Ridgewater sweeps Riverland

Published 2:54 pm Saturday, September 3, 2011

Riverland's Cassie Masberg tips the ball against the defense of Ridgewater's Kelsey Stommes in Riverland Gym Saturday. The Blue Devils lost in three games. -- Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

The Riverland volleyball team showed some positive signs as it kept pace with Ridgewater, which went to the national tournament last season, for much of the day Saturday.

But the Blue Devils just couldn’t hold off Ridgewater’s rallies in a 25-15, 25-20, 25-21 loss in their home opener in Riverland Gym.

Riverland's Rebekah Aase goes up to defend a hit by Ridgewater's Allison Hortop at Riverland Gym Saturday. -- Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

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“We came out and gave everything we had and we made Riverland proud. We improved every game and we ran an offense,” RCC head coach Sara Heim said.

The Blue Devils (0-4 overall) led the third game 21-18, but after Ridgewater’s Karli Wendlandt spiked down a point, Aimee Johnson stepped up to the server’s line and served the last six points of the match.

RCC was close early in the first two games, but Kelei Viesselman served eight straight points in the first game to make it 21-10 and she broke open a close game by serving four straight points to make it 23-18 in the second game.

Despite the lapses, Heim said her team hasn’t played better all season than it did on Saturday.

“It was by far our best performance,” she said. “I’d say we tripled our capacity and it’s a big confidence booster. We can look back on this one and see our how our level of play improved on the court.”

RCC stats: Brooke Coughlin, 4 aces, 10 digs; Robin Arjes, 7 kills, 3 blocks; Cassie Masberg, 7 kills, 13 digs; Brittney Dahl, 16 set assists; Haley Christensen, 2 blocks