Ridgewater advances to semifinals
ROCHESTER - The Ridgewater Lady Warriors will face a familiar foe today after reaching the semifinals of the NJCAA Division III volleyball tournament.
After going 2-1 in pool play Friday, the Lady Warriors (32-8) will line up against Central Lakes College of Brainerd. Ridgewater is 0-3 against the Raiders this fall but has played them close each time, including a 3-2 loss in the MCCC state tournament.
Brookhaven, Texas, the defending champion and William Rainey Harper (Ill.) College will meet in the opposite bracket.
Ridgewater dumped Dutchess (NY) CC 3-0 and Jamestown (NY) CC 2-1 before losing to Brookhaven 23-30, 30-18, 30-25.
"That was as fine a game as I've seen," said Ridgewater coach Val Swanson of the Brookhaven match. "It was a really fun match with lots of digs and long vollies. We beat Brookhaven down in Texas but they were missing a starter. She was back and the difference today."
Kassi Maurice had 67 set assists and made 11 ace serves for the team from Willmar. Katie Johnson made 10 ace blocks and also had 14 ace attacks.
Kristin Raitz had a big game at the net making 79 hits with only six errors and 32 kills. Ashley Olson added 19 kills and Terra Billiet 21.
Raitz also had a team-high 32 digs.
Semifinals are at 11 a.m. today, followed by third-place and the championship at Rochester Community and Technical College.
Central Lakes came into the tournament with only one loss and as the No. 1 seed. Ridgewater got the No. 2 seed while Brookhaven was No. 3.
Brookhaven lost only one game in pool play - to the Warriors.
"That player they didn't have the first time made a bigger difference than I thought she would," said Swanson. "She was quick."
Central Lakes defeated Ridgewater on Oct. 30 in the semifinals of the MCCC state tournament. 30-23, 30-14, 25-30, 25-30, 15-13.
Defensively, Olson added 18 digs, and Brittany Haas and Maurice 17 each.
Laura Suter made 29 set assists for Ridgewater.
Ridgewater def. Dutchess (NY) CC 30-24, 30-16, 30-5
Ridgewater def. Jamestown (NY) CC 29-31, 30-16, 30-28
Brookhaven College, Texas def. Ridgewater 23-30, 30-18, 30-25
How Ridgewater fared
Serving: Kassi Maurice 62-66-11, Katie Johnson 24-30-4, Ashley Olson 33-34-2, Melissa Sterkel 3-3-1, Sarah Primius 27-30-2, Laura Suter 22-26-0, Amy Ballard 7-7-1, Tracy Rettmann 8-8-1... Setting: Maurice 118-118-67, Suter 69-69-29 ... Hitting: Maurice 2-2-1, K. Johnson 24-32-14, Kristin Raitz 73-79-32, Olson 40-48-19, Sterkel 3-4-2, Primus 18-20-7, Terra Billiet 39-40-21, Suter 3-5-2, Amy Ballard 2-2-1, JoEllyn Johnson 14-15-9, Brittany Haas 1-2-0, Kayla Powers 11-13-6 ... Blocking (aces): K. Johnson 10, Raitz 1, Olson 1, Primus 2, Billiet 5, J. Johnson 1 ... Digs: Maurice 17, K. Johnson 8, Raitz 32, Olson 18, Sterkel 2, Primus 4, Billiet 2, Suter 9, JoEllyn Johnson 3, Cassy Boonstra 7, Haas 17, Rettman 2