Riverland volleyball finishes in sixth place at state tourney

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 28, 2002

Hopes of improving upon last year’s sixth-place state finish fell flat in the consolation championships as the Riverland volleyball team repeated at sixth at the Minnesota Community College Conference State Volleyball Tournament Friday and Saturday at Northland College in Thief River Falls.

The Lady Blue Devils went 0-3 in pool play without winning a game before picking up their first win of the postseason, a five-game triupmh over host Northland in the consolation semifinals. Fergus Falls swept Riverland 3-0 in the finals for fifth place.

"We were flat and they just plain outplayed us," said Riverland coach Helen Jahr, who was glad to see her team qualify for state for the seventh consecutive season.

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"We were happy to be there as one of the eight teams in the state to go, and we look forward to going again next year," Jahr said.

Riverland was winless in pool play against rival Rochester, Rainy River and Central Lakes. Rainy River went on to win the state crown.

The Blue Devils split 2-2 with Northland and trailed 7-1 right out of the gates in the deciding fifth game. Northland pulled away 12-5 before Riverland rattled off 10 of the next 11 points.

"I was pretty surprised that we were able to pull it out, and I was happy about it," Coach Jahr said.

Riverland finished 14-16 overall after a 13-12 regular-season.

Austin High School graduate Becky Herrmann was the Southern Division’s co-Player of the Week in the Devils’ 1-1 final week. She had 29 kills and 75 digs in the two-day state tournament.

Aubree Page posted 35 kills and 27 blocks to lead the Devils in both categories. Marisa Kelsey added 33 kills and 20 service aces.

Kari Wobschall contributed 24 blocks.

Setter Ellie Ramseth (Austin) did not play in Saturday’s bracketed play because of an injury. She had 50 assists in during three pool play defeats. Stef Benson stepped in with 26 assists on Saturday.

Stephanie Vollbrecht had a team-high 79 digs, followed by Herrmann’s 75 and Tanya Jensen’s 70. Jensen was 90 percent serving with 13 aces.