Playing in back-to-back nights, Red Wing was unable to make quick work of its opponent this time around as the Wingers needed all five sets to determine a winner. In what ended up being the most closely-contested matchup of the season, Red Wing was slightly outplayed by Faribault on Saturday in a 3-2 loss.
To start the match Red Wing showed signs of potential dominance and hopes of another three-set sweep. The Wingers took the first set 25-18 and it wasn’t particularly close. That would be the extent of things coming easy to Red Wing however.
Red Wing head volleyball coach Nikki Roschen termed the next four sets as “all close with a lot of long volleys, exciting digs and aggressive offensive attacks.”
The Falcons and Wingers traded the next two sets with matching 25-23 scores — Faribault won the second set and Red Wing took the third. Looking for the knockout win in the fourth set, Red Wing came up short in a 25-20 loss which then set up the tiebreaking fifth set.
The fifth set was another close one but Faribault prevailed 15-12 to complete the match win.
“It was a heartbreaker to lose our first five-set match of the season, but I was so proud of how hard everyone battled,” Roschen said. “Faribault has some great athletes, and we put ourselves in a position to win even without our senior middle blocker Abi Deming.”
Individually, Red Wing was primarily led by the quartet of Hallie and Bailie Roschen, Elle Brandt and Kennedy Knopp. Bailie Roschen had a team-high 24 kills while adding 23 digs. Hallie Roschen led the team with 43 assists and contributed 14 digs. Knopp was the team leader in digs with 23 and aces with eight. She also added 12 kills while on the attack. Meanwhile Brandt contributed 21 digs on the night.
Red Wing, 4-6, is next scheduled to host Albert Lea on Tuesday.
Red Wing sweeps Owatonna
One night earlier Red Wing was back in the win column after back-to-back losses for the first time all season. The Wingers hosted Owatonna, and for the fourth time this year, won in three sets.
Red Wing won the first set 25-19 but not without consequence. Abi Deming was injured, forcing the Wingers to play without their senior leader.
“Losing your senior leader like that is devastating, but we are fortunate to have many versatile, all-around strong players who are ready to fill in in any role that is asked of them,” Red Wing head volleyball coach Nikki Roschen said.
Freshman Bri Tix came in to make her varsity debut and the Wingers continued their winning ways. Red Wing won the second set 25-18 and the third 25-19.
“I was very proud of all the girls tonight. They responded well under adverse conditions after losing Abi for the night,” Roschen said. “We preach the importance of being well-rounded players … that paid off for us tonight.”
Leading the Red Wing attack were Bailie Roschen and Kennedy Knopp with 10 and eight kills, respectively. Hallie Roschen recorded 25 assists to set up the offense. On the defensive side, Bailie Roschen had a team-high 13 digs, followed by Knopp with 12 and Elle Brandt with 10.