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Devon Santelman gets the ball over the net for Hastings during Wednesday's section tournament game against Farmington. Also pictured for Hastings is Liiz Keena.

Tigers end Raiders' volleyball season

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sports Hastings, 55033
Hastings Star Gazette
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Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

The season came to an end Wednesday night for the Hastings volleyball team. The Raiders lost in the first round of the section tournament to Farmington in three straight games.

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Farmington won 25-16, 25-23 and 25-13.

"We were just flat," Hastings coach Rita Girgen said.

Hastings fell behind in the first game, 9-1, before coming around and playing well for the rest of the first game.

In the second game, it was Hastings in control.

"The first set, we were just flat," Girgen said. "Then we picked it up. We carried that over to start off the second set. Even though we dropped that first set, it was very surprising how quickly we returned to the play we had at the end of the first set. We had really good things that were happening on our side of the net."

The Raiders led 23-21 at one point, but Farmington went on a run and closed out the Raiders.

"We just couldn't close the deal," Girgen said. "We had taken Farmington out of their game. We had every opportunity to seal the deal in the second set. Had we won that second set, we probably would have come out on top."

Hastings got strong contributions from a number of players, including five seniors who played in their last matches. They were Alli Steiner, Megan Oakes, Liz Keena, Allison Wenker and Amy Becker.

"They were all good leaders throughout the season," Girgen said. "What I liked about this group of seniors is that more than ever, the seniors really took the underclassmen under their wing. They helped them along throughout the season. That's not always a very easy thing to do. All in all, they were very receptive with the younger kids. Everybody deserves to be treated like they are a varsity player, regardless of their age. That was really good to see from our seniors."

Biancca DuFour was moved to the outside for the game and she looked good out there, Girgen said.

"She got the ball more out there," Girgen said. "She executed very well for us on the outside."

Courtney VanDeVelde, a freshman, got a start in the match and had a good night, too, according to Girgen.

"She went out there and did very well," Girgen said. "She served a ton of points. She just brought a different energy that we had kind of been missing in the first set.

Hastings finished this season with a 3-21-2 record.

"Overall, if we look at the strides we've made as a team, despite what our record shows, we have taken very big steps in the right direction," she said. "We have a lot of young kids on the team. They all got to see a lot of quality playing time this year. Now they know at a younger age what it takes to be at the varsity level and the things they need to do to prepare for future years.

"The year was successful, just in a different way that doesn't appear with our record."

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Chad Richardson
Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
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