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18 Nfinity team wins club tourney

On its home court, the 18 Nfinity club volleyball team came away with the 18-and-under championship at the North Country Region Area Championship Sunday.

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Platte's Emily Johnson, 10, of 18 Nfinity, Mitchell's club volleyball team, hits the ball past a blocker during the semifinals of the North Country Region Area Championship at the Christen Wellness Center on Dakota Wesleyan's campus. (Justin Rust/Republic)

On its home court, the 18 Nfinity club volleyball team came away with the 18-and-under championship at the North Country Region Area Championship Sunday.

The team -- which is part of Mitchell's Club DAK90 volleyball program -- consists of some of the area's top prep talents, including former Mitchell setter Charlee Nelson, who was named The Daily Republic's volleyball player of the year in her senior season and will play for the University of Sioux Falls in the fall.

Other players include Mitchell's Dana Misiaszek and Lexie Weie;, Wagner's Devon Brecke, Alexa Cimpl and Jessa Doom; Platte-Geddes' Kelle Griese and Emily Johnson; and Corsica's Laura Groseth.

Groseth will play volleyball for Mount Marty College in Yankton in the fall and Johnson will play at USF with Nelson.

Dakota Wesleyan coach Eric Viney is the coach of the 18 Nfinity team, and he said winning the championship was exciting.

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"We don't have too many tournaments here in town or in our area, so to basically host it on our home court and win it is pretty special," he said.

The 18-and-under division consisted of eight teams. The 18 Nfinity went 2-1 in pool play Sunday morning, which was good enough to make it in the gold bracket on Sunday afternoon. The team's one loss was to Black Hills Juniors, which it faced again in the championship match.

This time, the 18 Nfinity team beat Black Hills Juniors by a score of 2-1.

"We are really excited about it and just one of those things we have been shooting for to win one of these tournaments," Viney said.

This is not the only tournament the 18 Nfinity club has won. On April 10, the team took home first place at a tournament in Pipestone, Minn.

Mitchell's other 18-and-under team -- 18 Black -- lost in the semifinals to Black Hills Juniors.

Viney said it was a really good weekend for the DAK 90 club.

"It was a very successful weekend for us," he said. "We are a good representative of the growth we have had as a club. This shows what spring volleyball is really starting to be."

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With the club season growing in South Dakota, Viney said it allows players to get more exposure for different colleges.

"During the fall, all of us college coaches have the fall season going on, and we don't get as many opportunities to watch kids play," he said. "We go to tournaments like this that you will see 200, 300 coaches at, so we get the kids the experience against higher level competition they normally wouldn't get to see."

The 18 Nfinity team has two more tournaments before the end of the club season. The team will travel to a tournament in Redwood Falls, Minn., on Saturday, and the next day it plays in a tournament in Sioux Falls, hosted by Augustana College.

"We want the kids go get experience heading into the fall for their teams," Viney said. "We are looking to cap it off and add a couple of tournament championships to our record."

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