Ridgewater wins region title; nationals next
LaCROSSE, Wis. - Like baseball, the more hitters you have the stronger the lineup.
Ridgewater College paraded six hitters along the net to drill Western Wisconsin Tech 21-30, 30-16, 30-20, 30-22 for the Region 13A volleyball title Saturday.
Kristen Raitz with 14 kills was followed by Kayla Powers (11), Terra Billiet (10), Ashley Olson (10), Sarah Primus (9) and Katie Johnson (5). The multiple-attack points proved too much for the Cavaliers to defense.
The win propels the Lady Warriors into the NJCAA Division III Tournament Friday and Saturday at Rochester.
Ridgewater coach Val Swanson expects to be in a four-team pool with defending champion Brookhaven, a team the Lady Warriors beat in September when the Texas teams had several players out.
"Our first goal is get through to Saturday," said Swanson, explaining two teams from each pool will go on.
Nervous and tentative, Ridgewater dropped the first game 21-30 but recovered to sweep the next three 30-16, 30-20, 30-22.
Hard serves meant more errors for Ridgewater but it helped to put the LaCrosse college on its heels.
"They had big swingers, but the aggressive serving took them out of their passing patterns," said Swanson.
With the Cavaliers keying on Olson and Raitz, more opportunities developed for Primus and Billiet in the middle.
Johnson also had three ace blocks and Brittany Haas supplied six digs. Ridgewater had defeated Madison Tech 3-0 in Friday's semifinal.
Ridgewater College 3, Western Wis. Tech 1
Ridgewater (30-8) 21 30 30 30
Western Wis. (35-4) 30 16 20 22
Serving: Ashley Olson 10-13-1, Kristen Raitz 16-19-2, Kassi Maurice 14-15-0, Laura Suter 21-21-1, Katie Johnson 11-16-1, Sarah Primus 22-23-3.... Setting: Maurice 61-61-25, Suter 53-53-26 .... Hitting: Olson 25-28-10, Raitz 32-36-14, Kayla Powers 18-22-11, K. Johnson 8-10-5, Primus 17-18-9, Terra Billiet 17-19-10 .... Blocking (aces): K. Johnson 3, Raitz 2, Olson 1, Primus 3, Billiet 2 ... Digs: Olson 7, Cassy Boonstra 2, Haas 6, Raitz 12, Maurice 10, Suter 1, K. Johnson 1, Primus 1, Billiet 2
Western Wisconsin Tech
No statistics available.
Next: Ridgewater, Friday-Saturday, NJCAA Division III nationals at Rochester, Minn.