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Volleyball team place fourth at Cretin tourney

Senior Taylor Steffen (19) blocks a shot for a point in the Raider volleyball team's Big Rivers Conference match against first place Chippewa Falls last Thursday at the high school.

The Raider volleyball team faced some stiff competition last week, both in and out of the Big Rivers Conference, and came away with commendable efforts.

After losing in three sets at home to BRC leader Chippewa Falls last Thursday, the Raiders finished fourth at the eight-team Cretin-Derham Hall Tournament Saturday.

"All in all it was a good day for us," head coach Dennis Saathoff said about the Cretin-Derham Hall Tourney. "We had some good solid play from everyone during the day. We covered the court very well defensively, at times making some spectacular and entertaining plays, which I enjoyed seeing and I am sure the fans did as well."

Hudson defeated St. Paul Highland Park and South St. Paul before losing to the host Cretin team to finish 2-1 in round robin play.

"We really struggled with service receptions," Saathoff said about the loss to Cretin. "We were able to put most of the balls in play, but we were not hitting our target area consistently enough to get into an offensive rhythm."

In the playoff round the Raiders lost in two close sets to East Ridge, 22-25, 20-25.

"It was good for us to go play against some more tough competition after losing just two nights earlier," Saathoff said. "The girls came in strong on Saturday morning and had put the Chippewa match behind them. Even in the Cretin match they fought hard for every point and when we were in system we found we could score points with our middle attacks quite well."

Two nights earlier against Chippewa Falls the Raiders took an early lead over the Cardinals in the opening set before losing 13-25, 14-25, 12-25.

Hudson's middle hitters led the team offensively with Serena Schultz leading in kills and Melissa Hammer leading in blocks. Becca Woitas led the team in assists, while Brooke Little led in service attempts and service aces.

Defensively Hannah Wirth led the team in digs with 10 and Hannah Cook led in service receptions, recording only one error in 26 attempts.

The Raiders will visit River Falls for a BRC match Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, they will compete in the Mora, Minn., Invite.