The Milbank Area Lady Bulldogs cruised to a 3-0 victory over the Britton-Hecla Braves in Northeast Conference high school volleyball Friday, October 20, on the road. The locals improved to 10-13 with just one game left in the regular season.
Milbank Area won each set by scores of 25-20, 25-9 and 25-20. “It was a good match for us,” stated Lady Bulldog head volleyball coach Nancy Hoeke. “We played pretty well and controlled a lot of the things we needed to.”
The Lady Bulldogs started out solid in the first set and led 14-8. Britton-Hecla inched their way back into the match and cut the deficit to 23-20. Molly Rick and Gabbi Cummins then sealed the deal for Milbank Area at 25-20 with two big kills.
The Braves took an early lead at 2-4 in the second set, but Milbank Area quickly took charge for the rest of the set. The Lady Bulldogs committed just two unforced errors in the set and won by the score of 25-9.
The third set was much like the first. The Lady Bulldogs controlled much of the play and held a 16-7 advantage. The Braves then came back to come to within three points at 23-20. This time Makayla Johnson and Jaecy Engebretson put the set away with two kills for the 25-20 victory.
“I felt we had too many unforced errors in the first and third sets with seven and six,” explained Coach Hoeke. “We talked about things after the first set and we cut them down to two. Some of those kinds of errors are just too easy of points to give up to the other team. We have to be disciplined and find a way to stay consistent, but it is a credit to the team to finish each set with a win.”
Rick led the Lady Bulldogs with 14 kills on 27-32 hitting, two aces on 13-13 serving and nine digs. Engebretson followed closely with 10 kills on 23-26 hitting, 11-14 serving, 16 assists on 29-29 setting and seven digs. Gabbi Cummins contributed eight kills on 15-19 hitting, two aces on 13-13 serving, seven assists on 13-13 setting and 10 digs while Johnson added six kills on 7-7 hitting and one ace on 6-8 serving.
Maty Lightfield ran the offense with 10 assists on 36-36 setting and had two aces on 8-10 serving. Other team leaders were Jaden Hoeke, three kills on 10-13 hitting, one ace on 13-14 serving, five digs and two blocks; Katie Wollschlager, 1-1 serving and three digs, and Katie Vander Wal, 1-1 serving.
Milbank Area traveled to Groton Monday, October 23, for their final regular season match. The Region 1A tournament will begin Tuesday, October 31. Watch The Valley Express for your tournament matchups.
Pictured is senior Sadie Holland.