Fulda moves on with 3-0 victory against H-BCLUVERNE — Building double-digit leads within the first 20 points scored of each game Monday night, the sixth-seeded Fulda Raiders dominated their Section 3A South opening-round volleyball match against No. 11 Hills-Beaver Creek — winning by scores of 25-12, 25-10 and 25-10 in the Luverne Elementary gymnasium.
By: Lucas Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
LUVERNE — Building double-digit leads within the first 20 points scored of each game Monday night, the sixth-seeded Fulda Raiders dominated their Section 3A South opening-round volleyball match against No. 11 Hills-Beaver Creek — winning by scores of 25-12, 25-10 and 25-10 in the Luverne Elementary gymnasium.
Fulda (9-17-1) advances to the quarterfinals Friday night, when the Raiders will take on third-seeded Murray County Central in the Luverne High School gym at 7:30 p.m. H-BC finishes its season with a record of 2-14.
“We came out ready to go from the start and played a great match as a team,” Fulda head coach Karmel Holinka said following the contest. “I liked how we spread the ball around and got several players involved in the offense. Our defense also did a good job of keeping the ball alive — allowing us to get set up and attack from different angles.”
Sheyenne Wildfeuer (10 kills) helped Fulda gain a 4-1 lead to begin Game 1 with an ace tip and a kill down the left sideline, and Courtney Hulstein (15-for-15 serving with 10 points and five aces, 16 set assists, 12 digs) followed with back-to-back ace serves to make it 6-1 Raiders.
H-BC’s Meagan Stueven answered with one of her two ace blocks on the night, but Fulda widened the gap to 15-3 with a 9-1 run that was highlighted by three ace serves from Mari Holinka (17-for-19 serving with 15 points and four aces, seven blocks, five kills) and a pair of kills from Brittany Hulstein (16-for-19 serving with 13 points and three aces).
Amy Paulzine (eight kills) later scored twice on consecutive ace blocks to lift the Raiders to an 18-5 bulge before scoring the game’s final point with a kill — wrapping up a 13-point victory for Fulda.
Holinka sparked Fulda early on in Game 2, delivering four kills and an ace block to help give the Raiders an 8-1 advantage. Later, Paulzine scored twice on plays at the net, and Michelle Goedtke and Brittany Hulstein followed with a kill apiece to increase Fulda’s lead to 14-4.
Jessy Bos (three kills) and Leah Hup each scored on an ace block, and Emily Kruger knocked down an ace serve to keep the Patriots within 10 points (down 16-8), but Fulda closed the game by scoring nine of the final 11 points.
Wildfeuer cracked a pair of kills in that stretch, while Holinka pounded a kill in the middle on a feed from Courtney Hulstein and scored twice on ace blocks to trigger the game-ending burst.
“We played very well at the net, as we attacked aggressively and also had a lot of good blocks,” Holinka said. “We got off to a good start in all three games and played a smart and clean match.”
The Raiders stayed in command in Game 3, getting two kills from Wildfeuer, two service aces from Courtney Hulstein and two ace blocks from Holinka to take a 6-2 lead.
Two kills and an ace block by Paulzine helped Fulda extend the margin to 13-2, and the Raiders kept a comfortable lead the rest of the way.
Fulda scored 12 of the final 20 points, as two more kills by Paulzine, an ace serve from Goedtke, two kills by Brittany Hulstein, a kill and an ace block from Courtney Hulstein and another ace block by Holinka paced the Raiders down the stretch.
H-BC’s Kelsey McGuire scored on an ace block early in Game 3, while Tanya Ackerman nailed down one of her two service aces midway through for the Patriots.
“We did not play very well, as this was probably our worst match of the year,” H-BC head coach Mary Jo Graphenteen said. “Fulda was tough at the net, and we couldn’t get much going at all. However, we did play hard and hustled for the entire match.”