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Holinka's 18 kills propel Raiders past Dragons, 3-1, in critical Red Rock Conference match

ADRIAN -- In a close match in which every point was highly contested, the Fulda Raiders defeated the Adrian Dragons 3-1 in a Red Rock Conference volleyball match Thursday evening.

"It's a big win, especially when you only play every team once in the conference, you want to have a good performance every time we have a conference game," Fulda head coach Jessica Hogan said. "It's a big win because they are a good team. This will propel us into another busy week."

Adrian (6-2, 10-9-1) won the first game, 25-23, before Fulda (5-3, 9-5-2) was victorious in Game 2, 25-18. The Raiders came out on top in the third game, 25-21, and won Game 4, 25-21.

"While it's disappointing to lose, it's good for the girls to see that you do have to fight point for point, and no one's going to give it to you," Adrian head coach Katie Prunty said. "We can't say that we didn't work hard though. We played hard; we just didn't do the little things that we needed to do."

Fulda jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the first game, but the Dragons were not about to roll over. Fulda held a lead until an unforced error tied the game at 22.

Adrian ended on an 8-1 run to win the first game, 25-23.

"In the first game, we were low and we were moving quickly," Prunty said. "We weren't letting things hit the floor."

Adrian used the momentum to take a lead early in Game 2, but Fulda climbed back into the game behind the serving of Mari Holinka (17-of-18, 4 aces) to take a 10-7 advantage.

Behind the play of Holinka (18 kills), and Amy Paulzine (8 kills), the Raiders maintained their lead en route to the 25-18 victory.

The turning point for the Raiders came in Game 3.

"I think the key was in Game 3 for us," Hogan said. "It was early in the match, and there was a timeout. We came together and I said, 'you can kind of feel a lull right now, and neither team really wants to make a move. We need to make a push right here and take it.' And the girls responded with four points in a row, and that propelled us all the way through."

The Raiders won a tightly contested Game 3, 25-21.

"Our last two matches we've started out really slow," Prunty said. "It takes us a set or two before we really get into the game."

Behind the play of Hayley Vaske (7 kills, 2 aces) the Dragons stayed point-for-point with the Raiders in the fourth game.

Tied at 21, the Raiders made their move. They rattled off four straight points to win the game and the match.

"It's a head game really," Prunty said. "I think that was our biggest opponent tonight. I don't think it was Fulda, I think it was ourselves. I don't think we came out ready to play."

Sam Raddle led the way with 39 set assists, six blocks, and 18 digs for the Raiders.

For Adrian, Kayla Bullerman had 32 set assists, while Kourtney Kramer had 10 kills and 37 digs.

Fulda will host Hills-Beaver Creek on Tuesday, while Adrian will go to Murray County Central.