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Volleyball: Raiders beat Highland Park in section action

When the postseason rolls around every year, a lot of coaches adopt an old motto: “Win and advance.”

That’s exactly what the Hastings girls volleyball team did on Tuesday night. The Raiders opened up play in Section 1AAA at home against St. Paul Highland Park and won, 3-0.

Hastings is the No. 7 seed in section play and Highland Park was No. 10.

The match was anything but easy for the blue and gold. Hastings trailed 23-19 in the first set before storming back and winning the opener, 26-24.

“It was the best seven points we played all set,” coach Rita Girgen said of the first set comeback. “The girls pulled together and were able to pull it out.”

Hastings then won the second set 25-19 and the third, 25-22.

“Teams like Highland Park are sometimes really difficult to play,” Girgen said. “They play at slower tempo. I’m impressed with the girls for being able to pull it together and really make it happen. They were a team we couldn’t look over by any means. It definitely is a challenge, playing a team with that game tempo. It was just slow, slow, slow.”

Girgen said Jenna Biskupski had a very strong night for Hastings. Biskupski is a senior.

“She played really well in the front for us,” Girgen said. “That was one of the best matches she had all season.”

Raelyn Reinardy also excelled despite an ankle injury that threatened to keep her out of the lineup.

“She reinjured her ankle last week, and we thought maybe she was done,” Girgen said. “It was bad. She took care of it and was back playing full strength for us Tuesday. She did a really good job, considering all of that.”

With the win, Hastings advances to the second round of section play. The Raiders play at Rosemount tonight (Thursday) at 7 p.m.

The two teams met once earlier this season during a tournament in Apple Valley. The Irish won that meeting, 25-17 and 25-20.

“We are a team that plays better against a faster team,” Girgen said. “That’s why we’re really looking forward to facing Rosemount on Thursday. They’re definitely a fast team. They have a quick tempo offense.”

Taking down the Irish won’t be easy, but Girgen is optimistic.

“I think we all feel pretty good about playing them,” Girgen said. “We know we’re going to have to play our best match in order to come out on top.”

Previously

Last week, Hastings split a pair of matches with New Life Academy and Woodbury.

Hastings lost to New Life on Tuesday, then beat Woodbury on Wednesday.

“It was a really good week of volleyball for us,” Girgen said. “Coming off those two really set us up nicely to go into the first round of sections.”

Girgen said Lexy Langenfeld’s play against New Life was one of the highlights of the week. She was especially strong in blocking that night, Girgen said.

Against New Life, the scores were 25-22, 25-17 and 26-24.

Here are stats from that match:

Kills

Raelyn Reinardy: 9

Marissa Stockman: 6

Lexy Langenfeld: 4

Set assists

Jennifer Koudelka: 13

Serve receive average

Haley Anderson: 2.17

Raelyn Reinardy: 2.10

Digs

Haley Anderson: 12

Raelyn Reinardy: 8

Solo blocks

Lexy Langenfeld: 2

Block assists

Lexy Langenfeld: 4

Jenna Biskupski and Mallory Brake: 2 each

Brooke Beissel: 1

Service aces

Haley Anderson, Jenna Biskupski, Lexy Langenfeld: 2 each

Serving points

Raelyn Reinardy, Haley Anderson, Jenna Biskupski: 8 each

Against Woodbury, the scores were 25-27, 25-17, 25-15, 21-25 and 15-12.

Stats were:

Kills

Jenna Biskupski and Raelyn Reinardy: 12 each

Lexy Langenfeld and Marissa Stockman: 9 each

Mallory Brake: 8

Set assists

Jennifer Koudelka: 24

Taeler McVicker: 16

Serve receive average

Haley Anderson: 2.23

Raelyn Reinardy: 1.97

Digs

Haley Anderson: 23

Raelyn Reinardy: 19

Jennifer Koudelka: 13

Solo blocks

Lexy Langenfeld: 4

Marissa Stockman: 3

Block assists

Lexy Langenfeld: 7

Mallory Brake: 5

Raelyn Reinardy and Marissa Stockman: 3 each

Solo blocks

Lexy Langenfeld: 4

Marissa Stockman, Mallory Brake, Kaley Oschmann: 1 each

Service aces

Hannah Caturia & Marissa Stockman: 2 each

Serving points

Jenna Biskupski: 15

Haley Anderson: 14

Kaley Oschmann: 11

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