Vermilion Community College Volleyball Clinches First Playoff Berth in 20 Years Behind “Iron 8”
Coach Brodeen says the hope is that the success this year will help bring in more players, especially from the local area.
ELY, Minn. – Back in August, the Vermilion Community College volleyball team had to cancel its upcoming season due to low numbers. Just over a week later, a few players began reaching out to head coach Krystal Brodeen and the season was back on. And then, with the smallest of expectations, the Ironwomen pulled off what some thought would be impossible just a few months before.
Vermilion clinched a spot in the MCAC regional tournament for the first time in 20 years. And they did it with a very small roster, whom Coach Brodeen has dubbed “The Iron 8”. She adds that with each match, the expectations grew higher and higher for her squad.
“In the beginning, it was kind of a thing where ‘OK we’re just going to get through this season. We’re going to have a good time. Have fun.’ Then after we started playing, I was like ‘Man, we’ve got it together where we can actually do something this year.’ Game after game, it was looking like we’re in the top four, we’re in the top four. Then we haven’t dropped out since,” said Brodeen.
The season hasn’t been without a few challenges, including scrimmages during practice, which they get help from the men’s basketball team. Brodeen says the hope is that the success this year will help bring in more players, especially from the local area.
“I’ve got three girls from Mesabi East, one from Cherry, one from Nashwauk, another one from Southern Minnesota and two from Wisconsin. Pretty successful when it comes to recruiting. So I’ll have seven of the eight returning next year. And then I’ve got a couple recruits now. One from Superior and one from Chisholm that are going to add to the local group next year and the fanbase that we’re building,” Brodeen said.
Vermilion will face Central Lakes College in the semi-finals Friday night. The action starts at 6 p.m. in Brainerd.