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PC volleyball off to quick start

Presentation College’s Constence Rollins, far left and Ashley Alfonso, center, defend the net as Bellevue University’s Jacki Apel (7) tips the ball during a match last spring at the Strode Activity Center. Rollins and Alfonso are two of the team's leading hitters this fall. Photo by John Davis taken 3/27/2021

The Presentation College Saints have enjoyed life on the road to start their volleyball season.

The squad, which has only had two home matches so far this season, has pieced together a 9-3 record and has already won two tournaments, something the team has never done in the same season before.

“We’ve had a really great start,” said PC coach Chelsey Albrecht. “We had two great tournaments where we went 4-0 and we could really start to see us grow as a team. We were proud of how we came out and competed at those tournaments.”

One of the keys to the team’s success so far this year has been the team’s balance on offense.

Ashley Alfonso, Constence Rollins, Kerstin Knopik and Saige Jones have all led the squad in kills at some point already this year.

“That’s something that we talk about that the strength of ours is just being balanced and tough to defend. We know that we have the capability at any position to be able to score points,” Albrecht said. “That’s something that we will certainly utilize going into the rest of our season is our depth and our balance. That’s something that we want to build upon.”

Another positive so far this year has been the Saints serving, which has racked up aces and also forced opponents out of system.

Kenzie Kuxhaus had seven aces in one match, while Syndey Miller had six in another.

“We do work a lot on the serving part of it just to work hard on getting other teams out of system and disrupting their offense,” Albrecht said. “That’s something we really try to take advantage of from the serving line. We’ve been pretty consistent with what we’re trying to do.”

Then there has been the backrow play of Laura Babcock. The former Aberdeen Central standout has already won a pair of North Star Athletic Association Defender of the Week awards on the young season.

“She’s been Laura and that’s just the consistent aspect that we rely on her each and every day,” Albrecht said. “She sets that expectation high not only for herself, but for her team. That is just a true testament to who she is and her work ethic.”

Add it all together, and it explains why the Saints have quickly bolted out of the gates this fall.

Albrecht said while the team is excited to play more home matches in the future, there has been a rewarding aspect to being on the road so much. The trips have played a key role in bonding and chemistry.

“Honestly, last year we missed those tournaments. We didn’t get a chance to go on the road,” Albrecht said noting that COVID impacted the schedule. “It was eye opening for us to be able to have those tournaments again and have that team time where we get the travel time together. We get the opportunity to spend a couple of days with all team stuff. Those are the great moments where you can build a foundation upon.”

The Saints host Mount Marty on Friday night at the Strode Center and have back-to-back home matches next week.

Albrecht said it is satisfying to see that the players are getting rewarded for the effort they’ve put in to prepare for the upcoming season.

“This team has put in a lot of work not only on the court, but off the court. They’ve really invested themselves into making sure that they’re building those relationships off the court as well. You’re seeing that on the court,” Albrecht said. “The chemistry is there with this team. They support one another whatever they do, good or bad, and it’s just really rewarding to see them reap some of the benefits from that.”

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