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Hudson Raiders' volleyball ends season at regional

Hudson's volleyball team couldn't sustain any momentum last Thursday night in Menomonie and saw its season come to an end with a 3-0 loss to the Mustangs in a WIAA regional semifinal.

The ninth-seeded Raiders fell to No. 8 Menomonie by scores of 20-25, 18-25, 13-25.

"We played pretty well and did some real good things, but Menomonie played great defense and capitalized on our mistakes and we just couldn't sustain any runs of our own," Hudson coach Dennis Saathoff said.

It was the final match as Raiders for eight Hudson seniors, including Mariah Hallen, Serena Schultz and Taylor Stefffen. Hallen led the Raiders with five kills while Schultz and Steffen finished with four each.

Seniors Elizabeth Kotoski and Hannah Ross contributed two kills apiece while senior Hannah Wirth led the team in digs and service aces and senior Baylie Martin had a team-high 11 service receptions.

Saathoff said senior Becca Woitas and junior Brooke Little both had solid games at the setter position.

"They moved the ball around very well and often had our hitters with single blocks on the other side of the net," Saathoff said. "Unfortunately we had to play the match without Hannah Cook, who had a very solid season until last week when she sprained her ankle."

Saathoff said all eight seniors can be proud of the way they performed this season.

"This was a great senior class that played hard and had a lot of fun together and they all filled their role on the team as well as a coach can hope for," he said.

Saathoff said he's looking forward to the team's juniors -- Little, Hannah Cook, Melissa Hammer and Alexa Haines -- to step up next season. Hammer had three kills and no attack errors in last Thursday's loss while Haines came up with three defensive digs in one set.

"I look forward to big things from this year's juniors, who will be our leaders next year," he said.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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