Trojan Volleyball Team Showcases Honor

Danielle Rowe

The DSU Trojans competed in a difficult tournament this past weekend at the Hastings Quality Inn Volleyball Classic.

“We are currently stuck in a rut with last weekend and faced a lot of good teams, but we are going to pull ourselves up and learn from the past,” said co-captain Stephanie Kruggel.

Head coach Amy Veenhof stated, “Stephanie Kruggel is stepping up to lead the team and is doing a lot for us. The team is looking to her for our leadership on and off the court, and she has been doing a fantastic job.”

Coach Veenhof also remarked the Trojans need to focus on their overall ball control. The main source of games lost, is related to the serving and pass battle. This battle of not winning the serve and pass is what separated the Trojans from the other teams at the Hastings Quality Inn Volleyball Classic. However, on September 7 at the DSU Home-opener, the Trojan’s won the serve and pass battle while out hitting Mount Marty, which put them at an advantage.

This past week has been a challenge for the volleyball team, but they united as a family on Wednesday September 7 at the DSU Fieldhouse. The DSU volleyball team honored teammate Ashley Engel, who passed away July 18, 2011 in a boating accident. Wednesday night represented Ashley’s memory where teammates and spectators showcased colors purple and pink in representation of Ashley. DSU had victorious matches and won against the Lancers in 3 games.

Score board showing recognition for Ashley #20.

Coach Veenhof stated, “Wednesday night the girls did a fantastic job of honoring Ashley. Receiving support from the students, faculty, and community helped give encouragement. I have never seen as many people at a volleyball game before until Wednesday. It was wonderful to see everyone unite in Ashley’s memory.”

Before the match begun during the opening ceremony, co-captain Stephanie Kruggel gave a speech and a moment of silence in memory of Ashley. Kruggel stated, “It was a great turnout for our home opener in honor of Ashley, the support from everyone helped with winning and gave us a positive energy to play for her.”

Also during the opening ceremony, Ashley’s 12-year-old sister Allison Engel served the first serve of the match with Kruggel at her side. Co-captain Lauren LaBar and senior Katie Green gave flowers and hugs to Ashley’s family members.

Lauren LaBar with Allison Engel and Stephanie Kruggel

“As a team we want to thank the fans for support, especially throughout the continuing season. Even though last Wednesday was her honorary game, we play for Ashley every single day and that won’t change,” said LaBar.

The volleyball ladies remain strong with their heads held high, and will play against Presentation College, tomorrow night at 7:00 PM in Aberdeen, SD. The Trojans will host their second home game of the year on this Friday September 16, at 7:30 PM at the DSU Fieldhouse. Please come show your support!

Photos courtesy of Lori Kruggel


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