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East Ridge Volleyball- Raptors drop thriller to Edina

A spirited East Ridge team had ninth-ranked Edina on the volleyball ropes Sept. 2, but couldn’t knock out the visiting Hornets.

Edina rallied for a five-game victory, winning 16-25, 25-20, 25-17, 20-25 and 15-8.

Many in attendance at East Ridge thought the Raptors had the match in hand after a stirring fourth-game win.

“We did, too,” East Ridge head coach Erin Nickleby said. “Then we started off game five and it was point-for-point, point-for-point. Then they got one of their big girls in the front row and she was on. I think that was the big difference.”

The fifth game was tied at 6-all after a big kill by East Ridge’s Ella Ratzloff evened the score. Then, however, Edina’s big front line – the Hornets started a 6-feet-4-inch hitter and two 6-feet-1-inch hitters – began pounding the ball to spots the Raptors couldn’t get to.

Nickleby called time-outs with the Raptors trailing 6-9 and 7-12 to try and turn the game around, but Edina was able to close out the win.

“It was a great match,” Nickleby said. “It was fun all around, and this was the first time this season we played as a team in one solid unit. We’re just beyond proud of how well we played tonight, and more than excited for what our season is going to have.”

Nickleby praised the play of several players.

“We had fantastic defense,” Nickleby said. “Allie Barber did an amazing job, Ella Ratzloff. The biggest props go to Jasmine Ough. She is usually a right side or outside hitter and because of an injury she played middle. First time in two years at playing middle and she stepped out there and just did amazing.”

East Ridge dropped to 1-2 on the season.

It was the first win of the season for Edina, ranked ninth in the Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association pre-season poll. The Hornets have been slow starters this fall, however, and lost at Waconia and Orono in their first two games.

East Ridge will play in a varsity tournament at Marshall  Sept. 5-6. The Raptors host Cretin-Derham Hall at 7 p.m., Sept. 9, on homecoming and fan appreciation night.