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Ridgewater’s Hailey Osland (8) tips in Game 1 facing Madison Taylor of Lake Region State College of Devils Lake, N.D., Friday at the Ridgewater Classic in Willmar. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

College Volleyball: Host Warriors 2-0 on 1st day of tournament

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WILLMAR — The Ridgewater volleyball team’s quest for another national championship began with sound efforts against Lake Region State and Central Lakes State on Friday in the Ridgewater Classic at Ridgewater.

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The Warriors were the NJCAA Division III national runners-up last season and they were ranked No. 2 nationally in preseason polls.

They won their first two matches of the season, downing both Lake Region and Central Lakes State by 3-1 scores.

Central Lakes entered the day as the nation’s No. 4-ranked team.

The Warriors took down Lake Region 25-14, 26-24, 20-25 and 25-18. Ridgewater then edged Central Lakes State 25-16, 26-24, 20-25 and 26-24.

“It was great to get our feet wet against two great teams and start with a  pair of wins,” said Warriors head coach Joe Sussenguth. “I was pleased with our effort defensively and our offense was adequate, but I know we can be more efficient. We kept attacking aggressively behind the service line and within our offense, so that is a great sign for our first two matches.”

Against Lake Region State, Jen Puncochar led the Warriors with 10 kills and she also served two aces and dug up 8 shots.

 Hailey Osland had 8 kills and 4 ace blocks. Kaitlyn Sterner, the team’s new setter, had 28 set assists and also added 2 kills and blocked 2 shots. Brenna Olsen made 12 digs and Mikayla Jacobson had 15 digs.

Against Central Lakes State, Olsen had 11 kills, 15 digs and served 2 aces. Puncochar had 8 kills, Tracy Braaten had 7 and Hailey Osland and Amy Bolin both had 5 kills.

Sterner had 30 set assists, served 3 aces and also had 3 kills.

In Friday’s other matches, North Dakota State College of Science defeated Central Lakes and Ellsworth, both in three sets, and Ellsworth defeated Lake Region in three games.

Ridgewater plays just one match today, taking on Ellsworth in the tournament’s final match at 4:30 p.m.

Lake Region plays Central Lakes at 10:30 a.m., and the Jamestown JV plays Ellsworth at 12:30 p.m. and Central Lakes at 2:30 p.m.

Ridgewater 3, Lake Region State 1

Lake Region............................... 14 24 25 18

Ridgewater................................. 25 26 20 25

(Key: good-attempts-aces)

Lake Region State

Statistics not available

Ridgewater

Serving: Jen Puncochar 15-18-2, Kaitlyn Sterner 23-26-2, Alexis Peters 6-6-0, Hailey Osland 11-12-0, Amy Bolin 1-1-0, Tracy Braaten 11-11-0, Catie Sherman 0-2-0, Brenna Olsen 10-11-1 … Set assists: Kaitlyn Sterner 28 … Hitting: Puncochar 32-35-10, Ariana Hasti 3-5-2, Sterner 6-7-2, Bolin 4-8-2, Osland 21-25-8, Braaten 8-9-4, Olsen 10-11-1 Katie Kluver 1-1-1, Mikayla Jacobson 5-6-0 … Blocking (aces): Sterner 2, Osland 4, Braaten 2, Olsen 1 … Digs (5 or more): Puncochar 8, Sterner 5, Osland 5, Olsen 12, Jacobson 15

Ridgewater 3, Central Lakes State 1

Central Lakes State................. 16 24 25 24

Ridgewater................................. 25 26 20 26

(Key: good-attempts-aces)

Central Lakes State

Statistics not available

Ridgewater

Serving: Puncochar 18-21-2, Sterner 21-21-3, Alexis Peters 11-12-1, Osland 9-13-0, Braaten 13-16-2, Olsen 15-15-2 … Set assists: Sterner 30 … Hitting: Puncochar 34-37-8, Hasti 4-4-0, Sterner 6-9-3, Osland 19-21-5, Bolin 11-11-5, Braaten 15-15-7, Olsen 36-39-11 … Blocking (aces): Hasti 1, Osland 1, Bolin 2, Braaten 2, Olsen 1 … Digs (5 or more): Puncochar 20, Sterner 6, Peters 6, Olsen 15, Jacobson 16

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