Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ladyjacks Finish Regular Season: Prepare for Region Tournament

Tonight we played our last regular season game against NDSCS. In the end we did not have enough as we dropped the match in 3 sets. NDSCS is a good team who is well coached, and I would anticipate them making a strong run for the Region Title. With that being said it is much more important to understand what was of value at The Woodshed this evening.

It was the final home match 5 sophomore's will ever have a chance to play in front of our home crowd. As usual the student section, family and supporting fans were great throughout the entire contest. Wins and losses are valued by many programs, but when it's all said and done what is more memorable are the struggles we overcome during a season. "Tough times don't last but tough people do". We play an extremely competitive scheduled filled with a variety of teams who have potential to when Region Tournaments and play for a national bid. The fact this TEAM has stuck together over a span of tough stretches speaks volumes of their character. Krissi Lessman, Halle Schuhmann, Dariann Freer, Ashleigh Aufforth and Leah Parizek will forget about the losses over time, but remember the relationships developed and the bonds tied with teammates.

Moving forward our TEAM is preparing for the Region Tournament. The best thing about a tournament is anything can happen. Each team at the Region Tournament will begin the day 0-0, and the outcome will be determined by play on that day rather than the past. We have been inconsistent so it is hard to say what will happen, but if the past has anything to do with the future this TEAM will rally to go down swinging.

Our 1st match will be Saturday, October 26th at Bismarck State against an opponent to be determined at 11am. The tournament is a double elimination format. We will do our best to communicate with our fans regarding the next match after 11am has been completed.

THANK YOU to those who have hung with the Ladyjack Volleyball Program throughout this season. It was easy to feel the difference between being home and away because of your energy.

Get Jacked UP,

Cory Fehringer

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ladyjacks Enter Final Stretch: Drop to LRSC in 4 Sets

The window is beginning to close on the Ladyjacks Volleyball season. This group is dominated by a freshman class who have battled to find confidence and a comfort level on the floor.We have had a series of unfortunate injuries forcing us to alter game strategies which has not made transition into college athletics very smooth at times for our young squad. With that being said I truly believe this TEAM continues to stay positive toward one another, strives to get better daily, and still feels like our best volleyball is ahead of us.

Last night we lost in 4 sets to Lake Region State College who is having a very successful season. They have picked up wins against Williston State and North Dakota State College of Science. We came into play LRSC on their sophomore night and the game was fairly sloppy for the better part of most sets. One key area that has continued to plague this Ladyjack TEAM is our inability to successfully serve at crucial times. Throughout the year WE have failed to put the ball in play at opportune times. Although many of our losses have came to solid teams it is safe to say we can consider ourselves to be "our own worst enemy" when the ball isn't rolling our way.

On a positive note, this TEAM consistently has players step up a different times to carry the load. Sophomore Krissi Lessman, Freshman's Tessa Walters, Savannah Bruce, and Justine Nordin alternate matches in which one or two of them play at a high level. The door will open for our offense the day each of them swings for success on the same night. To their credit the returning players (Ashleigh Aufforth and Leah Parizek) have gone through a major 180 from last year after completing a season of several highlights in 2012, and managed to ride the waves of the season with positive attitudes in tough times.

It does us no good to look backward, this is why our eyes are placed on the front of are heads. The main priority of this TEAM remains the same. Play our best TEAM Volleyball at the end of October! This goal is still achievable from my point of view. This TEAM still seems eager to put the pieces together in time for the Region Tournament.

Over the weekend we will travel to LRSC Classic and compete in four matches. The 1st match is set to take place at 4pm in Devils Lake. Continue to support our Ladyjacks as they deserve our praise in good times, not so good times. Stay tuned for the next blog which will be completed by Sunday evening.

Thank You.

Get Jacked UP,

Cory Fehringer

Monday, September 30, 2013

ROAD TRIP: Ladyjacks Finish 4 Day Travel

In athletics many would agree our ultimate goal is not to become the greatest winners, but develop the greatest people. Life lessons are constantly available as we strive to teamwork, work ethic, character, and several other meaningful words. The only problem is these lessons are usually learned during difficult moments. One of the best aspects of college is due to the fact you typically leave home. Sometimes for an individual to find themselves it is necessary to leave safe boundaries in order to gain confidence at level never known to exist.

Our Ladyjack Volleyball TEAM spent 4 days on the road competing against strong opponents during a time we had not played well as of late. We had been on a losing skid and the competition is not going to get weaker. During this stretch we competed in 5 matches in 4 days which is not as exciting as some people might think even when you love the game. Overall we were 1-4 as we lost to NDSCS in 3, NDSCS Alumni in 5, Anoka Ramsey in 5, Jamestown College in 4. Our TEAM successfully defeated in Hibbing CC in 4 sets.

With that being said our Ladyjacks did a great job at playing better day by day, and focusing on the task at hand. Be better today than we were yesterday, don't play the score, and work as hard as WE can. When it was all said and done our TEAM played the best volleyball it has played all year. We are hoping to find the right pace at the right time with the year quickly coming to an end.

