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The Amazing Ace: Seventeen service points propel Raiders over Tigers

Raiders senior Kat Baranko (left) and junior Reine Voigt look to make a block at home against New England on Thursday, Sept. 13. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)1 / 4
New England sophomore hitter Sebella Sorenson makes contact in action against Richardton-Taylor on Thursday, Sept. 13 at Richardton. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)2 / 4
Tigers junior outside hitter Angel Erickson in action at Richardton-Taylor on Thursday, Sept. 13. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)3 / 4
Richardton-Taylor junior outside hitter Reine Voigt goes up for an attack in a Region 7 matchup against New England on Thursday, Sept. 13 at Richardton High School. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)4 / 4

RICHARDTON — To open the third set, the Richardton-Taylor volleyball team took a 3-0 lead, helped by two service aces from senior outside hitter Jodi Leingang. Leingang and junior Kat Baranko each had four aces on the night, accounting for nearly half of the Raiders 17 service points in their 3-0 match victory over New England on Thursday, Sept. 13 in Richardton.

"We worked really hard in practice and we came together as a team, together as one," Leingang said.

Contributing to the aces were Reine Voigt and JaLynn Olson, with three a piece, and seniors Elle Goetz and Bailey Paulson with two and one, respectively.

The Raiders built on their early lead in the third frame, capping off the 25-16 win with a six-point run. Up 24-16, Richardton-Taylor fumbled a bit on a volley, but a series of slightly-panicked-though-methodical passes put the ball over the net. A quick reaction from a Tiger sent the ball into the net and back into their territory, granting the Raiders the sweep.

"We put it together on our side. We got the momentum. We've been practicing hard this week. The girls implemented all that," Richardton-Taylor head coach Emily Gran said. "We got on top. We didn't allow ourselves to let them come back. They pushed back and I'm proud of them."

In the second set, New England didn't go down as easily. After dropping the first set 25-15, the Tigers (0-3 Region 7) found a rhythm, keeping pace with the Raiders (2-1 Region 7) in the middle frame. New England pulled ahead from a 9-9 game to lead 15-12. The visitors held that slim advantage until Richardton-Taylor tied the set at 21.

"We held the momentum on our side so we're just trying to play some clean ball, pass well," New England head coach Kay Moody said. "That's the key. If we can do that. We're going to stay with the team."

The Raiders tacked on four straight points, sealed with a kill from Baranko in the middle for the 25-21 win.

Baranko had just three kills, while Goetz led the way with 10, followed by Leingang and junior Ieesha Jordan, who contributed five each.

Baranko's name popped up on each statistic, as she had the lone Raiders block as well as two assists and a dig.

Junior setter Olson put up 21 assists, as well as a single dig. Leingang earned a team-high 11 digs, followed by Voigt with nine and Paulson with seven.

"Everyone just played hard. They came together as a team and that's what they've been struggling with," Gran said. "We figured it out and we don't win or lose the game because of one person, we do it as a team."

The winless Tigers were led by senior outside hitter Elizabeth Kaufman.

"It's a process. We're young and we're just going to build from every match," Moody said. "I was disappointed in how many errors we had, how many points we gave them without them having to do anything, but it's a process. We're just going to take it one match at a time."

Richardton-Taylor 3, New England 0

NE 15 21 16 — 0

RT 25 25 25 — 3

Kills: RT, Elle Goetz 10, Jodi Leingang 5, Ieesha Jordan 5, Reine Voigt 4, Kat Baranko 3, Bailey Paulson 1.

Blocks: RT, Baranko 1.

Aces: RT, Baranko 4, Leingang 4, Voigt 3, JaLynn Olson 3, Goetz 2, Paulson 1.

Digs: RT, Leingang 11, Voigt 9, Paulson 7, Goetz 2, Olson 1, Baranko 1.

Assists: RT, Olson 21, Baranko 2, Voigt 2, Leingang 1.

Records: RT, 2-1. NE, 0-3.

New England statistics were not available.

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