Despite being swept by Hillsboro, 3-0, last Saturday night in a division 4 sectional semifinal contest and missing out on a chance to play in the WIAA State Tournament, River Ridge volleyball coach Dianne Langmeier couldn’t have been more thrilled with how the 2011 season played out for her Timberwolves.
After knocking off Wonewoc-Center last Thursday night in Boscobel, coach Langmeier’s squad had its season end in Onalaska to a very strong Hillsboro team.
The Timberwolves lost all three sets Saturday night to the Tigers by scores of 25-21, but considering what they had to go up against, coach Langmeier was somewhat pleased with the outcome.
“This German foreign exchange student that they have is just phenomenal,” said coach Langmeier of Charis Luedtke. “When she hit the ball, it would bounce off Chelsey, go way over into their crowd, bobble off about two or three fans and then hit the back wall.”
“I was amazed that our girls actually ended up getting 56 digs. I was just so proud of them,” Langmeier added.
Luedtke finished the night with a game-high 19 kills, and was being set in the front and back row. She also served up three aces on the night.
“I’m really proud of the girls that we even scored 21 points against this team,” said Langmeier.
Leading the Timberwolves with 11 kills was Claire Webster, while Traci Kirschbaum added nine to go along with two blocks.
Chelsey Knapp came away with 14 digs, while Christine Fischer had 10. Angie Breuer dished out nine assists, while Rachel Henkel had seven to go along with two ace serves.
Another thing coach Langmeier was very proud of was the fact that her team missed just three serves the entire night.
The Timberwolves advanced to last Saturday’s sectional final after knocking off Wonewoc-Center, 3-1, last Thursday night in Boscobel.
After losing the first set, 25-12, River Ridge came storming back to claim three straight victories, 25-20, 25-21 and 25-14.
“I felt like we didn’t play our ball in the first game. I think the noise of the crowd got to our girls, plus they’re ace serves,” said Langmeier.
“It was just great that the girls came back, were able to pull it together and win the next three.”
In the second set, River Ridge jumped out to an 11-5 lead, and maintained a comfortable advantage up to the end. A block by Traci Kirschbaum put an end to the second set and tied the match at 1 game each.
In the third set, Wonewoc-Center took an early 4-1 lead, but River Ridge tied it up at 5-5 before taking the lead for good.
With a 15-14 advantage, River Ridge, turned up three straight points to take an 18-14 lead.
Wonewoc-Center got to within 19-18, but eventually had the set end with back-to-back kills by Kirschbaum.
River Ridge took an early 8-3 lead in the fourth set, as the closest their opponents got was 16-10 late in the game.
The Timberwolves had little trouble closing out the match, and when Webster scored the final point on a tip kill, the celebration began.
River Ridge, who had only two losses all season, has a lot to be proud of, and no one knows that more than their coach.
“It was a thrilling season for the girls,” said Langmeier “I’m so proud of what they’ve accomplished, conference champs, regional champs, and to play in the sectional final game was just great for the community, the team and our whole program.”
“They’re a great group of girls that didn’t want to ever give up.”
River Ridge 3,
(D4 sectional semifinal from Thursday, Oct. 27, at Boscobel)
River Ridge 12 25 25 25
Wonewoc Center 25 20 21 14
Kills - RR: Traci Kirschbaum 19, Claire Webster 19. Blocks - RR: Kirschbaum 4, Webster 4. Digs - RR: Chelsey Knapp 22, Christine Fischer 21. Aces - RR: Angie Breuer 2. Assists - RR: Rachel Henkel 23, Angie Breuer 9, Jordyn Laufenberg 5.
River Ridge 0
(D4 sectional final from Saturday, Oct. 29, at Onalaska)
Hillsboro 25 25 25
River Ridge 21 21 21
Kills - H: Luedtke 19; RR: Claire Webster 11, Traci Kirschbaum 9. Blocks - H: Dziki 5; RR: Traci Kirschbaum 2. Digs - H: n/a; RR: Chelsey Knapp 14, Christine Fischer 10. Aces - H: Luedtke 3; RR: Rachel Henkel 2. Assists - H: Skala 18; RR: Angie Breuer 9, Henkel 7.