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Raider volleyball team falls in regional meet

The Raider volleyball team saw its season come to an end with a 3-1 loss to Rhinelander in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal last Thursday, Oct. 22 in Schofield.

Hudson won the opening set, 25-17, before dropping the next three by scores of 17-25, 17-25 and 20-25.

"It was a very fun match and the girls played hard the whole night," Raider coach Dennis Saathoff said. "In the first set that we won, we did not give up any big runs of points, but in the last three sets we hit a stretch in each where we gave up 5 to 7 straight unanswered points and then we couldn't fight our way back."

Saathoff said the Raiders' passing was key to any success they generated.

"When our passing was on, our middle attack was much quicker than they were defensively," he said. "But when we had to attack from off the net at the outside positions, their defense was very solid and was able to pass most of those balls without any problems."

Rhinelander advanced to Saturday's regional final, where it was swept by third-seeded Marshfield, 25-16, 25-20, 25-10.

Even though it was a tough loss, Saathoff said he was proud of how the team's seniors finished their high school volleyball careers.

"Maddie Drewiske, Stephanie Little and Katrina Zenz all played very solid all night long for us," he said. "Abby Francis started a bit slowly, but played much better as the night progressed. Unfortunately for Anna Wilen, she was injured and could not play, but she had been a big contributor for us most of the season."

The coach said the team also appreciated the fan support it has received all season, including last Thursday's regional.

"Even with a two-and-a-half-hour plus drive, we had a good number of parents and family members come and show their support for this team," he noted.

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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