College volleyball: RCTC season preview
Coach: Amber Zitzow.
Assistant coach: Tori Ristau.
Last season: After winning the NJCAA Division III national championship in 2015, RCTC finished 15-17 last season. The Yellowjackets placed third in the MCAC South Division with a 10-4 record.
Outlook: The Yellowjackets are hoping to contend for a division and state title, but have some serious competition with three teams in the MCAC ranked nationally in the preseason poll. Ridgewater was the national runner-up in Division III last season and enters the season ranked No. 2. Central Lakes is ranked No. 4 and Fergus Falls in No. 7. The Yellowjackets have three key returning players in Stewartville’s Tara Rogers (outside hitter), Brooke Wendland (middle hitter) and
Blooming Prairie’s Laura Larkoski (outside hitter). Rogers was named to the All-Southern Division second team last yea as a freshman. Coach Amber Zitzow expects the top newcomers to be Byron’s Maddeson Hintz, Hayfield’s Anna Carney and Mankato’s JayCee Anderson and Mariah Steinbach. Both Hintz and Anderson redshirted a year ago.
Strengths: “Our strengths will be communication, togetherness and ball control,” Zitzow said.
Weaknesses: “We are a young group with players playing new positions,” Zitzow said.
Teams to beat in the state/region: Ridgewater, Fergus Falls, St. Cloud.
(Player, position, height, high school)
Returning: Brooke Wendland (MH, 5-9, Immanual Luthern), Lauren Larkoski (S/OH, 5-6, Blooming Prairie), Maddeson Hintz* (S/OH, 5-9, Byron), Jaycee Anderson* (RH, 5-9, Mankato West), Tara Rogers (OH, 5-8, Stewartville).
Newcomers: Anna Carney (DS, 5-3, Hayfield), Kazlin Thompson (DS, 5-4, Big Lake), Mariah Steinbach (MH, 6-1, St. Clair), PenniJo Brenke RH, 5-7, Cleveland).
* — Redshirt freshmen.
Aug. 22 — North Iowa Area C.C., 3 p.m.
Aug. 25-26 — at Wisconsin Dells Invitational, TBA
Aug. 30 — at Minnesota West, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 1 — vs. Kishwaukee, 5 p.m., vs. Harper, 7 p.m. at Glen Ellyn, Ill.
Sept. 2 — vs. Blackhawk College, 10 a.m., vs. College of DuPage, noon at Glen Ellyn, Ill.
Sept. 6 — Riverland, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 13 — at Western Tech, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 15 — Des Moines Area C.C., 2 p.m., Harper, 6 p.m. at RCTC Invitational
Sept. 16 — Bismarck, 11 a.m., Madison Tech, 3 p.m. at RCTC Invitational
Sept. 22 — at Rigewater, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 — at Fergus Falls, noon
Sept. 27 — at St. Cloud Tech, 6 p.m.
Sept. 29 — Anoka-Ramsey, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 4 — at Riverland, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 — vs. Iowa Lakes, 9 a.m. vs. Marshalltown, 11:30 a.m. at Mason City, Iowa
Oct. 11 — Western Tech, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 13 — at Anoka-Ramsey, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 14 — St. Cloud Tech, noon
Oct. 19 — vs. Rainy River, 3:30 p.m., vs. Central Lakes, 7:30 p.m. at Anoka-Ramsey
Oct. 20 — vs. Itasca, 9:30 a.m., vs. Northland, 1:30 p.m. at Anoka-Ramsey
Oct. 25 — Minnesota West, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 27 — Fergus Falls, TBA
Oct. 28 — Ridgewater, noon
— Guy N. Limbeck