Raiders volleyball brings nothing-to-lose attitude to state


Alivia Garbe

Bre Maloney

Ginger Perra

Julia Deyak

For the seniors on the Roseville Area High School volleyball team, their final trip to the state tournament is later this week. They’ve adopted an underdog mentality heading into the tournament and are ready to let it all hang out.

The Raiders starting lineup features all seniors and they want to have no regrets when they leave the Xcel Energy Center for last time this weekend.

“I think everyone is underestimating Roseville and we’re just going to be the underdogs,” said senior Alivia Garbe. “We have nothing to lose going into the state tournament so we might as well lay it all out on the court.”

This is the fifth consecutive trip to the state tournament for Roseville and senior setter Bre Maloney has been a full-time player on all five of those teams. Garbe and Ginger Perra are headed into their fourth state tournament and Addie Jones and Megan Christiansen are playing in their second.

Senior Julia Deyak, a transfer from Albert Lea, is the lone senior on the roster without state-tournament experience.

Roseville enters the tournament with a few more losses than some of the previous state teams, and head coach Greg Ueland said that can play into Roseville’s favor.

“Maybe this year it’s an advantage that we have a few more losses because then there is truly nothing to lose when we go down there,” said Ueland.

Roseville was the first team to clinch a spot in the Class AAA state tournament. The other seven sections all held their finals on Nov. 5, past the deadline for this edition of the Review.

The schedule for the state tournament, held Nov. 10-12, was not complete by the deadline of this edition of the Review. The matches for the Class AAA tournament are played at 9 and 11 a.m. each morning except for the third-place and championship matches, which begin at 3 and 5 p.m., respectively, on Saturday, Nov. 12. All state-tournament matches are held at Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul.

“It’s awesome,” said Maloney. “Every year at state is special. This year it’s just a little extra special just because it’s my last year.”

 

Section final

 

The battle just to get to state was a new one for Roseville. In the previous four section finals, Roseville had always won the first two sets and only once had been pushed to a fifth game.

The Section 4AAA final this year was much different. The Raiders, seeded No. 1, dropped the first two sets to third-seeded Stillwater and were forced to play catch-up the rest of the night. Roseville did just that and won the match 23-25, 17-25, 25-19, 25-23, 15-8.

“This was just such a different atmosphere,” Ueland said. “In every other section final that we’ve been in, we’ve won the first set. I think it even threw the girls off because they’re so used to coming out with that first game.”

Stillwater was not intimidated in the least despite fielding a roster of players who had never gotten past the section semifinals. The Ponies threw up a block that Roseville had trouble adjusting too early in the match.

“Stillwater is a really big team and an athletic team,” said Ueland. “They’re probably one of the best blocking teams in the state. I think we were just trying to pound too much and Stillwater was doing a great job of blocking that.”

Part of Roseville’s struggles in the first two games was getting caught up in the momentousness of the situation.

“There was so much pressure on our team because this is our fifth year going back to state,” Garbe said. “We just had some nerves and some jitters we had to get out of the way.”

Maloney said the team operates best at a certain energy level and that level was way too high in the first two sets.

“One thing our team talked about a lot is that we have a certain energy we play our best at,” Maloney said. “If we get too wrapped up in the moment sometimes we get frantic and caught up. We really thrive when we’re at a calm, steady pace and I think we got really excited and really built up for this. We started making errors and that’s not like us. When we calmed down and regained our focus we were good to go.”

Stillwater jumped out to a 4-0 lead in game one and eventually got that lead up to six before Roseville rallied. The Raiders tied it at 16-16 and the score was tied three more times before the Ponies regained control. Stillwater scored five straight points to go up 24-19, saw Roseville close to within 24-23 but then scored the clinching point.

Game two was close until Stillwater went on a 10-point run. With Roseville leading 17-15, the Ponies won the final 10 points to wrap up the set and push the Raiders to the brink of elimination.

Roseville was able to turn the tide in game three as it trailed only a few times and never by more than two points. 

Game four was the tightest of the night as the largest lead either team enjoyed was three points. There were seven lead changes and 15 ties before Roseville closed it out on a kill by Deyak.

The fifth set was all Roseville as the Raiders scored the first five points and twice led by eight.

“They’re so mentally tough and such great competitors that I think they just refused to lose,” said Ueland. “It was seniors basically refusing to lose and it was also our younger players stepping up. It was all heart, grit, fight and determination.”

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

 

Section 4AAA volleyball playoffs

First round

Match 1 — Mounds View def. Tartan 25-19, 24-26, 25-23, 25-17

Match 2 — Centennial def. White Bear Lake 25-18, 28-26, 25-18

Match 3 — Mahtomedi def. Irondale 20-25, 25-14, 25-19, 18-25, 16-14

Match 4 — Totino-Grace def. Woodbury 25-20, 25-12, 25-8

 

Quarterfinals

Match 5 — Roseville def. Mounds View 25-20, 25-16, 25-12

Match 6 — Centennial def. Spring Lake Park 25-22, 23-25, 25-23, 25-9

Match 7 — Stillwater def. Totino-Grace 25-17, 25-18, 26-28, 27-25

Match 8 — North def. Mahtomedi 25-17, 22-25, 25-19, 25-17

 

Semifinals

Match 9— Stillwater def. North 25-21, 25-23, 16-25, 25-20

Match 10 — Roseville def. Centennial 25-12, 25-11, 25-21

 

Championship match

Match 11 — Roseville def. Stillwater 23-25, 17-25, 25-19, 25-23, 15-8

 

 

 

  

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