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Volleyball tripped up at River Falls

Senior outside hitter Maddie Drewiske (10) goes up for a spike. She received Honorable Mention All-BRC honors as well as her team's Raider Award. Photo by Bob Burrows

Raider volleyball coach Dennis Saathoff described last week as "a bit rough," for his team.

Last Tuesday, Sept. 20, the Raiders battled back from two sets down to tie River Falls, only to lose the fifth and deciding set by two points. Saturday the team traveled to north to Maple where it finished fourth in the eight-team Northwestern Invitational.

The Raiders hosted Rice Lake this past Tuesday, Sept. 27 and will compete in the Cretin-Derham Hall Tournament Saturday, Oct. 1.

Last Tuesday the Raiders went the distance at River Falls before losing by scores of 23-25, 18-25, 25-10, 25-21, 13-15.

"We had our chances in the first two sets but we just couldn't seem to make that one play to put us in a spot to really get the momentum on our side," Saathoff said. "The team showed a lot of character coming back from a two set deficit and forcing the fifth set and we played very hard in that set but we just couldn't get into the lead.

Katrina Zenz recorded a team-high 12 kills in the match while Stephanie Little finished with five kills and six blocks. Becca Woitas was tops on the team in assists, service attempts and service aces, and Hannah Wirth led in service receptions while Maddie Drewiske was the team leader in digs.

Saturday at the Northwestern Invite the Raiders went 2-1 in round robin play, defeating Ironwood 25-4, 25-16 and Amery 25-22, 25-12 while losing to Superior 16-25, 14-25.

Hudson dropped a 15-25, 22-25 match to Luck in the playoff round to finish fourth overall.

"We played well during the day except for receiving serve in the two losses," Saathoff said. "Both Superior and Luck served very well and we struggled with the serve-receive part of our game. When we received well we scored points with our offense very well; we just didn't get enough quality swings."

Saathoff said it was a nice day from a coaching standpoint because at some time during the day everyone made positive contributions.

"Against Ironwood and Amery, Kirsten Vorvick played solid on the right side contributing in blocks and making no hitting errors," he said. "Baylie Martin recorded four aces in those two matches and also played good defense. Abby Francis also had four aces and four digs. Against Superior, Hannah Ross was second on the team in defensive digs and Mariah Hallen was tied for second in blocks." 

On the day, Saathoff said Woitas and Anna Wilen worked the ball well and led the team in service attempts. Wirth led the team in digs, followed closely by Drewiske, who was also four-for-four in kills against Ironwood.

Serena Schultz led the Raiders' right side attack in kills and blocks, while Little led the team in blocks and Zenz was tops in kills.

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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