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College Volleyball: Ellsworth outlasts Warriors

Brenna Olsen stuffs Ellsworth CC middle hitter April Jones in Game 2 of a match Saturday at the Ridgewater Classic in Willmar. The Ridgewater freshman from Dassel had a huge game as the Lady Warriors fought back from a 14-7 deficit to win 29-27. Olsen supplied two kills in extra time. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

WILLMAR — The Ridgewater volleyball team and Ellsworth played five grueling sets, with Ellsworth edging the Warriors 3-2 in the final match of the Ridgewater Classic on Saturday at the Warriors’ gym.

Ellsworth, a NJCAA Division II program, won 25-21, 27-29, 25-14, 21-25 and 30-28 to improve to 3-1.

The D-III Warriors, who started the season with two victories on Friday, take their 2-1 record into their MCAC opener against Rochester on Saturday.

“This match was a challenge from every perspective and a loss in the fifth set is always tough to swallow,” said Ridgewater head coach Joe Sussenguth. “Perhaps even more-so considering all the points that were scored. Both teams battled very hard and Ellsworth just made a couple of more plays than we did.”

Brenna Olsen led the Warriors with 17 kills and just four errors in 49 attacks. She also had 18 digs and a block.

Jen Puncochar had 15 kills but 10 hitting errors. She also had 11 digs. Hailey Osland had 11 kills, and Kaitlyn Sterner finished with 46 set assists, 8 digs and a block.

“There is something to learn in every challenge,” Sussenguth said, “and we now have a foundation to build on as we head into our conference opener.”

Ellsworth 3, Ridgewater 2

Ellworth               25 27 25 21 30

Ridgewater         21 29 14 25 28

(Key: good-attempts-aces)


Statistics not available


Serving: Jen Puncochar 10-13-1, Amanda Schumacher 15-17-1, Kaitlyn Sterner 18-19-1, Alexis Peters 7-7-0, Hailey Osland 18-18-1, Tracy Braaten 12-14-1, Brenna Olsen 14-16-1, Mikayla Jacobson 2-3-0 … Set assists: Kaitlyn Sterner 46 … Hitting: Puncochar 45-55-15, Ariana Hasti 12-14-6, Sterner 8-9-1, Osland 21-28-11, Amy Bolin 7-8-1, Braaten 14-17-5, Olsen 45-49-17 … Blocking (aces): Hasti 1, Sterner 1, Olsen 1 … Digs (5 or more): Puncochar 11, Schumacher 5, Sterner 8, Olsen 18, Jacobson 9