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Volleyball: Spikers fall to Chippewa Falls

Hudson's Shay Wassman delivers a kill past two Chippewa Falls defenders in the first set of the Raider volleyball team's 3-1 loss to the Cardinals Tuesday, Sept 18, at the middle school. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 2
Hudson libero Olivia Goulette receives a serve in the first set of the Raider volleyball team's 3-1 loss to Chippewa Falls Tuesday, Sept 18, at the middle school. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 2

The Raider volleyball team just couldn't get over the hump in its Big Rivers Conference match against Chippewa Falls Tuesday, Sept. 18, at the middle school.

The Raiders played well in every set but came away with a loss by scores of 25-23, 19-25, 25-21 and 25-20.

"It was an odd night in that we led in every set but we couldn't maintain the momentum to close them out," head coach Dennis Saathoff said. "We certainly did some good things both on offense and defense, with three girls in double digits for digs."

Leading that category was Olivia Goulette with 17, then Sara Hoffman with 14 and Elizabeth Collinson with 12. Kaitlyn Zignego had nine digs to go with her 18 set assists and five service aces, and Ariana Zins had six digs.

"We kept the ball in play quite well, we just didn't win many of the long rallies throughout the night," Saathoff noted.

Offensively Noelle Kiltie led the way with 13 kills and a .440 hitting percentage. Sara Hoffman contributed seven kills and Shay Wassman and Jenna Hallen had five each.

Saturday, Sept. 22, the Raiders headed north to Maple for the Northwestern Invitational and came home with a third place finish.

Hudson opened play with a 25-13, 25-3 win over Solon Springs before beating Cumberland 25-21, 25-12.

The Raiders needed just two service rotations in their 25-3, second set victory over Solon Springs as Kaitlyn Zignego drilled seven aces and Maddie Matuke three. Kilite was a perfect 6-for-6 in her kill attempts against Solon Springs and had a team-high seven kills against Cumberland.

Hudson's only loss of the tournament was a three-set match to Ellsworth, 19-25, 25-16, 17-15, in the medal round.

"We really seemed to hit a wall energywise in the second set and couldn't get anything to click," Saathoff said. "Jenna Hallen and Maddie Matuke were our only players with a positive hitting percentage and we had only two service aces."

Hallen had her best match of the season with 16 kills and a .423 hitting percentage while Goulette led the defense with 14 digs.

The Raiders ended the day with a straight set win over Luck, 25-16, 25-15.

"We played a much cleaner and even energy level match from start to finish," Saathoff said. "Our passing was very good, which allowed us to distribute the ball evenly across our hitting positions."

Middle hitters Kiltie and Wassman both had zero hitting errors in the win while Wassman also recorded four service aces. Zignego had nine assists and five aces while Elizabeth Collinson had seven assists.

Next up for the Raiders is a BRC road match at Menomonie Thursday, Sept. 27, before the Mora Invitational Saturday, Sept. 29.

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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