Freshman: Savannah Bruce, Tessa Walters, and Justine Nordin have continually improved as far as offensive threats by mixing up attacks. Lauren Pederson and Halle Schumann have been impressive making our defense more solid becoming more consistent passers. Katelyn Lawler was asked to step up her role in several areas when Leah Parizek went down with an injury.

Transfer: Krissi Lessman is a huge factor in all areas with her skill level. She plays hard on every play, is able to score for us, and is a reliable defender.

Sophomore: Ashleigh Aufforth and Parizek continue to be a source of stability with experience. Both do a great job of stepping into matches ready to compete with a higher level of understanding.

With so many new faces we have had our fair share of struggles. Ultimately I believe the TEAM is on track to play our best volleyball to finish the season. WE are beginning to work together at a more successful level, and it will be interesting to see where we are at come end of the month.

Get to "The Woodshed" on Wednesday, October 2nd as we take on Williston State College. The atmosphere has been great as we expect an exciting night.

Thank you for following and supporting our LADYJACKS!

Get Jacked UP,

Friday, September 20, 2013

Ladyjacks Take the Loss on the Chin at BSC

Let's be very clear before anything is mentioned regarding the difficult loss to Bismarck State College. BSC is now 18-3 while leading the Mon-Dak Conference. They are the longest, most athletic, and overall skilled team we have played and may possibly ever play this year. There is no doubt our overall objective is to be competitive with BSC, and WE had an opportunity to witness what areas we are struggling with at the current moment.

As far as the match being played WE did not execute at the level expected, coaching staff did not make good adjustments on the fly, and our work effort did not show up. The scores were 9-25, 13-25, and 18-25 which clearly explains our lack of good volleyball. As for consistency WE always seem to get better match by match but that habit needs to be corrected. This was a TEAM loss through and through with no blame to be placed on anyone, or anything specific.

With that being said... our TEAM is more talented, more skilled, and overall better position by position than last years group who finished in the final four of the Region Tournament. The TEAM that showed up at BSC was not the TEAM who had been playing well up to this point, and we need to regroup as we move forward. One thing we must do in life is be able to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and understand what mistakes we made leading up to a poor performance. I believe our girls are good enough players, great teammates, and will respond like winners.

Our next trip will take us to Wahpeton, ND as we compete against NDSCS on Wednesday the 25th followed by a 4 match Classic on the 27th, and 28th. It will be a good road trip for us as we set our sights on progress not perfection. WE return home on Oct. 2nd to play Williston State College.

Please continue to support our Ladyjacks!

Get Jacked UP,

Coach Cory Fehringer

Friday, September 13, 2013

Ladyjacks Sweep Trinity Bible on Homecoming Night

Our Ladyjack TEAM put another entry into the Win Column on Wednesday evening against Trinity Bible College (25-19, 25-17, 25-13). Although we were able to sweep Trinity Bible it was much more difficult than the score may appear as the Lions did a good job of battling all night. We continue to have issues opening up the match with solid play, but appear to get stronger as the sets get deeper. Once we learn to start the match the same way we finish the match there is a good chance of us playing good volleyball down the stretch.

We stress passing, serving, communication as the main keys for us to be successful. Our serving was below the standards that we set but communication, and passing was above average. Defensively the groups was consistent across the board with all players contributing at different times. Offensively the TEAM exploded when Freshman Savannah Bruce got into the action. By far it was the best performance of the year for Bruce as she get more comfortable playing middle. We are pleased but not satisfied with our play as we will strive to be better of the weekend.

Once again our crowd was incredible throughout the match as the student section was able to improve their performance, which was tough to do based on our last home match. There is no doubt "The Woodshed" has been as entertaining of environment you will find in the Mon-Dak Conference, let alone Junior College Volleyball. WE are very thankful for the support and hope the energy bus continues to soar at new heights across the athletic teams competing for DCB. THANK YOU!

This weekend we will take off to Thief River Falls and play four different matches in two days. Every opponent will be different from the previous season and none will be familiar which is a great opportunity to measure ourselves against new adversaries. It is a busy stretch for our Ladyjacks playing five matches in just three days, but it will test our boundaries and our ability to fight through fatigue. We look forward to meeting the challenge with great optimism.

Get Jacked UP,

Coach Cory Fehringer

Friday, September 6, 2013

Ladyjacks Fall 3-0 to WSC: Closing the Gap

Although our TEAM fell to Williston State College Tetons in three straight sets (20-25, 14-25, 21-25) it was clear our volleyball program is becoming a stronger competitor in comparison to our conference. Of course we would have liked to push additional sets but the truth is WSC a difficult place to play, a good team, along with the fact majority of our TEAM still being unfamiliar with level of play necessary to be successful. WE are learning together, growing together, and recognizing areas needed to improve in order for us to become a legitimate contender regardless of the opponent. One area that has become evident for our Ladyjacks is the simple fact the margin for error is so small, and the match can change so quickly based upon a couple of mental errors or poor decision.

