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In the opinion of The Dakotan
Jason Spain, Sports Director, The Dakotan
In the opinion of The Dakotan
Jason Spain, Sports Director, The Dakotan

Spainer’s picks week 3 

The Dakotan
 September 5, 2022
 •

First two weeks: 6-1-1 

Minot State Volleyball 

Minot State Volleyball is off to a tough start at 0-7.  They have had a brutal schedule for a young team trying to create an identity.  We know volleyball is in the “Group of Death” Northern Sun Conference, and  the death march starts right away this weekend.  The University of Minnesota Duluth, ranked 21st, and eighth ranked St. Cloud State come to the Dome Friday and Saturday.   

UMD Bulldogs come into the dome 8-0 after two straight undefeated weekends. UMD has four players that could all be NSIC or even All American. Sydney Lanoune has 102 Kills and 99 digs.  etter Madison Gordon has 353 assists in 8 matches. Kaylyn Madison has 131 digs herself. Cianna Selbitschka has 22 aces in the first two weeks of the season. UMD dusted off undefeated and national powerhouse Grand Valley State last Saturday. Unlike the Beavers the Bulldogs are junior and senior heavy.   

The St. Cloud State Huskies also come into the dome with an 8-0 record.  They are returning from another perfect road trip to Florida.  St. Cloud doesn’t have the same level of stats as Duluth, but don’t let that fool you. St. Cloud is extremely deep and feature 10 different players that are likely starters on most nationally ranked teams. They average more than 14 kills per set they have won all but one set this season. Keely Kurschner is one of the best defensive players in the nation. The Huskies play error free volleyball and place immense pressure on their opponents. This will be an enormous mountain for the Beavers to climb. 

If you are looking for wins for Minot State, you probably aren’t going to see that. If you are looking for a young team that battles, you will certainly see that. If you are looking for a team that boasts multiple players from the local area that WILL see time, you will see that as well.   

Minot State has three local players that have played in almost every game. Sydney Upton is a local smasher from Bishop Ryan. Sydney has NSIC talent and will continue to get better with each game. She needs to limit errors and that will come with time. The Beavers also have Tea Boeckel and Kendal Braun from Our Redeemers that see time as well.  Both are backrow specialist/Liberos.  Braun and Boeckel have 36 and 33 digs respectively. Alexandra Koontz is a 6’2” Sophomore from Earlville, Illinois and can absolutely crush the ball. She has 49 kills already and they have played one of the toughest schedules in the country so far. 

UMD 3 Minot State 0 

St Cloud St. 3 Minot State 0 

 Minot State Football (0-1) vs. University of Sioux Falls (1-0) 

Minot State travels to perennial powerhouse University of Sioux Falls on Saturday. This will be much closer than ever before, but it will take everything the Beavers can muster to win this one. The Beavers will need to figure out how to stretch the USF defense. Winona started stacking the box against the Beavers in their opener, making it tough sledding for Ali Muhamed. Macleary and Lemoureux will need to connect deep early on to drop the safeties for the Sioux Falls defense. This will be a huge ask for the Beavers offensive line. The Cougar defense totaled six sacks against Moorhead last weekend. This may be a tall task but not impossible.  

The biggest question will be if the Beavers have the depth to stay with the Cougars for four quarters. The Cougars feature a thunder and lightning approach at running back. Their duo of Thuru Reisdorfer and Landon Flanagan will try and wear down the Beavers. The Cougars come in heavy favorites, but they will be hit in the mouth by the now grown-up Beavers.  

Sioux Falls 27 Minot State 13 

High Schol Football 

Minot High vs. Mandan 

Minot High is coming off a tough loss and almost amazing comeback against Bismarck Legacy are facing maybe the best team in North Dakota. Minot needs to start leaning on their super talented sophomore class like running back Kellen Burke.  

Mandan All-State quarterback Max Carlson and company are extremely talented and ready for the Magi. Minot will need to hit the Braves with a steady dose of running to run the clock and keep Carlson off the field. The Braves can hit you from anywhere on the field. Mandan has their own version of the “triplets”, three were All State a year ago, Carlson, wide receiver Karsyn Jablonski and running back Lincoln Wiseman. They also have two returning all WDA players Tahrye Frank and Owen Gress. Mandan is loaded and primed to win a state championship.  

Mandan 34 Minot 16 

Bishop Ryan at South Prairie/Max 

Bishop Ryan is now finally healthy and looks to be back to last year’s state semifinalist form. They just dismissed a very tough Kenmare team that beat Bowman County on the road. Bowman County was also a state semifinalist team last year as well. South Prairie has improved a great deal from their inaugural campaign last year.  

This game will feature too much Jett Lundeen and too much Colton Fellar from Ryan. A healthy Bishop Ryan is going to be a bit too much for South Prairie to handle. Carson Merck, Lundeen’s backcourt mate in basketball, has been a huge addition to the Lions. He had two touchdown catches last week and an interception.  

The Royals will try and lean on quarterback Carter Korslien and wide receiver Cooper Lane. Coach Justin Weisler has the Royals trending up and they are really improved from last year. The Royals will be in these games in the next couple years. 

Bishop Ryan 41 South Prairie Max 6 

Volleyball 

Minot High vs. Mandan Braves 

Minot High has been off to a middle of the road start, but they have played a difficult schedule. Minot will find it difficult to get to the top four this fall, but they have the talent to get there led by senior Grace Sanders and junior Avery Lunde. Grace Sanders is a very strong defensive player for the Majettes. Three sport star Avery Lunde is a do it all player for Minot much like her fill in the gaps role for the state champion basketball team as well.  

Lunde and company will find it a bit easier Tuesday night against Mandan than Jamestown and Dickinson last week. Mandan freshman Libero Mya Sheldon is quite good, but still young and learning the varsity game. Mandan lost All-state Piper Harris and is still trying to fill that void. 

Minot 3 Mandan 1 

Spainer

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