The St. Cloud State Huskies volleyball team fell twice at home in their final weekend of the season. They were defeated by #3 Northern State University 3-0 on Friday and Minnesota-Moorhead 3-1 on Saturday.
However, head coach Chad Braegelmann was very proud of the team’s fight after Saturday’s game, saying, “I’m proud of the way we battled tonight against a team that beat us in the preseason when we scrimmaged them and then again up in Moorhead.”
“Certainly would’ve liked to win the match, but we were low error. We hit .378 and lost a set; I don’t know what else to do there because you’re supposed to win sets when you hit like that.”
When asked how a coach handles the huddle after losing a set in which you committed only one attacking error Braegelmann said, “We talked about how we just had to keep playing aggressive and smart because they can’t keep hitting at that level. And they didn’t, they came down a little in the third set hitting .257 instead of .341 and we actually beat them.”
With the Huskies also mathematically eliminated from the tournament, coach Braegelmann was asked to reflect his first season at the helm of the program, “I’m really proud of the way that we’ve progressed from the beginning of the season to the end, but I told some of the juniors after the game that we have a lot of work to do over the next couple of months.”
“We’re hoping to get some transfers in at the break, but we’ll see how that goes. We have a couple of weeks that we have to take off and then in the last week of November and the first week in December we have some tryouts going on with some recruits and then we’ll hit the ground running again.”
Those recruiting sessions will be of paramount importance for the team as they are graduating five decorated seniors this year. Brianne Stamer now holds the school record for digs in a career with 1895. Allison Butler is the second all-time in serving attempts and recorded over 100 aces during her career. Finally, Kellan Flynn is tenth all-time in total blocks.
When asked what he would say to his seniors if they knew they were listening, Braegelmann said jokingly, “I’d just remind them that the underclassmen beat them twice in games to 15, so I said we’re not going to miss them at all, but obviously that’s not true.”
He went on to say, “It’s been really fun to work with them. I told them one day that they honestly challenge me every day in practice and they’ve made me a better coach. I’m very proud of them.”
The Huskies finished the season with a 9-19 overall record and a 5-15 mark inside of conference play. This two-win improvement over last season’s finish is respectable, especially when you consider the fact that the team dropped their final 18 matches last season and won only one conference match.
Things are definitely looking up for the Huskies volleyball program and we look forward to seeing how they progress next year.