Maddie Whittington (7) powered a shot past East Ridge defenders Avery Burger (12) and Camryn Greenwald (13) during the Ponies' 3-1 victory. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
An Oct. 9 match with East Ridge stood out to the Stillwater volleyball team as it looked through the season's schedule at the start of practice this fall.
The 2017 Ponies recorded plenty of accomplishments, including a Section 4 championship and a trip to the Class 3A state tournament. But the list did not include a Suburban East Conference championship. East Ridge won the only head-to-head matchup between the two teams in five sets last October to finish the season one game better than Stillwater, with an undefeated conference record.
Brooke Aschenbrener (3) celebrated her kill that left Stillwater two points shy of a four-set victory over East Ridge. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
In 2017 it was East Ridge that won a five-set match against Stillwater in early October on its way to a Suburban East championship and an undefeated conference record.
In this year's head-to-head matchup, it was Stillwater's turn. Behind a hot start by their front-row hitters, the Ponies won the night's first two sets on their way to a 25-21, 25-20, 22-25, 25-22 win against the Raptors.
The Ponies, ranked No. 7 in the Class 3A coaches’ poll, won the first two sets fueled by hitters Maddie Whittington and Brooke Aschenbrener. Whittington led Stillwater with 19 kills while Aschenberner added 16.
Lauren Galvin led No. 5-3A East Ridge with 15 kills, while Kate Reimann had 14. Reimann, a senior outside hitter, also collected her 1,000th career kill in the match.
The win gives Stillwater (15-5, 7-0) a commanding lead of the Suburban East as the only undefeated team left in the conference with a week left in the regular season. East Ridge (14-7, 6-1) drops to second place.
Stillwater's Brooke Aschbrener (3) went up for a shot during the Ponies' 3-1 victory over East Ridge. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
The MN Volleyball Hub polls are for entertainment purposes only.