Mike Stetson, Sports Information Director
ORANGE CITY – The Warriors put up a pair of fights to start their season Friday at the Red Raider Classic hosted by Northwestern, including a dramatic comeback against the host and seventh-ranked Red Raiders.
After late rallies in each set by the Bulldogs allowed Concordia (Neb.) to escape with a 25-19, 25-20, 25-22 victory over Waldorf to start the day, the Warriors erased five match points to score a thrilling third-set win against No. 7 Northwestern before falling 25-14, 25-11, 25-27, 25-17 late Friday night.
“I was really proud of the fight we showed today, especially with different lineups during both matches,” Waldorf volleyball coach Bri Ebenhoe said. “We still have to work on putting together our runs into more set wins, but overall I’m pleased with our efforts against great competition.”
Against host and seventh-ranked Northwestern, Waldorf (0-2 overall) made a determined rally to erase a 24-19 deficit in the third set.
Back-to-back kills by Kyra Platzek ignited a thrilling 6-0 comeback by the Warriors, who grabbed a 25-24 lead in the set on a kill by setter Elisabeth Tramm.
The Warriors kept their hosts from re-taking the lead and finished off the comeback win on a kill each from Tramm and Savanna Cordle.
“That was a really great, gritty moment for us to fight off all of those match points to win the set,” Ebenhoe said.
Fighting into the fourth set with the No. 7 Red Raiders, the teams traded points with Waldorf trailing 12-11 before the comeback came up short.
Platzek led the Warriors with 14 kills in the match, while Tramm recorded her first double-double of the season with 27 assists and 10 digs.
Platzek also led the offense for the Warriors in their opening match, pounding out 11 kills for Waldorf, which led in every set.
Kelsey Sederquest led the defense with 10 digs in the match, and Tramm dished out another 27 assists for the Warriors, who led the opener 9-7 after a Sarah Williams kill.
The Bulldogs (3-0) rallied and led late, but a strong Waldorf charge, capped by another Williams kill, trimmed the lead to 21-18.
But the Warriors got no closer, falling behind early in their season-opening match.
Waldorf started set two strong once again as a Platzek kill, followed by a Platzek service ace, spotted the Warriors to an 8-3 edge.
Again Concordia rallied to grab a lead, and again the Warriors made it interesting late as a Cordle kill cut the margin down to 19-18 before another strong finish for the Bulldogs gave them a two-set lead.
Determined to battle back, the Warriors led 21-18 after a Cordle kill late in the third set, but again victory slipped away with one final Bulldog charge that finished off a hard-fought match.
Waldorf continues play in the Red Raider Classic on Saturday facing Briar Cliff at 1 p.m., then closes out the weekend against No. 2-ranked Dordt at 5 p.m.