Ridgewater stopped by Madison Tech in semis
ROCHESTER -- Ridgewater will play for third place at the NJCAA Division III National Volleyball Tournament today after splitting two matches that were exact opposites of each other.
The Lady Warriors opened the tournament with an easy 25-14, 25-16, 25-16 win over Butler County, Pa., then struggled to get any rhythm in a 25-18, 25-20, 25-19 loss to Madison Area, Wis.
Ridgewater will face MCAC foe Central Lakes for third place at 1 p.m. today in Rochester
"I was a little taken aback at how we played," said Ridgewater coach Joe Sussenguth after the first day of tournament action. "Things just didn't come together the way we wanted to."
Sophomore Karie Blommel paced Ridgewater with 18 kills in two matches, followed by sophomore Stephanie Tillman with 15 and freshman Emily Roelike with 14.
The Lady Warriors were the No. 2-seed coming in with high expectations after a runner-up finish last season.
Playing against Central Lakes, which has been a Ridgewater nemesis in volleyball seasons past, will be different experience, Sussenguth said.
"The funny thing is, is that our players have had good relationships with the Central Lakes players," he noted. "This year, for some reason, the kids talk to each other and at this tournament, they are hanging out with each other and even cheering for each other."
Ridgewater 3, Butler 0
Whatever jitters the players had were dispatched early as the Lady Warriors took Game 1, 25-14.
"You have to take some time to get the nerves out," Sussenguth said. "The kids responded pretty well to that. We had fun and were pretty successful with the things we wanted to do. We figured out the best way to go at their defense.
Blommel led the way with 13 kills, followed by Tillman with nine and Roelike with seven. Tillman also had five total blocks. Sophomore setter Darcie Listul recorded 37 assists and freshman libero Brandi Bodin had eight digs.
Butler County 14 16 16
Ridgewater 25 25 25
Statistics not available
Serving: Steph Tillman 8-8-0, Emma Koeberl 2-2-0, Darcie Listul 15-18-2, Emily Roelike 10-10-0, Missy Deal 1-1-0, Karie Blommel 9-9-0, Chelsea Gniffke 2-2-1, Maggie Zirk 11-11-0, Macy McKay 5-6-0, Brianna Jacobson 2-2-0 ... Setting (assists): Listul 37, McKay 1 ... Hitting: Tillman 12-13-9, Abby Halter 1-2-1, Listul 3-4-1, Roelike 16-18-7, Deal 3-3-1, Blommel 22-24-13, Alison Mason 2-2-0, Zirk 12-13-3, McKay 13-13-7 ... Blocking (total): Tillman 5, Blommel 1, McKay 1 ... Digs: Tillman 1, Steph Boulton 1, Halter 1, Listul 5, Roelike 4, Deal 2, Brandi Bodin 8, Jonica Swanson 1, Blommel 4, Zirk 4, McKay 5, Jacobson 1
Madison 3, Ridgewater 0
Sussenguth said the Lady Warriors had no consistency and Madison Area took advantage of it.
"Give Madison credit: they are big and athletic. We had some issues dealing with their blockers at the net," he said.
"We did not play close to our potential whatsoever. We'd make a good pass and then had a breakdown."
The Lady Warriors' hitting percentage hovered around the .100 mark with only 31 kills in 126 attacks. Madison had 42 kills and only errors in 92 attacks.
Roelike paced Ridgewater with seven kills in 25-of-28 attacks. Tillman added six and Blommel five. Listul had 25 sest assists, Blommel added nine digs.
Madison Area 25 25 25
Ridgewater 18 20 19
Statistics not available
Serving: Steph Tillman 8-9-1, Darcie Listul 10-13-1, Roelike 7-7-0, Brandi Bodin 5-6-0, Blommel 6-7-0, Zirk 5-5-0, McKay 8-8-0 ... Setting (assists): Listul 25, Roelike 1, Bodin 1, McKay 3 ... Hitting: Tillman 24-30-6, Listul 4-4-1, Roelike 25-28-7, Bodin 1-1-0, Blommel 21-24-5, Zirk 5-6-1, McKay 16-18-4, Brianna Jacobson 11-15-4 ... Blocking (total): Tillman 1, Zirk 1 ... Digs: Tillman 1, Listul 3, Roelike 8, Bodin 8, Blommel 9, Zirk 1, McKay 4