HUDSON, Wis. -- The Hudson volleyball team dropped a pair of matches to Rice Lake last week while River Falls swept Menomonie in a make-up match Tuesday, Oct. 6, as the two teams head into the final week of the Big Rivers Conference season.
After losing in three sets at Rice Lake Tuesday night, the Raiders pushed the Warriors to five sets Thursday night at home before losing by scores of 15-25, 22-25, 25-21, 25-16, 13-15.
Senior Jade Sharrett led the Raiders Thursday with 12 kills and setter Sam Borchart dished out 30 assists while head coach Laura Taggert said sophomore libero Alaina Larson stood out on defense.
“She had an amazing game with 55 digs, not letting any balls near her hit the floor,” Taggert reported.
River Falls, meanwhile, remained undefeated by sweeping Menomonie 25-10, 25-9, 25-8.
Wildcat coach Sara Kealy said the Mustangs have a new head coach this season and had to start the season in quarantine due to positive COVID-19 cases.
“Both of those scenarios would be tough, but to have both of them during this crazy season is a double whammy,” Kealy said. “I applaud how hard they competed against us. They were working hard and never gave up.”
Kealy said the highlight of the match was the Wildcat serving, with Abi Banitt, Brynn Johnson and Amelia Armstrong each recording three aces as the Cats collected 13 total aces with only two errors.
“I love that the servers stacking aces in this match were not the typical names that we have leading this category,” Kealy noted.
Brianna Brathol led a balanced attack at the net with eight kills while Anna Wolf and Armstrong had seven each.
“I love to see how aggressive Brianna has been at the net recently,” Kealy said. “She is taking big approaches and ripping the ball. She has the potential to be a weapon for us offensively.”
Morgan Kealy and Maddie Morrow dished out 14 and 13 assists, respectively, while Maddy Doerre led the defense with nine digs.
The Raiders and Wildcats will meet each other twice this week before River Falls concludes the regular season with another make-up match at home against Menomonie Monday, Oct. 19.
Kealy said without the usual team activities such as pasta parties and overnight travel that promote team bonding, the Wildcats are still trying to find their rhythm this season.
“It has been more challenging to develop our chemistry,” she said. “Lucky for me I have a group of talented, hard-working young women that know what previous years have been like. They are using that experience to continue to grow and develop in hopes that the playoff series will make it all the way to state.”