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Volleyball evens Big River Conf. mark at 1-1

Despite slow starts in each set last Tuesday night against Menomonie, The Hudson volleyball team bounced back to win three of the four sets to post a 25-23, 25-22, 20-25, 25-21 Big Rivers Conference victory over the Indians.

Raider head coach Dennis Saathoff said the slow starts have been a trend with the Raiders so far this season.

"We have struggled all year with slow starts and it happened again against Menomonie," he said. "We were behind by four or five points in each set at the start and had to fight to get back into the lead, but in that third set we just couldn't put a good run together to win. Fortunately the girls didn't let that one bad game get to them and they refocused in the fourth and played much better to seal the first conference victory of the season."

The Raiders evened their mark at 1-1 in the BRC while Menomonie dropped to 0-3. After visiting River Falls for a BRC match on Tuesday, Sept. 20, the Raiders will play in the Maple Northwestern Tournament this Saturday, Sept. 24, before returning to BRC action at home Tuesday, Sept. 27, against Rice Lake.

Last Tuesday against Menomonie, the Raiders showed a balanced attack with Katrina Zenz and Stephanie Little leading the way in kills, followed by the left side attacks of Maddie Drewiske, Abby Francis and Hannah Ross.

Little also led the Raiders with eight blocks and shared the team lead in service aces with Becca Woitas, who also led in assists.

"Our defense played quite well with Hannah Wirth coming up with digs on balls that Menomonie was sure were kills," Saathoff said. "Couple that with the rotation of Zenz and Serena Schultz as a big blocking duo, recording four and three blocks respectively, and we ended up with the Menomonie hitters doing more tipping and placing than swinging and we played those tips well and capitalized often."

Saathoff said the Raiders also had a good serving night, with four players -- Anna Wilen, Francis, Zenz and Ross all going through the night without a single service error.

"We still had some frustrating first attempt misses, but we reduced our overall service errors and we placed our serves in better spots on the court," Saathoff 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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