ORANGE CITY, Iowa – The Dakota Wesleyan University volleyball team officially started the 2012 season over the weekend at the two-day Red Raider Classic, hosted by Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. The Tigers started the weekend – and the season – with a 3-0 win over Peru State College, but lost to two ranked teams and ended the weekend 1-3.
In its first match of the year Friday afternoon, DWU beat Peru State 3-0 (25- 23, 25-19, 25-19). Junior Rachel Tinklenberg had nine kills and sophomore Dani Bird added eight. Sam Sandau chipped in with seven kills and freshman Sammy Fluck recorded five kills in her Tiger debut. Junior setter Kelli Swenson had 31 assists, and Bird led the defense with 14 digs. Stacie Brinker added 11 digs.
In their second match of the tournament, the Tigers came up against No. 19 Bellevue University and lost 3-0 (11-25, 12-25, 21-25). Tinklenberg had six kills and Fluck and Bird each chipped in with five. Swenson had 16 assists and freshman Maggie Stehly had eight digs.
Dakota Wesleyan played a close match with Valley City State University to start the day Saturday, but fell 3-2. Valley City won 17-25, 25-18, 25-16, 23-25 and 15-10. Bird had a team-high 18 kills to pace the Tigers against the Vikings and Tinklenberg added 11. Briana Jung had 30 assists and eight digs and Bird added nine digs. Stehly also had five digs.
In its fourth and final match of the weekend, DWU fell 3-1 to Baker University, which is receiving votes in the NAIA. Baker won 25-14, 23-25, 25-12 and 25-13. Bird had nine kills and Sarah Kruse finished with five for the Tigers. Jung had 13 assists and eight digs and Stehly led the team with 15 digs. Bird also had 14 digs.
Dakota Wesleyan is back in action this weekend when its hosts the DWU Labor Day Classic at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. The six-team tournament starts at 10 a.m. Friday when Mayville State University takes on Mount Marty College. The Tigers’ first game of the weekend is at noon Friday, Aug. 31, when they host York College. DWU also hosts Jamestown College at 8 p.m. Friday, and then plays Mayville State at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, and the University of Sioux Falls at 6 p.m. Saturday.