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ROUNDUP: Ripon rallies past Ripon Christian
Indians take control after dropping 1st set of non-league match
Bulletin sports fall 2021
Ripon Christian's Avery McMurray (10) and Taylor Postma (14) defend Ripon's Kylee Fullmer (12). - photo by GARY JENSEN/

RIPON — After stumbling out of the blocks Wednesday night, Ripon rebounded to win the next three sets and defeat visiting crosstown rival Ripon Christian 23-25, 25-6, 25-12, 25-15 in non-league volleyball action.

“I was really pleased with our team’s execution,” Indians coach Chuck Sterni said. “They came out and got the feel of the game and then they realized after that first set that they were able to bring it a little faster.

“Then the speed, tempo and kill percentage went up. They just started working as a team, executing on serve, and defensively we just wore them down.”

Sierra Barrios led Ripon (15-6) with 17 kills and a block.

“I think we put all we had out there,” Barrios said. “We played as a unit rather than as individuals.

“After that first game I was thinking we were all just really nervous and I knew that we could play our hardest and bounce back.”

Bella Chapin handled back-row duties for the Indians with 29 digs.

“I know that all my teammates are working their butts off,” Chapin said. “It makes me want to lay out for everything.

“You miss 100 percent of the balls you don’t go for and my mentality is to just go for everything and you never know, you might get a hand up.”

Danika Matuska added six aces, six kills and a block for Ripon with Reagan Wilkerson dishing out 36 assists and Kaya Whittaker had 30 assists.

After the 25-23 first-set victory for the Knights (25-4) that saw 12 ties and six lead changes, the Indians never trailed the rest of the night. Riley Slikker helped ice that pivotal second set with an eight-point service run behind three aces and a dig that catapulted the Ripon lead from 16-5 to 23-5. Matuska’s kill to start the second game set up her 7-0 service run with an ace to shoot Ripon out to an 8-0 second-set lead. The Indians never looked back.

With the first set tied at 23-23 Ripon Christian’s Ava Van Groningen (11 kills, two aces, two blocks) hit her third of three kills to make the score 24-23 and teammate Avery McMurray (10 kills) hit her fourth kill of the match to end the game 25-23. After that, the best the Knights could manage was two ties in the fourth set and three ties in the fifth.

“Some nights, you just don’t have it,” Ripon Christian coach Kayla Kootstra said. “They made some great defensive plays and they were putting the ball away. We were struggling to get into a rhythm after that first game.

“Some nights are not your nights and tonight was not ours.”

Jenna Hofman dished out 28 assists for the Knights and Emily Van Groningen tallied 12 digs and nine kills.


Junior varsity

Ripon 2, Ripon Christian 1

Katie Rhodes fired off two aces in her four-point match-ending run to give the Indians a 25-22, 9-25, 16-14 win.

Ripon libero Emeri Lane passed well with outside hitters Alana Jones and Eden Velasco patrolling the net.

Leah Van Wyngarden tallied 12 kills and 12 digs for the Knights and Sydney Hofman chipped in three aces.