River Ridge volleyball sweeps to conference crown – Unbeaten Wolves poised to make deep playoff run

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The undefeated River Ridge volleyball team is 18-0 and won the Six Rivers West Conference crown for the third straight year. For the second season in a row, the team did not lose a set in conference action and finished with a Six Rivers West record of 12-0. (Photo submitted)

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

The River Ridge High School volleyball team has had another outstanding season and is poised to go deep into the Division 3 playoffs, beginning on Tuesday night, Oct. 22, when the third-seeded Lady Timberwolves host 14th-seeded Boscobel.

River Ridge is 18-0 overall and 12-0 in the Six Rivers West Conference, which they have won for three straight years. Also, for the second season in a row, they did not lose one set on the conference schedule. They swept every team in the conference in three sets this year and last year.

“The girls have had a fantastic season so far,” said River Ridge Coach Dianne Langmeier. “We started out the season winning the Six Rivers East Tournament in Monticello, beating a tough Black Hawk team, two sets to one. That set loss and one other set loss to Black Hawk in pool play that day are the only two sets we have lost this year so far.” 

In their last regular season match, River Ridge swept Cassville on Senior Night, and Langmeier praised the seniors for helping to get the program to where it is. “Their dedication in the off season and leadership have definitely left an impact on our program, and we will miss them greatly next year,” said Langmeier.

New this year, due to River Ridge’s enrollment, they are in Division 3 for the WIAA Tournament. They were previously in Division 4. 

“It will definitely be a challenge to get all the way to state,” said Langmeier. “We would have to go through a very tough Wisconsin Heights team, Brodhead or Cuba City, and then Waterloo. Waterloo has a D1 recruit, and they have been ranked in the top two teams all year. I am very proud of how the girls have won the conference championship now for the third time in a row! Their team chemistry is amazing. You never know what can happen at tournament time. We will just take one game at a time, and hope to continue our  journey as long as we can!”

“These girls are very dedicated and have the skills,” Langmeier continued. “They do not like to lose, so hopefully, we can stay in the tourney for awhile and create some more excitement for our fans like we did last year. The fans and support from our community has once again been fantastic.”

Skylar White leads the River Ridge attack, averaging more than 20 kills a game. She is also quickly approaching 1,000 digs, as well. She was a D4 All State player last year when the Lady Wolves went to the State Tournament. Rylee Zinkle and Jaci Williams have also been very tough hitters this season. Faith Schier has been the team’s libero for three years now, and she reads the floor very well. Schier is very quick and isn’t afraid of hitting the floor to pick up some very tough tips or kills. Sadie Crubel, a sophomore defensive specialist, has really helped the team because she gets the passes to target so the team can set up its offensive attack. Jaci Williams has been leading River Ridge in assists. Her court sense is tremendous because she has done club volleyball since third grade. Kendell Esser, Chloe Stagman, and McKenzie Graf have also contributed some great spikes, blocks, and digs to help the team score. 

“The girls have definitely worked hard this season and had a lot of fun, too,” said Langmeier. “Let’s hope our season can continue for a few more weeks.”

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