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College Volleyball: Ridgewater wins region 13A championship

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The Ridgewater volleyball team took a convincing victory from M State-Fergus Falls in the Region 13A championship match on Saturday to earn a spot in the NJCAA Division III National Championships.

The Warriors open the national tournament at noon Friday. The tournament is Nov. 11-12 at the UCR Regional Sports Center in Rochester, Minn.

Ridgewater's MCAC rival Central Lakes also earned a spot in the eight-team field with a victory in the Region 13B title match on Saturday.

The Warriors won 25-6, 25-21 and 25-15. That followed a solid three-set win over St. Cloud Technical in Friday's semifinals.

"Before going into the match, there were two components we had to be very good at," said Warriors head coach Joe Sussenguth. "The first was offensive efficiency as (M State) has been very good defensively all year. So, we needed to keep rallies short and capitalize on offensive opportunities. Attacking at a .405 clip is extremely efficient. Second, we had to serve effectively, not necessarily to score, but to keep their offense from sustaining any momentum. I felt that we did a good job making their setters move throughout the match."

Ashley Froelich led the Warriors with 10 kills and Heidi Leiding and Kiana Johnson both had eight. Leiding also had three solo blocks.

Setter Baylie Kubesh finished with 34 assists.The Warriors' first-round opponent isn't yet known but Sussenguth has no doubts his team will be ready.

"This team has continued to show their business-like approach to our matches. They clearly had a mission and a vision of what they wanted."

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