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AUSTIN EDITION Season comes to an end for Riverland

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. -- Riverland volleyball lost all four of its matches over the weekend at the Minnesota Community College Conference State Tournament, but the last one was quite a battle.

After a tough Saturday of pool play in which they lost three matches, the Riverland women squared-off against their rivals from Rochester Community and Technical College in Sunday's consolation match.

RCTC won the opener 30-17, but Riverland rallied in the second game to win 30-21. The two teams then went back-and-forth. RCTC won the third game 30-28, Riverland took the fourth game 30-24, and then Rochester won the fifth game 15-7.

"We took RCTC to five games and it was a good way to finish the season," Riverland coach Helen Jahr said. "We played good defense in the last match and that was our main focus."

Amy Eiken of Riverland had a big match against RCTC with 12 kills, 36 digs, and 6 ace serves. Other statistics for Riverland in the final match included: Nickole Stier 7 kills, 6 blocks; Andrea Miller 27 set assists; and Megan Vollbrecht 26 digs.

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"I felt like if we would've played to 30 points in that last game, we would've had them," Jahr said. "We started slow all season. They had us down 8-0 in the second game and we came back. The ladies finished strong and everybody played up to their potential."

In Saturday pool play, the Riverland women lost their opening match to Central Lakes in three games 30-13, 30-16, 30-16. The second match was against Itasca and Riverland lost 30-26, 30-19, 30-12.

Fergus Falls, the winner of the MCCC South Division, was the last match of pool play and Riverland lost by scores of 30-15, 30-25, 30-15. By the end of the first day at state, all of the South Division teams had lost and been bumped into the consolation rounds.

Eiken and Stier from Riverland were named to the All-MCCC South team for their play during the regular season. The All-State Tournament team has not yet been announced.

"It was a nice honor for Amy and Nickole," Jahr concluded. "We ended the season on a positive note. Most of the team will be back next year. We'll have four solid players back and the future looks good, so I'm looking forward to next season."

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