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Spartans finish Hudson tournament on a high note

Taylor Paulson is shown celebrating a successful point for the Spartans during a recent home match. Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia

A difficult week for the Somerset volleyball team finished on a high note in the final round of the Hudson Invitational on Saturday.

After losing a home dual match against Colfax on Thursday, the Spartans were defeated in the first three rounds at Hudson on Saturday. The Spartans summoned their spirit and pulled out a 25-17, 26-28, 15-10 win over Menomonie in the final round of the tournament. Somerset lost to Menomonie in the recent UW-Stout Sprawl.

Freshman Hope Baillargeon led the Spartans in kills, while senior Brit Buchanan was the leading server against Menomonie. Stevie Haigh provided nine assists and three ace serves.

The Spartans were up and down during Saturday's match. They opened with a loss against Hudson, but won the opening game against Baldwin-Woodville 28-26, before losing the final two games. The Spartans put up a spirited fight against a top-quality Bloomer team, but lost 25-13, 25-13.

"The score doesn't reflect how long the rallies were, and how we fought, fought, fought," Somerset coach Dennis Potter said of the Bloomer loss. Potter said senior Georgia Hammer made several incredible saves to keep plays alive against Bloomer.

In last Thursday's dual, Somerset and Colfax were tied 13-13. Colfax then strang together nine straight points. The final result was a 25-15, 25-13, 25-16 loss for the Spartans against a much taller Colfax team.

"They overwhelmed us," Potter said. "For us to play with a team like that, we have to play flawlessly and dig and dig and dig."

Buchanan led the Spartans with five kills and Maddie Trautmiller had seven digs.

The Spartans will be on the road for a pair of matches this week. They will play at Spring Valley on Tuesday, before opening their Middle Border Conference schedule on Thursday at St. Croix Central.

The Spartans will be hosting a special pre-game ceremony to honor the 1993 State Championship volleyball team on Thursday, Sept. 20, before the match against Osceola. A formal recognition to honor the team in front of the Somerset fans will take place prior to varsity warm-ups.

Dave Newman

Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for more than 30 years.

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