The Warrior volleyball team proved it can play with the conference’s best on Saturday, and nearly beat them, too.
Even through the opening two sets, Waldorf held a late lead in the third, but couldn’t wrestle the momentum away from visiting Bellevue as the 20th-ranked Bruins rallied to fend off the Warriors, 25-20, 20-25, 25-23, 25-22 in North Star Athletic Association action Saturday at the Hanson Fieldhouse.
“I loved our passion and energy tonight,” Waldorf head coach Bri Ebenhoe said. “Our team battled neck and neck with the Bruins, and if a couple more balls would have gone the other way, this could have been a victory.”
With the match tied at a set apiece, the Warriors (3-15 overall, 2-5 NSAA) made a strong bid to take control of the match in the third set as a Savanna Cordle kill put Waldorf on top, 15-9.
Bellevue (14-5, 5-1) battled back and took leads of 18-17 and 20-19, but the Warriors’ determination came through as Waldorf forged a 21-20 advantage on a Kyra Platzek service ace, making a bid to grab the lead in the match.
But the Bruins were the team that had the ball fall their way as a kill each from three different players helped Bellevue inch way for the win.
Still determined to score the upset win, the Warriors chipped away in the fourth set and were down 22-19 after a Platzek kill before the comeback came up short.
“We continued to see strong serving and scrappy defense,” Ebenhoe said of her team’s effort, adding, “our offense continues to become more balanced.
“I am especially proud of the leadership and energy I see from every athlete — freshmen through senior,” she added. “It means that great things are happening and we are excited for next week.”
Platzek led the way for Waldorf with 19 kills and 14 digs, while Sarah Williams added 15 kills, and Cordle finished with nine kills and eight blocks. Elisabeth Tramm dished out 43 assists and made nine digs, and Adreanna Vetter led the defense with 23 digs for the Warriors, who next battle another top NSAA foe, playing at No. 4-ranked and first-place Viterbo on Wednesday.