Spikers get tough: Undefeated week includes own invite titleThe Hudson volleyball team didn’t let anything stand in its way last week. The Raiders started the week with a five-set victory at Menomonie last Tuesday to even their Big Rivers Conference mark at 1-1.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
The Hudson volleyball team didn’t let anything stand in its way last week.
The Raiders started the week with a five-set victory at Menomonie last Tuesday to even their Big Rivers Conference mark at 1-1. They ended it by going 4-0 to win the championship at their own Hudson Invitational Saturday, despite missing a number of players due to ACT tests and stomach flu.
“Two of the missing were our setters, and then one of our back row specialists came down with the stomach flu,” head coach Dennis Saathoff explained. “Right away in the morning the girls were talking about who wasn’t there, and I told them that the only important thing was who was there and they all needed to play as hard as they could and the results would take care of themselves. By the time they came out of the locker room they were fired up and ready to play. We brought our two JV setters, Rebecca Woitas and Anna Wilen, up for the tournament and they did a nice job filling in for us.”
The Raiders opened the eight-team tournament in round-robin play against Maple Northwestern and won in straight sets, 25-15, 25-21. They faced Menomonie, who was also missing its two setters due to ACT testing, in the second match and posted a 25-9, 24-26, 15-12 victory.
Hudson took the final round robin match against Bloomer, 25-12, 25-19, to earn a spot in the championship game against Somerset.
“The girls were really excited to be playing for first place,” Saathoff said. “They came out strong right from the start and won in two; 25-15, 25-19.
Saathoff said the Raiders served exceptionally well all day, posting a success rate of 92 percent with Hannah Wirth leading the team in aces.
Saathoff said the Raiders’ offensive attack was very well balanced.
“Alexa Beauclaire had her most consistent performance, playing well at the net and serving very well also. Jamie Lindstrom also played well in the championship match, recording multiple kills and playing good off-side defense.”
Last Tuesday at Menomonie, the Raiders battled back from a 2-1 deficit to win the final two sets for their first BRC win of the season. Final scores were 25-21, 18-25, 12-25, 25-14 and 15-12.
“We played a good solid first set, had the lead in set number two but started to make some mental errors and we let the game get out of control,” Saathoff said. “In set three we started slow and were never really in the game. We started set four with more confidence and started serving really tough. We got on a roll and never looked back. The deciding fifth set was close all the way, and the girls really dug down at the end to finish strong.”
Saathoff pointed to the Raiders’ defense, with Torrie Traynor leading the team in digs and Wirth topping the team in service receptions, as a key to the win. Stephanie Little, Lindstrom, Katrina Zenz and Elle Schwartz all had multiple blocks.
Amber Saathoff accounted for over 50 percent of the Raiders’ service aces and led the team in assists, while Maddie Drewiske led the team in kills, followed closely by Little, Zenz and Alexa Belanger. Britni Eberlin didn’t make a service error all night while Ashley Fall also served well and was second in assists.
“The two sets we lost were because the girls got a couple of bad breaks and they let them get to them mentally,” Saathoff said. “By that fourth set they realized it was in their own control if they played hard and they turned the night around. It was a good learning experience and made them believers in what they can do if they stick together and each do their own jobs on the court.”
Hudson will travel to Rice Lake on Tuesday, Sept. 21, for a BRC match beginning at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, they will compete in the Maple Northwestern Tournament.