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Volleyball looking to move up

Senior Olivia Goulette returns for the Raiders after earning second team All-Big Rivers Conference honors at the libero position in 2017. RiverTown file photo

Hudson volleyball coach Dennis Saathoff is expecting a lot from the Raider's seven returning letterwinners this season.

"I am really expecting them to set the tone in the gym and make sure they are pushing each other each day in practice," Saathoff said. "I know they want to move up in the conference standing from our third place finish last season."

Saathoff said he expects the Raiders to be a better defensive team this season with the return of All-Big Rivers Conference Second Team senior libero Olivia Goulette and junior defensive specialist Ariana Zins.

"Early indications from the little time we have had in the gym so far seem to point to a better defensive team than what we had last year," Saathoff said.

Junior Kaitlyn Zignego is back at the setter position while returning outside hitters are juniors Sara Hoffman and Abby Richardson. Back in the middle are juniors Noelle Kiltie and Shay Wassman.

Joining the team this year as an opposite middle hitter is senior Madison Jones while junior Elizabeth Collinson will add depth to the setter position. Junior Jenna Hallen will also contribute as a middle blocker while junior twin sisters Maddie Matuke and Abbie Matuke should see time at both outside hitting positions.

Saathoff said he feels the team is already ahead of where it was entering last season.

"Our passing platforms and footwork is by far better right now than it was starting out last season," he said. "We won't have to wait long to tell how it goes in match play since we have a two day tournament sponsored by UW-Stout on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 24-25."

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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