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Waldorf outlasts Vikings, captures first NSAA win

Waldorf Warriors LogoBy Waldorf Sports Information Director

FOREST CITY – The Waldorf University volleyball team outlasted Valley City State University, capturing its first North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) win of the season on Friday.
Waldorf (11-13, 1-3) fought to a 25-23, 21-25, 25-21, 18-25, 15-13 victory over the Vikings (6-11, 2-2). The Warriors turned the tables after dropping seven of their last nine sets by five points or less.

“This was a big win,” Waldorf coach Paul Meyer said. “Getting back on the home court with a great crowd helped us so much, especially after struggling to win so many close sets. It was a great way to get that first conference win.”

Rebecca Bartnicki led the Warriors with 13 kills as the junior from Chicago put together a hitting percentage of .321. Junior Kaitlyn Monck smashed 12 kills while seniors Megan Perkins and Brianna Haugen each recorded 11 kills. A balanced attack allowed the Warriors to capitalize.

“Offensively, we had great balance with four players getting double-digit kills,” Meyer said. “Everyone seemed to have a big play down the stretch.”

Briley Sullivan collected 37 digs, the third-most in school history during a five-set match. In her third season with Waldorf, the junior from Laurens moved up to second in the Warrior records with 1,760 career digs, trailing 2015 graduate Courtney Palmer by 80 digs.

Junior April Jones provided nine kills and totaled four blocks. Freshman Elisabeth Tramm and senior Valerie Rivera handed out 31 assists and 24 assists, respectively. Rivera delivered three service aces while Tramm added an ace. Bartnicki produced two total blocks and Haugen contributed two block assists.

Valley City State’s Megan Johnson powered to 14 kills. Clarissa Olson recorded 12 kills and a .600 attack percentage. Taylor Balkan added 38 assists while Nicolette Bloomer delivered four total blocks. Jaycee George tallied 31 digs and Hailie Wilds provided three aces.

The tone for the match was defined from the beginning, as the Warriors battled to a 25-23 win during the first set.

“I thought we came out and played well early,” Meyer said. “We had good team energy and played our style of ball.”

Valley City State elevated its play, taking the second and fourth sets behind hitting percentages of .275 and .378, respectively.

“The Vikings got their offense going as the match went on, especially in the second and fourth sets,” Meyer said. “They made us work defensively. Their hitters did a great job of hitting around our blocks, but we were able to keep fighting and make some big defensive plays down the stretch.”

The match remained tight and went down to the final set, but the Warriors closed out with the win.

“It was a great way to get that first NSAA win and open the weekend on a positive note,” Meyer said.

The Warriors continue conference play on Saturday, hosting Mayville State University (8-10, 2-2) at 12 p.m. Waldorf then faces Grace University (6-10) in a 3 p.m. nonconference matchup at Hanson Fieldhouse.