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Volleyball: Raiders send Tigers packing

The Tiger volleyball team opened section play with a win over Hastings but couldn't beat Northfield.

Farmington's streak of three straight trips to the Section 1AAA vollyeball semifinals ended with a 3-0 sweep at the hands of Northfield Friday night in Northfield.

The Tigers, coming off three straight 20-win seasons and their first-ever trip to the state tournament, called it a season having amassed a 9-19 record. The team hadn't won fewer than 16 games since head coach Mike Woody's first season in 2006.

"In the big picture, I'd say the learning curve took longer than I'd hoped for," said Woody, who returned just two regulars from last year's team. "We wanted to learn as much as we could and be competitive come sections. We played solid (in the first round) against Hastings and we were gave ourselves a chance to win against Northfield. We finished at the top of our game and the better team beat us. I'm proud of the effort they put in."

The Raiders (20-8) got out to a hot start on Friday, posting a 25-6 victory in Game 1.

"We were ready to play, we just did not execute well. It was one of those games where we couldn't pass well, we missed a bunch of serves," Woody said. "We were bad in just about every aspect of the game."

The Tigers recovered after that and lost a pair of close games by scores of 25-20 and 25-23 to end the season.

"We turned it around and played like Game 1 never happened," Woody said. "We hadn't reacted well to games like that in the past, so it was a pleasant surprise for us. Both games could have gone to either team down the stretch."

Senior Katie Habeck, who was recently named all-state and all-conference, finished with 14 kills and 14 digs against Northfield. A four-year starter, Habeck finished her career as Farmington's all-time leader in both kills (over 1,200) and blocks (646), totals that place her in the top 15 in state history, according to Woody.

"She is an amazing student-athlete. Any coach would dream to have a girl of her ability and attitude. She was able to be a star on a team filled with talent and on a team that looked to her to do a lot of things," Woody said. "She was hard on herself, but she stayed positive and helped the team get better."

Seven other seniors will also graduate from this year's team: Renee MacLean, Amanda Mohr, Ashlyn Vannoy, Brook King, Haylee Lundquist, Jordan Bridges and Katy Varner. The group got to walk off their home court for the final time as winners as they swept Hastings 25-16, 25-23, 25-13 in last Wednesday's section tournament opener.

Habeck finished with 20 kills and 18 digs. King supplied 15 digs.

Mia Johnston hoisted up 17 assists and Andrea Smith tacked on nine.