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College Volleyball: Ridgewater advances to region final

Ridgewater freshman outside hitter/defensive specialist Taylor Sharpe keeps the ball in play while her older sister, sophomore defensive specialist Emma Sharpe looks on during the Warriors' 25-16, 25-16, 25-17 win over Western Wisconsin Tech Friday in a Region 13A semifinal match at Ridgewater College in Willmar. Tribune photo by Brooke Kern.

WILLMAR -- The Ridgewater volleyball team will play for the Region 13A championship and a spot in the NJCAA Division III national tournament at noon today at the Ridgewater College gym.

The Warriors made quick work of Western Wisconsin Tech on Friday, winning 25-16, 26-16 and 25-17.

Ridgewater improved to 22-7 while Western Wisconsin Tech ended the season 16-8.

The two-time defending national champs and current Division III No. 1 will play Fergus Falls (13-13) in today's region final, with the winner advancing to the nationals Nov. 9-10 in Rochester, Minn.

Fergus Falls came back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat Rochester (17-9) 15-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-16 and 15-7 in Friday's second semifinal.

Ridgewater had command of its match from the start and didn't relent.

"We played very efficiently and effectively," said Warriors head coach Joe Sussenguth. "I felt we took WTC out of their system and we capitalized on free ball opportunities."

Kelsey Stommes led the Warriors with 15 kills and Tiffani Karbo played a solid all-around game, with 28 set assists, 4 ace serves, a kill and a solo block.

Despite the relative ease of the Warriors' semifinals win, Sussenguth said his team can't play lax and expect to move on to the national tournament.

"No question that we have to raise our level of play (Saturday)," Sussenguth said, "but we are looking forward to the opportunity to compete for the region championship."

Ridgewater 3,

Western Wisconsin Tech 0

WWT (16-8) 16 16 17

Ridgewater (22-7) 25 25 25

(Key: good-attempts-aces)

Western Wisconsin Tech

Statistics not available


Serving: Kandace Taylor 13-13-0, Paige Wilner 1-2-0, Taylor Schellbach 3-3-0, Emma Sharpe 7-7-0, Taylor Sharpe 8-8-0, Morgan Meyer 5-6-0, Tiffani Karbo 16-17-4, Kelsey Stommes 0-3-0, Katie Knisley 3-3-0, Alicia Koenen 5-6-1, Kelci Viesselman 2-3-0 ... Setting: Karbo 28, Wilner 3, Schellbach 1, Taylor 1 ... Hitting: Taylor 5-7-1, T.Sharpe 7-9-3, Meyer 5-7-0, Karbo 3-3-1, Stommes 26-30-15, Knisley 7-9-0, Brittany Nissen 10-10-6, Alicia Koenen 5-7-1, Alex Horton 6-8-4, Viesselman 8-9-3 ... Blocking (aces): Stommes 2, Karbo 1, Taylor 2, Knisley 1, Nissen 1 ... Digs: Taylor 4, E.Sharpe 16, T.Sharpe 9, Meyer 6, Karbo 5, Stommes 1, Koenen 7