BOLIVIA, N.C. -- The Ridgewater volleyball team returned to Minnesota after five weekend matches in a North Carolina tournament, ready for a break and to mentally prepare for an extended break.
But based on the Warriors' work over the weekend, head coach Joe Sussenguth is less concerned about the team facing 13 days off than he might have been when they left.
The Warriors won four of five matches in the Coastal Classic Tournament to improve to 26-3.
Ridgewater, which clinched its sixth straight MCAC South Division title before leaving on its trip, will not play again until it hosts the Region 13 A Championships on Oct. 28-29.
"We've crammed 29 matches into our schedule in about 45 days," Warriors head coach Joe Sussenguth said, "so this week will give us time to physically recover, get some lifting in and to mentally take a break. It will be nice with this weekend (off) for our team to get back home and refresh before playoffs the following week."
The Warriors played better than expected, Sussenguth said,
"Our team found a higher level of play this weekend that I expect for us to carry over to the post season," Sussenguth said.
The Warriors' lone loss came against Pasco-Hernando, the 2010 NJCAA Division II national champion which is currently ranked No. 4 in Division II -- Ridgewater plays in Division III. Ridgewater trailed 2-1 in games and was down 16-12 in the fourth game in that match. The Warriors recovered and forced a fifth set, which they lost 15-13.
"That was a break-through match for us," Sussenguth said. "Despite being down, we became the aggressor, earned an opportunity to play a fifth set and competed right with them throughout the match."
Sussenguth was concerned about some uneven play by the Warriors in recent weeks, despite the fact they were winning matches. He's not as worried now, following the team's performances in a national tournament.
"This team broke through their potential this weekend and recognized that we can be competitive with anyone, regardless of ranking or level," he said.
In the Region 13A Tournament, Ridgewater plays fourth-seed Fergus Falls in the first semifinal on Friday, Oct. 28, at 5p.m. No. 2-seed Rochester plays third-seed St. Cloud Tech at 7p.m. Winners play at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Coastal Classic Tournament
Defeated College of Southern Maryland 25-11, 25-12, 25-14
Defeated Pitt Community College 21-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-22
Lost to Pasco-Hernando 25-18, 15-25, 21-25, 25-23, 13-15
Defeated Cape Fear 25-7, 25-15, 25-14
Defeated Brunswick Community College 23-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-21
Serving: Taylor Elzenga 1-1-0, Emma Sharpe 39-45-6, Molly Hurrle 78-88-9, Kelci Viesselman 16-18-1, Aimee Johnson 54-61-4, Kelsey Stommes 51-63-9, Cassie Ziemer 18-20-3, Hannah Smith 62-74-11, Karli Wendlandt 46-54-7, Shannon Donnay 1-1-0, Paige Pistulka 9-9-2, Allison Hortop 1-2-0 ... Setting: Elzenga 2, Hurrle 189, Ziemer 1, Pistulka 1 ... Hitting: Elzenga 67-76-33, Sharpe 2-2-0, Hurrle 17-17-9, Viesselman 103-112-45, Johnson 3-3-1, Stommes 116-122-54, Ziemer 38-40-17, Smith 108-130-52, Brittany Nissen 4-6-1, Wendlandt 10-10-3, Donnay 4-5-1, Pistulka 17-24-6, Hortop 8-9-3 ... Blocking (aces): Elzenga 2, Hurrle 1, Stommes 6, Ziemer 2, Pistulka 8 ... Digs: Sharpe 41, Hurrle 26, Johnson 65, Smith 55