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River Ridge Volleyball ends season with tough five set loss at Belmont

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By A.J. Gates

 

BELMONT – As the No. 10 seed in their division 4 sectional bracket, coach Dianne Langmeier and her River Ridge volleyball team lost to No. 7 seed Belmont Tuesday night, Oct. 17 in regional quarterfinal action.

The Timberwolves concluded the season with an overall record of 9-14 after going 6-6 in conference play and finishing fourth in the final league standings.

Against the Braves in the tournament opener, the Timberwolves fought to the end in a five-set match, in which three sets were decided by two points.

After suffering a narrow loss of 26-24 in the first set, River Ridge came back to win the second by a score of 25-23.

The third set went to the Braves, who held a 2-1 lead after claiming a 25-20 victory.

Not ready to call it a night, the Timberwolves sent the match into a fifth set with a 26-24 victory in the fourth, but lost the fifth by a score of 15-6.

“It was a great match with some awesome hitting and digging from both teams,” said coach Langmeier. “I was very proud of how the girls stepped up since we last played them.”

“We were able to control their tough serves for the most part,” Langmeier added. “The girls really played their hearts out and left it all on the court. Belmont has some very talented athletes. They were a team of mostly juniors and seniors, and their experience really helped them finish the match.”

Leading the Timberwolves with 12 kills to go along with five blocks was Reghan Zinkle, while Shayna Graf added eight kills to go along with a team-high eight blocks and three service aces. Graf also had 11 digs, which was second on the team to Josey Drone’s 12, who also had a team-high 12 assists.

Mallory Crubel dished out 11 assists to go along with eight kills.

With the conclusion of the season, coach Langmeier loses three seniors from this year’s squad in Graf, Avery Drew and Brooklyn Mezera. She looks to return six juniors, two sophomores and two freshman who played on this year’s varsity squad.

“It is tough to see when your seniors play their last game in the River Ridge uniform, but we are excited for next year,” Langmeier said.

“We will have a lot more players returning with court experience from this year’s squad than we did at the beginning of this season.”

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