Spikers win four of five matchesThe Raider volleyball team waged a hard-fought battle over Big Rivers Conference rival River Falls last Tuesday before winning three of four matches to place second at the Northwestern Tournament Saturday in Maple.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
The Raider volleyball team waged a hard-fought battle over Big Rivers Conference rival River Falls last Tuesday before winning three of four matches to place second at the Northwestern Tournament Saturday in Maple.
Hudson’s runner-up finish at Maple was up three spots from their finish at the same tournament last year.
The Raiders hosted Rice Lake Tuesday night before having the rest of the week off. They return to action Tuesday, Sept. 29, at Eau Claire North and host Baldwin-Woodville Thursday, Oct. 1.
At River Falls last Tuesday, the Raiders and Wildcats went to five games before Hudson prevailed by scores of 25-15, 19-25, 25-7, 21-25, 15-6.
“In sets one, three and five we played very solidly,” head coach Dennis Saathoff said. “We served well, moved well, passed well and converted our attacks well. But in sets two and four we became lackadaisical in all of those areas.”
Natalie Horsman and Stephanie Little paced the team in kills while Amber Saathoff led the team in assists and Elizabeth Gagliardi was tops in digs.
“Jamie Lindstrom had her most productive night of the season so far with three kills in seven attempts,” Saathoff added.
Saturday the Raiders dropped just one game while going 3-0 in round-robin play at the Northwestern Tournament. Hudson opened with a 25-12 win over Ironwood and defeated Mellen 25-7, 25-13 before disposing of Superior 20-25, 25-22, 15-2.
Britni Eberlin, Kirsten Iverson, Little and Amber Saathoff recorded multiple service aces against Ironwood, with Saathoff recording 12 aces in 20 attempts.
The Raiders didn’t serve quite as well against Mellen, but converted their shots at a .469 rate. Amber Saathoff was 3-for-3 in kills and Eberlin was 4-for-5 while Horsman was 6-for-8 and Lindstrom 2-for-3.
Hudson connected on just 75 percent of its serves while losing its opening match to Superior but rebounded nicely to win the next two sets and reach the finals.
“The girls amped it up a lot and really rolled over them in the third set, where we only needed three service rotations to win,” Saathoff said.
Kristen Briggs, Horsman and Amber Saathoff led the Raider offense while Gagliardi and Kari Pelzel combined to record 18 of the team’s 23 digs. Megan Kelly contributed two set assists and three service aces.
In the championship match against the host Northwestern team, the Raiders came out on the short end of a 20-25, 21-25 decision.
“In set one we once again only served 75 percent,” Saathoff said. “For the match, we struggled offensively with only three girls recording more kills than errors. They were Elle Schwartz, Natalie Horsman and Amber Saathoff. We had our best match for blocking though by recording eight blocks in the match, which helped keep the scores close.”
Saathoff said Little, Ashlyn Ferron and Eberlin led the team in blocks.
In recent junior varsity action, the Raiders defeated River Falls 25-18, 25-19, 11-15. The Raider JV has a season match record of 5-2 and a season game record of 13-6.