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Volleyball: Rosemount sweeps Cretin-Derham Hall on senior night

Junior setter Larisa O'Neil sets up her teammate during the first set of the Irish senior night win. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 4
Junior Gabriella Scott serves during the second set of Rosemount's match against Cretin-Derham Hall. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 4
Senior Kaitlyn McLean is back with the team after missing time due to an injury and head coach Smokey Vitek has said she is an important piece for the Irish. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 4
Senior Lauren Van Sickle rises up and gently lays the ball over the net against the Raiders. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 4

A clean sweep of Cretin-Derham Hall helped the Rosemount Irish volleyball team celebrate senior night Wednesday evening during their homecoming week. The Irish beat the Raiders 25-7, 25-10, 25-18 as they continue to build confidence after an up-and-down start to the season that was beset by injuries. However, Rosemount is almost fully healthy now and with the win improve to 9-11 overall and 3-3 in the South Suburban Conference.

The Irish easily cruised through the first two sets before Cretin-Derham Hall gave them a battle in the third, but the home team was able to pull away in the end.

"We switched up the lineups so we had to adjust to that," senior captain Marissa Hinkle said about the match and specifically the third set "I think we started off slow because we were just kind of like flowing with it, but then we realized they were pushing back, so we pushed back and kept going. Then we got back in our rhythm."

The win comes after a difficult stretch of the schedule for Rosemount. Last Thursday they went to Farmington and won 3-1, which Hinkle said was turning point for the team. They then played in the difficult St. Michael-Albertville tournament where they went 2-3 but managed a big win over a ranked opponent.

"That went really well, we beat Wayzata in three, which was a really big win because they were like 10th in the state," Hinkle said about the STMA tournament and the Irish improving. "I thought we played well as a team. We started coming together as a team, that Thursday last week we played Farmington and beat them in four. That was really good, that was the game we started to come together as a team and then we went into last weekend."

Rosemount beat Wayzata 2-1 (21-25, 25-21, 15-13) who at the time were ranked No. 10 in class AAA, but have now dropped out of the top-10. Their other win came against Robbinsdale Armstrong 25-18, 25-19. The three losses were to Rogers (25-23, 25-20), Southwest Christian (25-13, 7-25, 9-15) and Maple Grove (23-25, 25-17, 13-15). They then went five, tight sets with Prior Lake but lost 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 25-20, 22-25, 13-15) this last Tuesday, Oct. 2.

With just two weeks left in the regular season, Hinkle said the team's strength is their intangibles.

"I think we bond really well and we have really good team chemistry," she said. "So on the court, if people make mistakes we have each other's backs."

The Irish travel to Lakeville North next Tuesday, Oct. 9, and then finish the regular season against Eagan at home on Oct. 11 and then on the road at Shakopee on Oct. 16. Over those matches and heading into sections, Hinkle said that the team needs to keep playing with intensity and to respond to adversity by not getting down.

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014. 

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