WILLMAR — It often takes a team's best to defeat Ridgewater's volleyball team and that's what Minnesota State-Fergus Falls provided in the visiting team's 3-2 win Wednesday.
The Warriors grabbed the opening set but let second and third set leads slip to give Minnesota State a 2-1 lead. The home team bounced back to take set four and an early fifth set lead before Minnesota State roared back to the fifth set 15-12.
The match ended on a sour note with a controversial call, as Jessica Lemke was deemed a back row attacker, giving Minnesota State the match point.
Regardless of the final point, Ridgewater head coach Joe Sussenguth said his team committed too many errors throughout the game that led to that moment.
"We had a hard time adjusting to their variety of serves, short and deep, and with their variety of placement with their attacks," Sussenguth said. "They played us extremely well and used their strengths to their advantage and didn't make mistakes very much."
The Warriors finished with a .146 hitting percentage, nearly half their season average of .269. Kallee Anderson proved to be the most efficient, with eight kills on 17 chances for a .471 hitting percentage. Cami Sletta led the attack with 14 kills and five service aces.
One of the key moments of the match came in the third set when Minnesota State rallied from a 10-3 deficit to win 25-17 and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
"A lot of it with us is that we're a very streaky team," Sussenguth said. "When we're on we're tough to stop but as soon as we get rattled one or two points that can switch and go back the other way. We talk about not giving up runs of more than two or three but tonight we didn't do that. A lot of it is to Fergus' credit. I'm not going to shy away from that."
The Warriors now have a six-match road trip including a four-match tournament at the Thunderduck Classic in Dallas, Texas.
"It's good to get on the road, I want this to be a good experience for everybody," Sussenguth said. "We play Anoka on Wednesday and hopefully we take care of that conference matchup. I think this road trip couldn't come at a better time. It'll give us an opportunity to hit the reset button a little bit after that match on Wednesday and clear our heads."
M State-FF 3, Ridgewater 2
M State-Fergus Falls 20 25 25 20 15
Ridgewater 25 23 17 25 12
Minnesota State-Fergus Falls
Serving (aces): Lexus Noyes 1, Lindsey Dierks 1, Sheyenne Gunderson 2, Kassandra Algarate 3, Mackenzie Swanson 4 ... Set assists: Claire Mathiesen 2, Gunderson 28, Swanson 1 ... Hitting (kills): Katie Merrick 7, Dierks 11, Gunderson 2, Algarate 6, Ashlyn Henrickson 2, Swanson 10 ... Blocking (aces): Merrick 2, Henrickson 1, Swanson 5 ... Digs (5 or more): Mathiesen 19, Noyes 8, Dierks 22, Gunderson 5, Algarate 12
Serving (aces): Jamie Goblirsch 3, Heidi Sellmann 2, Katelyn Dingmann 2, Cami Sletta 5 ... Set assists: Sarah Sulflow 22, Goblirsch 1, Jessica Lemke 25 ... Hitting (kills): Goblirsch 1, Sellmann 5, Dingmann 7, Ashley Froelich 11, Brennah Bergh 1, Kiana Johnson 11, Sletta 14, Anderson 8 ... Blocking (aces): Sellmann 3, Dingmann 1, Anderson 1 ... Digs (5 or more): Goblirsch 33, Sadie Pingel 15, Lemke 8, Froelich 5, Johnson 12, Sletta 5