Roseville’s Kauth lands in the record book

Haley Kauth
Haley Kauth

Although liberos wear a jersey different in color from that of their volleyball teammates, they don’t always garner the attention that the big hitters and setters get. For one night last week, however, a libero got her place in the spotlight.

Roseville Area High School senior Haley Kauth was recognized last Thursday prior to the Raiders' match against Rosemount. At the end of last season, Kauth became Minnesota's all-time career leader in digs.

"It just feels really amazing, obviously, but it's really nice to see all my years of this paying off," Kauth said.

This is Kauth's sixth and final season of varsity volleyball. Playing varsity as a seventh grader forced her to step up her game early.

"It was terrifying but fun at the same time," said Kauth. "It made me grow up fast in a good way."

Roseville head coach Greg Ueland said that Kauth has definitely earned the recognition.

"What she allows our team to do is second to none," said Ueland. "I'm glad that she got that record because she deserves every honor and accolade that comes her way."

Ueland is also impressed with Kauth’s attitude, which hasn't changed even this year as a senior and a captain.

"For her, it's still all about everybody else," Ueland said. "It's not about herself."

Kauth is more of a leader by example than a vocal leader but Ueland says she is still able to get her point across.

"She is a quiet, get-the-job-done leader," said Ueland. "She is always about getting the job done day in and day out. She demands a lot of her teammates but in a really quiet way. She is probably the best lead-by-example kid I have ever worked with."

Roseville junior setter Bre Maloney joined Ueland in singing Kauth's praises.

"She's so calming, composed all the time and understands where everyone is coming from," Maloney said. "She's a great leader. She keeps us in our place but in a nice way."

In her previous five varsity seasons, Kauth has helped guide the Raiders to a pair of Suburban East Conference championships and three state-tournament appearances.

Kauth will switch to college volleyball next season when she heads to Wayne State University in Wayne, Neberaska. The Division II team plays in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference with the likes of Minnesota-Duluth, Concordia University (St. Paul) and Southwest Minnesota State.

"They kind of fell in love with my game and then I went down there and I fell in love with them," Kauth said. "It's a small town and it's very family-like. I felt the team was a family."

For now, though, Kauth has one more high school season to add to that digs record.

Unbeaten so far

After recognizing Kauth, the seventh-ranked Raiders faced fifth-ranked Rosemount in an early-season showdown. Roseville triumphed in a five-set affair that had the feel of a state-tournament match.

Rosemount won game one with relative ease but Roseville bounced back to take the next two sets. Facing elimination, the Irish rallied to take game four but Roseville closed out the victory by winning game five. The final match score was 18-25, 25-22, 25-18, 22-25, 15-11.

"We knew going in that Rosemount is definitely one of the favorites for the whole thing down the road," said Ueland. "Our girls get up for the big matches."

Roseville wasn’t quite ready for the Irish, at least in the first set. Ueland said the players were battling nerves early in the match.

"This is the first time I saw our team have a little bit of nerves," said Ueland. "They have a lot of friends on the Rosemount team and I think that adds a little extra dimension. We usually handle that really well."

Maloney said playing tough competition early helps get the season rolling.

"It's good to compete right off the bat so we set a good tone for the season," Maloney said. "It's nice to start off competitive and keep building."

The win over Rosemount pushed Roseville's record to 4-0 and should help the Raiders move up in the rankings. Roseville has also beaten Minnetonka, North St. Paul and Hopkins this season and all three of those victories were three-game sweeps.

Roseville is back in action with a pair of matches this week. The Raiders travel to Waconia on Tuesday and open Suburban East Conference play against Forest Lake at home on Thursday.

Concordia Academy

The Beacons also had an eventful week with some big victories.

Concordia, which played only once before Labor Day, played six matches last week and went 4-2. That record might not be all that noteworthy but the Beacons amassed that mark against some quality competition.

Concordia Academy opened last week on Sept. 8 with a match at Class AAA Apple Valley, which came away with a 3-1 victory. Two days later, the Beacons opened the Tri-Metro Conference schedule with a three-game sweep of St. Agnes.

The Beacons then spent Friday and Saturday competing at the Aerie Challenge hosted by Apple Valley. Concordia opened the tournament with a two-game sweep of Stillwater and then topped Rosemount, which was ranked fifth in Class AAA last week, two sets to one.

On Saturday, Concordia faced Stewartville, ranked No. 2 in Class AA, in the semifinals and swept the Tigers in two sets. That victory put the Beacons in championship match against the host Eagles. Both teams battled for three games and Apple Valley pulled out the victory 25-19, 22-25, 17-15.

Concordia Academy is back in action three times this week, including a home match on Tuesday against Mounds View. The Beacons also return to conference action with road match at Visitation on Thursday.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

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