By Paul Struck
River Valley's 8-1 volleyball team pocketed a hard-fought 3-2 match from neighborhood rival Ridge View (6-3) in an exciting triangular in Cherokee Thursday night.
The Wolverines battled back to win the Western Valley Conference match by game scores of 25-16, 24-26, 17-25, 25-11, 15-12.
Kari Ludvigson and Lexie Chester had super nights at net for the winners, with Ludvigson tallying 40-41 hits with 16 aces, and Chester totaling 28-29 hits with 16 kills. Brittany Hunwardsen was 18-20 in hitting for River Valley with three kills, Mackenzie Fitch was 9-10 with seven kills, and Olivia Goettsch 9-13 with four kills.
Jacie Jepsen paced the Wolverines in serving with a 25-28 effort and seven aces, followed by Fitch 21-21 and seven aces, Hunwardsen 14-15 and four aces, Ludvigson 13-13 and one ace, and Chester 11-11.
Ludvigson tallied 22 digs to lead that category, while Chester had 17, Fitch 12, and Jepsen 11. Ludvigson was in on four blocks and Fitch three. Jepsen led in assists with 39.
As a team, Ridge View was 112-131 hitting with 49 kills, and served 75-83 and four aces.
Kaitlyn Madsen was kill leader for the Raptors with 12, while Gretchen Kistenmacher had 11, Kaitlin Wulf 10, Jayde Vondrak eight, and Anna Davis five. Nicole Snyder led in assists with 43.
Dana Hustedt (22), Wulf (13), Kistenmacher (11), Madsen (4), and Davis (4) led their team in digs, and Madsen was blocks leader with seven. Kistenmacher also led her team in ace serves.
"We struggled throughout the night, but part of that was River Valley's serving and attacks," said Ridge View coach Scott Mitchell. "We were not mentally ready to play tonight. We didn't make plays and do the little things we need to, which will cause you to lose close games."