Raider volleyball team's season ends in regional final
The Raider volleyball opened the postseason with a five-set victory over Superior in a WIAA regional semifinal match in Hudson last Thursday before losing to top-seed Chippewa Falls, 3-0, in the regional final Saturday in Chippewa Falls.
The eighth-seeded Raiders jumped out to a 2-0 lead over No. 9 Superior in Thursday’s semifinal, winning the first two sets by scores of 25-22, 26-24, before Superior squeaked out a 25-23 victory in set No. 3 and tied the match 25-16 in the fourth set. But Hudson stormed back to take the fifth and deciding set, 15-9, to move on.
“This was a tough match where we started off playing well, kind of went into a funk and then came back very strong to finish it off,” head coach Dennis Saathoff said.
Hudson’s attack was spread out with Hannah Cook leading the way with 11 kills, Katy Fox adding 10 and Kaylyn Jenkins finishing with nine. Ellie Smith and Melissa Hammer contributed six kills apiece with Hammer hitting at a stellar .857 clip. Natalie Hall also chipped in with five kills.
Brooke Little led a trio of Raider setters with 28 assists and six service aces while Hannah Bennett dished out 10 assists and Ashley Hall had four. Kathryn Draper set the tone on defense with a team-high 14 digs.
The win set up a rematch with Big Rivers Conference foe and No. 1 seed Chippewa Falls Saturday night and the Cardinals recorded a 25-13, 25-17, 25-17 victory.
“We had a very hard time scoring points in any length of runs and it seemed if we did they always countered with a run of their own,” Saathoff said.
Saathoff said the season-ending loss was especially hard on the team’s seniors , who played their last match in a Raider uniform.
“The entire team put in a great deal of effort over the season and they really were not ready for it to end,” he said.