RAHS volleyball ready for another run

The Roseville Area High School volleyball team has qualified for the past four state tournaments despite losing some key players to graduation each year. This season is no different for the Raiders.

Roseville must replace an all-state libero and an all-conference middle hitter and will do so thanks to a deep senior class.

“This is our largest senior class since 2012,” said Roseville head coach Greg Ueland. “We had eight seniors that year and we have seven this year.”

One of those seniors is setter Bre Maloney, who already owns all of Roseville’s setting records and is likely to finish her career in the top three all-time in the state. Maloney has started at setter since seventh grade and even before she got to junior high it was obvious she was a special talent.

“She’s an extension of the coaches on the floor,” said Ueland. “I remember watching her in elementary school and knew she was going to be something special. As a varsity player in eighth grade, she ran our court.”

Another senior who is set for another solid season is outside hitter Alivia Garbe. She set the school’s single-season record for kills and finished in the top five in the state in kills per set last season. Ueland is also impressed with how her all-around game has developed.

“Alivia Garbe is one of the best all-around players in the state,” said Ueland. “Everyone always talks about her hitting prowess but she’s also a great defender and passer.”

Other seniors who are back for one last run are outside hitter Ginger Perra, middle hitter Kailey Beer and defensive specialists Addie Jones and Megan Christensen. Jones and Christensen will be counted on to replace libero Haley Kauth, who is the all-time state record holder in digs and is playing college volleyball at Wayne State in Nebraska.

There is also a senior on the roster who is a newcomer to Roseville. Right-side hitter Julia Deyak played at Albert Lea High School last season but is a Raider this year after her family moved to the Roseville area.

In addition to the aforementioned seven seniors, Ueland has a sophomore who will also figure heavily into the varsity rotation. Erin Beer is an outside hitter who is athletic enough to also spend time playing in the middle.

With the loss of Kauth, Roseville’s defense and passing might not be as strong as it has been in recent years but Ueland doesn’t expect that big of a drop off. The bigger change for the Raiders this season is on offense.

“We’re going to look different than the traditional type of Roseville team where we’ve relied on one big arm,” Ueland said. “I think this year we have quite a few offensive options. We don’t have an overwhelming strength or big weakness but offensive firepower is going to be improved. I really honestly feel we have five really good hitters that we can run the offense through.”

Making another run to the state tournament won’t be easy. Totino-Grace, which the Raiders beat in the section final last year, is expected to be strong again, as is North St. Paul. The Polars reached the previous three section finals prior to last year.

Ueland also expects Centennial, Mahtomedi, Stillwater and Mounds View to be improved. Over the past four seasons, Roseville hasn’t gone up against much competition in the playoffs until the section semifinals but this year the Raiders could face a solid opponent in the quarterfinals.

In addition to the section titles, Roseville has also won the past three Suburban East Conference championships. Ueland believes that shows that a team can perform consistently throughout the season and is not something to be overlooked or diminished.

“We take a lot of pride in that,” Ueland said. “It’s about the journey.”

One thing that Roseville has been unable to do during its runs of state-tournament appearances was medal (top three) at state. In four appearances, the Raiders have finished fourth twice, fifth once and tied for seventh once.

“We want to medal at state,” Ueland said.

The Raiders took the first steps toward that goal last weekend against a pair of familiar non-conference opponents. The Raiders hosted Totino-Grace, which they beat in the section final last year, and played Prior Lake, which beat Roseville in the state semifinals, in the Sideout Classic. Results of those matches were not available for this edition of the Review.

The Raiders’ schedule this week includes a visit from Osseo on August 30 and a trip to Rosemount on Sept. 1. Roseville’s run of non-conference matches to start the season concludes with a trip to Hopkins on Sept. 8 and a home game against North St. Paul on Sept. 13.

 

Ranked

Roseville began the regular season ranked sixth in the Class AAA coaches poll. Defending state champion Eagan was No. 1 in the rankings, followed by Prior Lake and Lakeville South. Champlin Park and Wayzata were tied for fourth. North St. Paul was 10th.

 

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

 

 

 

Class AAA volleyball preseason ranking

First-place votes in parentheses

1: Eagan (6)

2: Prior Lake (1)

3: Lakeville South

4:Champlin Park

4: Wayzata

6: Roseville

7: Shakopee

8: Eden Prairie

9: Hopkins

10: North St. Paul

 

2016 Roseville Area High School volleyball schedule

Aug. 26 vs. Totino-Grace 7 p.m.

Aug. 27 vs. Prior Lake 7 p.m.

Aug. 30 vs. Osseo 7 p.m.

Sept. 1 at Rosemount 7 p.m.

Sept. 8 at Hopkins 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 vs. North 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 at Forest Lake 7 p.m.

Sept. 22 vs. East Ridge 7 p.m.

Sept. 23 at Apple Valley tournament 5 p.m.

Sept. 24 at Apple Valley tournament 9:30 a.m.

Sept. 27 at Cretin-Derham Hall 7 p.m.

Sept. 29 vs. Park-Cottage Grove 7 p.m.

Oct. 1 at Blaine tournament 9 a.m.

Oct. 5 vs. Woodbury 7 p.m.

Oct. 10 vs. Mounds view 7 p.m.

Oct. 13 at Stillwater 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 at White Bear Lake 7 p.m.

Oct. 21 at Moorhead tournament 2:30 p.m.

Oct. 22 at Moorhead tournament 9:30 a.m. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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