The Milbank Area Lady Bulldogs rolled to a 3-0 victory over the Britton-Hecla Braves Thursday, September 24, in a high school volleyball road contest. Milbank Area improved to 6-7 on the season with the win.
The locals again battled a lineup change. Rachelle Gabriel and Madi Schulte returned to the floor, but Katie Cannedy was unable to play because of an illness. “I know changing lineups causes confusion and some indecisiveness,” stated Milbank Area head volleyball coach Nancy Hoeke. “If we would communicate better while we play some of that could be eliminated. When someone can’t play, it is an opportunity for another player to see the floor. So on the positive side, that improves our depth with experience for a player that otherwise may not get court time.”
The Lady Bulldogs struggled to get comfortable with each other, but used the Braves’ mistakes to secure a 25-17 first set win. Milbank Area started off a little slow again in the second set, but came back to win 25-20. Things remained much the same throughout the third set. The locals went in streaks of being on and hitting on all cylinders, but then made mental mistakes and struggled. The Lady Bulldogs pulled together and took the third and final set at 25-17 to add another win to its record.
“We seem to be up and down and have slow starts,” noted Coach Hoeke. “We do a lot of good things, but need to eliminate too many mistakes and mental lapses. We will work on steady and consistent play and on basic things that we don’t automatically do. We need to raise the level of difficulty for what we do on offense and defense.”
Caryssa Mielitz led the Milbank Area offensive attack with 15 kills on 41-45 hitting. Rachelle Gabriel followed with 10 kills on 16-21 hitting and one solo block. Mikaela Hoeke went 48-48 setting with 22 assists, 16-16 serving with three aces and 10 digs while Mackayla Schuelke was 28-28 setting with eight assists and 9-9 serving with three aces. Madi Schulte rounded out the team highs with 10 digs.
Junior Varsity and C team – The Milbank Area junior varsity team secured a 2-0 victory over Britton-Hecla with scores of 25-13 and 25-17. The young Lady Bulldogs improved to 5-3 with the win. The Milbank Area C team also defeated Britton-Hecla 2-0. The locals won both sets with scores of 25-15 and 25-8 and evened their season record at 3-3.