ROSEVILLE — The Stillwater volleyball team had it nine-match winning streak snapped by Roseville 3-1 in a Suburban East Conference contest on Wednesday, Nov. 18.
The Raiders (6-6) won by scores of 25-20, 23-25, 25-21 and 25-21.
It was just the second loss of the season for the Ponies (9-2), who were scheduled to close out their season at undefeated East Ridge on Thursday, Nov. 19 and at Forest Lake Friday, Nov. 20.
“They just outplayed us,” Stillwater coach Sara Biermaier said of the Raiders. “It was definitely a night where defense wins games.”
The coach was pleased with several areas of her team’s play, but said they weren’t quite clicking on the attack.
“We had good moments,” Biermaier said. “Our serve receive was good and we were in system a lot, but we just couldn’t get on a roll and that speaks to them. They just played lights out defense.”
The Ponies picked up their play in the second set, but were unable to maintain that in Games 3 and 4.
“I’d say we just played a little bit better, but nothing much different from the first to the third and fourth. Offensively we looked sharper, but their energy outplayed us tonight.”
Before the match started, Biermaier was informed that a season was ending even earlier than expected following orders from Governor Tim Walz on Wednesday.
She waited until after the match to inform her players, who have already endured a season that was delayed and adjusted because of COVID-19.
“I told them after about the end of the season being on Friday,” Biermaier said. “I just feel like with everything going on and that we’re still in a pandemic, you have to be flexible — and not just in volleyball. It’s not really a shock, and I appreciated a final decision and the fact that we will be able to play 13 out of 14 games.
“I definitely wish we could have had a section and I think we would have fared well there, but health is No. 1 and now we can stop playing the guessing game.”
But it still wasn’t easy to hear, especially for the seniors.
“There were some tears, to be honest,” Biermaier said. “For our seniors, it never gets any easier when your time wearing your jersey is going to come to an end. They took it well for the most part, but it’s hard. No matter how it happens, the end is hard. I think that speaks to how much they love the program to have that reaction and that’s kind of what you hope for is that they’d be sad to leave it.”
Stillwater was originally scheduled to close out the regular season by hosting Cretin-Derham Hall on Saturday, but the new guidelines stipulate Friday as the last day for competition this fall.
“We just keep moving along and don’t take anything for granted and keep competing every chance we get,” Biermaier said.