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College Volleyball: ‘We take un-official wins’

Ridgewater plays Fergus Falls tough in 3-1 home loss

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The Ridgewater Warriors celebrate after winning the third set to force a fourth set against the Spartans on Wednesday, Sept. 29, in Willmar. Matthew Curry/West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — The Ridgewater Warriors were on the brink of forcing a fifth set against Minnesota State-Fergus Falls on Wednesday, but fell at home 3-1.

Fergus Falls beat Ridgewater 25-22, 25-17, 25-27, 25-23.

Despite the loss, the Warriors had their heads held high and seemed to be in high spirits after the Minnesota College Athletic Conference volleyball match.

“We knew that this was going to be a tough game,” Ridgewater head coach Amanda Bohlsen said. “We knew that they were not going to be the same team that we had played (in Fergus Falls), but we also knew our abilities.

“Our coverage tonight was spot on and that’s all to the players.”

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Ridgewater's Coral Mattison prepares for a serve on Monday, Sept. 29, against Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Willmar. Matthew Curry/West Central Tribune

Wednesday’s matchup with Fergus Falls was the Warriors’ second of the season. Ridgewater lost 3-1 on Sept. 1 in Fergus Falls.

Wednesday’s match had some similarities, with the Warriors trailing 2-0 before winning the third set and falling short in the fourth.

However, this one was a lot closer than the last time.

In the previous matchup, the Warriors lost set one 25-14, it would be the largest deficit of the night.

The Warriors looked to change that narrative on Wednesday but lost 25-22.

The Spartans lowered the volume inside the small gymnasium in the second set after taking a 25-17 victory, the largest deficit of the night, and a two-set lead.

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Ridgewater's Harley Kunstleben attempts to poke the ball over MS-Fergus Falls Spartans' defenders on Monday, Sept. 29, in Willmar. Matthew Curry/West Central Tribune

Ridgewater started the third set with an early run, bringing energy back to the home fans, before the Spartans began to counter.

Throughout the set, both teams continued to exchange points, and runs, eventually having the set tied at 24 and a timeout.

Following the timeout, the Spartans scored again, taking their first lead of the set, but the Warriors countered with a three-point run to win 27-25.

Ridgewater again attempted to find success in the fourth set, but lost 25-23.

“We knew that this was not the same team we played before,” Bohlsen said. “We knew they were going to give us a run for our money, but we also knew our ability.
“We take un-official wins, but this team is just so insanely special. (I’m) very proud of these girls.”

The Warriors host Minnesota West-Worthington at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 6.

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Ridgewater's outside hitter Sienna Olson goes up for a block on Wednesday, Sept. 29, against Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Willmar. Matthew Curry/West Central Tribune

MS-Fergus Falls 3, Ridgewater 1

MS-Fergus Falls (8-4) 25 25 25 25
Ridgewater (6-6) 22 17 27 23
Minnesota State Technical & Community College-Fergus Falls
Serving (aces): Alaina Anderson 3, April Schridde 2, Kaia Strom 2, Avery Wanner 1, Emily Condon 1 … Set assists: Strom 31, Bailey Marty 1 … Hitting (kills): Brooke Hovland 11, Alaina Anderson 7, Emily Condon 6, Anya Maack 6, Emily Dehler 5, Strom 4, Marty 1 … Blocking (aces): Condon 1, Maack 1 … Digs (5 or more): Marty 54, Wanner 15, Strom 11, Condon 10, Schridde 8.
Ridgewater College

Serving (aces): Grace Garoutte 1, Madison Leyendecker 1, Coral Mattison 1 … Set assists: Leyendecker 36 … Hitting (kills): Adelia Pierson 12, Sienna Olson 11, Morgan Mandel 8, Haylee Johnson 9, Harley Kunstleben 3, Mattison 2, Johnson 2 … Blocking (aces): Mandel 3, Olson 2, Johnson 1, Leyendecker 1 … Digs (5 or more): Pierson 20, Schmidt 19, Leyendecker 16, Kunstleben 13, Garoutte 10, Olson 9, Mattison 9, Mattison 7, Bollinger 6.

Matthew Curry is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune.
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