Volleyball: Detroit Lakes dominates DGF in first match at Lakeshirts Fieldhouse
The Detroit Lakes volleyball team made quick work of Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton on Tuesday night as the Lakers broke in Lakeshirts Fieldhouse for the 2022-2023 school year.
DETROIT LAKES – The Detroit Lakes volleyball season opener went according to plan.
The Lakers (1-0) swept Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (0-1) on Tuesday in domination fashion. After needing an extra point to win the first set, they outscored the Rebels by 32 points in a 3-0 win at home.
“I think in the first set, we just had to get our nerves out of the way and everything,” Detroit Lakes junior Jones said. “In the second set, we played like we knew we can and took care of business. (Detroit Lakes head coach Lynnsey Machakaire) assured us of all of the work we put into this preseason and told us to play our game. We really went out there and did that.”
Detroit Lakes jumped out to an 8-3 lead before the Rebels evened the first set at 10-10. Senior newcomer Sadie Stroeing served six straight points to put the Lakers ahead 20-12, notching one of her two aces on the night.
While pinned against the ropes at the end of the first set, DGF found some life. The Rebels went on a 12-4 run with seven set-point wins to tie the match 24-24. The Lakers snapped the streak to take a one-point lead before senior Jalynn Gunderson finally got a set point to land.
“That first (set) was all about getting our serves out and understanding where our movement is on the court,” Machakaire said. “It was a little bit of feeling out what they had, and I think DGF played their best in set one.”
From there, it was all Detroit Lakes. Jones started the second set by serving 12 straight points in the Lakers’ largest run of the night. She had three aces during that stretch. Jones also tallied 37 assists in the setter position.
“You kind of get in a zone when you’re working hard for your team,” Jones said. “My job there is to put them in positions to get a free ball and set them up for easy points. We really felt the momentum swing during that stretch for sure.”
Jalynn Gunderson also went on a run from the end line, extending the Lakers’ lead to 18-3 with a six-point streak. Grace Gunderson smashed one of her 10 kills to close out the set 25-6.
“We focus on serving quite a bit (in practice),” Machakaire said. “I hold them to a high standard. We’re practicing short, long and on-line serves. On top of that, we’re practicing placement. Most other coaches call their servers, but I do not. I let my servers make their own choices. I feel like we have an intelligent enough group for them to call it themselves. It leaves them with less pressure from me and more that they can put on themselves, which is easier to deal with. I think that does help us on their serves because they do know where to put that ball.”
The third set was more of the same. After a back-and-forth start, Detroit Lakes closed out its first win of the season on a 16-3 run.
Jalynn Gunderson led the way with 16 kills, while Rylee Johnson had seven. Helena Daggett also led the team in blocks with three, while Grace Gunderson tallied two.
After losing seven straight set points, the Lakers outscored the Rebels 52-18.
“It feels really good because I know what they have in them,” Machakaire said. “For me to see them feel that, see that and do it is really good. They came in today almost like how they left off last season in Alexandria with that fire. If we can grow off of this, that’s where we need to go. Seeing them pull it together in set two gives you goosebumps as a coach. There’s nothing you want more for the kids to succeed.”
The Lakers have plenty of weapons on the floor. When the power arms of Jalynn Gunderson and Grace Gunderson catch fire, it draws defenders towards them-opening the floor for other contributors.
“Having the power helps, but it also allows for other teams to hone in on them,” Machakaire said. “When they go on those runs, their blockers shift to being all on Grace or Jalynn. Ava is such a smart setter, and she understands when to push that ball out to the other side of the court. With Rylee (Johnson), Sadie (Stroeing) and Helena (Daggett), we have other hitters besides the big two that can put the ball down. We will win games off of those tips and making those smart plays.”
Some Lakers waited a long time for Tuesday night. The volleyball team was the last varsity group left to compete at Lakeshirts Fieldhouse for the first time.
“It feels super good to be back and playing again,” Jones said. “It’s fun to be in this new gym. The air conditioning definitely felt a little better in this gym than in the other one. Just the amount of space it can hold with all of the different fans makes it a lot of fun.”
In 2021, Detroit Lakes was swept on the road against DGF. Not only was Tuesday a chance to avenge that loss, but also an opportunity to make a statement.
“We lost to DGF last year, so to come out here and beat a program like DGF, even if they don’t have the most talent, is great,” Machakaire said. “They’re very well-coached, and they’re a very deep program. To come out game one and beat a program like that feels good all the way around. It feels good, as coaches, to beat their coaching staff. It feels good for the players to beat their athletes. Especially with towns on Highway 10, these kids know each other, and there’s extra competition that comes with that.”
DETROIT LAKES 3, DILWORTH-GLYNDON-FELTON 0
(26-24, 25-6, 25-12)