that it's going to be their way, their season and I think we're going to see a very positive change," Greywater said.
Jadaeya Morrell had nine kills and three block assists, Jexley Porrata had six kills and Rachel Hill had 27 assists for the Royals who after cruising through the first two sets 25-14 and 25-13 respectively, had to battle through a third set in which the Lions (0-1) led mid-way through the final game at 17-16 after Camryn Shockley gave Trinity the lead with a block. It was only the fifth lead the Lions had for the entire match.
A service error was the first of four straight points for the Royals, that ended with a Porrata ace that gave Lake Region State the 20-17 advantage. The Lions pulled to within one at 22-21 but the Royals finished the match, winning the set 25-23.
"I had the worst anxiety ever [during the third set] but I was trying to stay calm. But for them, it was all about confidence," Greywater said who went without much of her starting six in that final set. "They needed to win the set, they won that set without putting all of the big dogs back in. Now, everybody can play.
"It's not just six players — it's 15."
The Royals, who improved to 2-4, will be on the road the next two weeks, including three consecutive Mon-Dak matches against Dakota College at Bottineau, Dawson Community and Miles Community. Lake Region will be home again Tuesday, Sept. 17 against Williston State College.
Chris Harris can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter: @ChrisHarris_DLJ