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College Volleyball: Well-rested Warriors win

Ridgewater sweeps Minnesota West and is host to Rochester on Saturday

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Ridgewater's Coral Mattison (left) and Sienna Olson celebrate a point over Minnesota West on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at Ridgewater College in Willmar. Matthew Curry/West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — The Ridgewater Warriors returned to action with a sweep win over Minnesota West on Wednesday.

The Warriors beat the Lady Jays of Worthington 25-20, 25-17, 25-16 in a Minnesota College Athletic Conference volleyball match.

After falling to Minnesota State-Fergus Falls at home 3-1 on Sept. 29, the Warriors (8-6) endured its longest break of the season by having a week between matches.

Officially one week after their match against the Spartans, the Warriors returned to action against the Lady Jays (6-9).

Warriors’ head coach Amanda Bohlsen said the break proved to be beneficial.

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“They needed (the break). They were overwhelmed between school and play and we were on the road heavy for the first part of the season,” she said.

The Lady Jays took the first point of the first match followed by continuous lead changes.

Mid-way through the set, Ridgewater began to find its defensive and offensive rhythm, forcing Minnesota West to make errors. It eventually led to a to 25-20 victory.

Ridgewater took the second set 25-17, and went on a long run to start the third set, eventually winning 25-16.

Aside from the break, the Warriors already had their eyes set on its next opponent, the Rochester Yellowjackets (13-5).

“The girls knew coming into this week we have a hard weekend matchup coming up against Rochester,” Bohlsen said. “They knew that we had adjustments that had to be made to be able to compete this week. They went out there tonight and put every single adjustment out there and it proved successful.”

Bohlsen hopes Wednesday’s sweep may help boost the Warriors’ confidence.

“We have a lot to prove being a team that was put together at the last minute,” she said. “We know we have to prove ourselves. We know that the other teams are expecting us to not have the program that we do, and I think it fuels their fire every time they go out there and compete.”

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The Warriors host Rochester at noon Saturday.

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Ridgewater setter Madison Leyendecker totaled 20 digs in the 3-0 win over Minnesota West-Worthington on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at Ridgewater College in Willmar. Matthew Curry/West Central Tribune

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Ridgewater Warriors Harley Kunstleben (left) and Sienna Olson go up for a block attempt on Wednesday, Oct. 6, against Minnesota West-Worthington at Ridgewater College in Willmar. Matthew Curry/West Central Tribune

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Ridgewater Middle hitter Morgan Mandel attempts to score a point over Minnesota West on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at Ridgewater College in Willmar. Matthew Curry/West Central Tribune

Ridgewater 3, Minnesota West 0

Minnesota West (6-9) 20 17 16
Ridgewater (8-6) 25 25 25
Minnesota West

Stats not available

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Ridgewater

Serving (aces): Haylee Johnson 5, Grace Garoutte 1, Madison Leyendecker 1, Coral Mattison 1, Tayler Schmidt 1, Adelia Pierson 1 … Set assists: Leyendecker 28 … Hitting (kills): Sienna Olson 9, Harley Kunstleben 7, Morgan Mandel 6, Johnson 5, Adelia Pierson 5, Mattison 4, Leyendecker 2 … Blocking (aces): Mandel 2, Olson 1 … Digs (5 or more): Tayler Schmidt 27, Johnson 25, Leyendecker 20, Mattison 19, Pierson 16, Olson 11, Garoutte 6, Kunstleben 5

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