From a coaching standpoint we have begun to find some consistency in our lineup. The setting position continues to remain as Ashleigh Aufforth continues to work with our hitters to try and maximize our talents. Krissi Lesmann and Justine Nordin continue to play well from the outside as they combined for the better part of our overall kill total. Leah Parizek is becoming more familiar as we changed her position from Middle-Hitter to Right-Side to allow a bigger front on the net for blocking schematics. Tessa Walters and Savannah Bruce are beginning to figure out what it means to have a presence on the net when altering the opponents swings, as well as becoming a larger part of our offense. Lauren Pederson and Halle Schumann are doing a good job and getter better match by match as players we rely on to field majority of hits. Katelyn Lawler has not played in recent matches but as a coaching staff we are confident she will find a spot in the rotation, because of her overall ability.

With those young Ladyjacks who have not received much playing time, I must say they have been extremely impressive accepting the role of "great teammates" and supporting the players ahead of them. It can be a tough transition from high school, but I truly believe each one of them play a huge factor in the direction of our program. Our bench has been unselfish and willing to help in anyway possible, even if it just means staying positive when times are tough.

WE are back at HOME on Sept. 11th, but the game time is at 5:30p!!! Please check your schedules and show up to support the Ladyjacks against Trinity Bible. Our last home match was the most electric crowd we have had in years!

See you at "The Woodshed".

Get Jacked UP,

Coach Cory Fehringer

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Day 2-Labor Day Classic: Better Day at the Office

After some tough losses on Friday it would've been fairly easy to take our lumps, and head back home ASAP. Our Ladyjack Volleyball TEAM followed up an average day on Friday by bouncing back to split matches on Saturday. We were exciting to watch, fun to coach, and our TEAM seemed to embrace the opportunity to play together. Our primary goal was simple heading into the day which was to play faster/harder, talk louder, and enjoy each other's company. Whether we scored the point or took a spike in the face (which did happen to Krissi) never really mattered, because our only objective was to play the next point to the best of our ability.

The 1st opponent of the day was Dawson CC. Last year their team struggled at times and we had success against them throughout the year. This year is different as a new coach is in command. From the "get go" it was obvious the Dawson team had improved and the match was going to be difficult. When it was all said and done WE would get our first "W" in the win column with the sets totaling 3-1 (25-18, 17-25, 25-23, 25-16). From top to bottom the TEAM played well, but I was most pleased with our bench that consists of Lexi Barkley, Ashley Nickel, Shaylee Amyotte and Kately Lawler who was struggling with an injury. Those four girls were tremendous all weekend by helping with statistics, providing energy and helping support the TEAM in moments of adversity. Offensively and Defensively it was easily our best game. Krissi Lessman was outstanding on the outside, Leah Parizek was moved to right side and did a great job, Savannah Bruce became a factor and Ashleigh Aufforth made great decisions all match with the ball.

At 5pm we played our 2nd match of the day against Lake Region CC. They are much improved from last year as well, but WE felt good going into the match. The only issue was our bodies did not agree during Set 1 (15-25) as we took it on the chin. Quickly we bounced back but not soon enough dropping Set 2 (21-25), but our Ladyjacks continued to give a strong effort and handled Set 3 with a win very swiftly (25-20). At the end of the day all we wanted to accomplish was a feeling of "emptying the tanks" and giving Lake Region everything we had. Set 4 was extremely exciting with lead changes all the way until the end, but unfortunately we could not push a 5th set falling 22-25 down the stretch.  There was no reason to be disappointed as our TEAM played as hard as they could in order to have an opportunity to win.

I must apologize as our statistics are not the greatest due to having new people in the program and trying to teach some of our girls how to help. What I can tell you is Aufforth is doing her best to organize a variety of attacks throughout the match for our hitters. Justin Nordin from Canada has been impressive to say the least with her consistent power and precision when swinging. Lessman, Parizek, Tessa Walters, and Bruce have all impacted the games during important moments. Defensively Lauren Pederson is a player our TEAM has tremendous confidence in to make great passes, while Halle Schumann has been very flexible substituting in for different players as we find our best rotation. She has also added a back row attack to our offensive scheme.

I must say watching our TEAM compete on Saturday leads me to believe we have a ceiling yet to be scratched. Success will come in the form of our preparation and concentration. As this TEAM grows a little older, a little more mature, and a little more competitive it will be interesting to see how good they can be at the end of October. If we keep our horizons short by focusing on being the best TEAM we can be today there is a chance this group of players can compete with many of the upper tier teams.

Finally, we did have a few Hockey Players show up so I must say Thank You to them and the families who traveled to our matches.

It's nice to be home, but our next opponent will be when we travel to Williston State on Thursday, September 5th. The match starts at 7pm.

Get Jacked UP,

Coach Cory Fehringer