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Ridgewater tops No. 1 Rochester

WILLMAR -- The Ridgewater Lady Warriors pulled even with Rochester in the MCAC Southern Division standings on Wednesday night with a 25-16, 20-25, 25-23, 27-25 win.

Rochester, No. 2-ranked nationally in NJCAA Division III, and Ridgewater are each 6-1 in the South.

The match drew a crowd that filled over half the bleachers for "Dig for A Cure" night in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

It was only the second loss of the season for the state's top-ranked Yellowjackets, who drop-ped to 21-2.

"You could tell Ridgewater wanted to win," said Carolyn Bell, who has recharged the Rochester program. "They played very well."

The Lady Warriors lost 3-0 at Rochester on Sept. 5.

"We're communicating better as a team," said sophomore hitter Leah Miller, who blasted 12 kills on 31 of 34 tries. "Our intensity is better and we really wanted to get them this time."

Game 4 was close all the way with many ties. It was 20-20 when Rochester got a tough break on a back-row-attacker-call.

Rochester survived one Ridgewater set point, but not the second.

Steph Tillman nailed 14 kills for the Lady Warriors. Jordan Olerud contributed 11 kills and Carina Fesenmaier supplied 38 assists and six ace blocks.

Karie Blommel added six ace attacks and Molly Miller four ace blocks.

"I like the way we fought back," said coach Joe Sussenguth. "I think we were down in every game. Against a team like that, it's good to see."

No. 6-ranked Ridgewater (14-4) has one home match left, Oct. 15 vs. Fergus Falls.

Ridgewater 3, Rochester 1

Rochester 16 25 23 25

Ridgewater 25 20 25 27

(Key: good-attempts-aces)


Serving (aces): Ashley King 4, Darci Heikes 2 ... Setting (assists): Heikes 24 ... Hitting: King 8, Bobbie Meyer 9 ... Blocking (aces): Kylie Dykes 4 ... Digs: Vanessa Lawrenz 16


Serving: Steph Tillman 19-22-0, Steph Boulton 7-10-0, Leah Miller 13-14-1, Darcie Listul 13-16-3, Jordan Olerud 12-13-1, Carina Fesenmaier 16-9-4 ... Setting (assists): Fesenmaier 38 ... Hitting: Tillman 27-28-4, L. Miller 31-34-12, Olerud 21-26-11, Fesenmaier 11-11-4, Molly Miller 12-15-2, Karie Blommel 22-29-6 ... Blocking (aces): Fesenmaier 6, M. Miller 4, L. Miller 2, Tillman 2 ... Digs: L. Miller 14, Listul 9, Olerud 15