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College volleyball: 2-0 hole too much to overcome for Lady Jays

WILLMAR -- Everything clicked into place for Minnesota West in the third set, but that was just too late for the Lady Jays to come back from a 2-0 deficit as it lost to Ridgewater in four sets 25-10, 25-13, 23-25, 25-19 in Minnesota Collegiate At...

WILLMAR -- Everything clicked into place for Minnesota West in the third set, but that was just too late for the Lady Jays to come back from a 2-0 deficit as it lost to Ridgewater in four sets 25-10, 25-13, 23-25, 25-19 in Minnesota Collegiate Athletic Conference volleyball on Wednesday.

Minnesota West started slow, dropping the first two sets 25-10 and 25-13, but found a rhythm in the third set. It ran out to a 6-1 lead in the set and played nearly point for point from there on its way to a 25-23 victory.

“We were swinging hard and getting the points and we were really able to put everything together in set number three,” West head coach Marie Johnson said.

The slow start has become something of a commonality in Lady Jays matches this season according to Johnson. She said she has made it a focus to try to get off to better starts in their matches so they don’t find themselves in another 2-0 hole.

“It’s been a theme for us lately that we really decide to get going and play together in the third set,” Johnson said. “We talked tonight about having to play in sets one and two, and unfortunately it was like we really got on the ball in set number three.”

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West had a shot in the fourth set, but down 2-1 in the match, they found themselves in a hole early and just couldn’t make the comeback, dropping it 25-19.

“We just couldn’t pull ourselves out of a hole that we dug in set number four,” Johnson said. “We just weren’t able to put it together.”

Katherin Ihnen led Minnesota West with eight kills and had four aces, while Brooklyn Barnett had 17 set assists.

Erin Swenson had 17 digs for the Lady Jays. Nicole Rowe led with four blocks, while Hannah Newman had three.

Minnesota West is now 1-4 in MCAC play and 1-8 overall. It heads to LacRosse, Wis. for a matchup with Western Technical College next Wednesday.

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