The Milbank Area Lady Bulldogs played an outstanding match and shutout the Aberdeen Roncalli Cavaliers 3-0 Thursday, October 8, at the Milbank Armory in its annual pink night matchup. The Lady Bulldogs improved to 11-8 on the season.
Facing Roncalli is historically very tough no matter what team it is, and Thursday night was no different. The two teams were fairly evenly matched throughout the entire contest. The Cavaliers got on the scoreboard first, but Milbank Area battled for each and every point. The teams teetered point-by-point and were knotted up 14 different times throughout the first set, with the final time being 22-22. Mikaela Hoeke dumped the ball over the net for a tip-kill to put Milbank Area ahead 23-22. Rachelle Gabriel followed up with a big kill to put the set within one point. Caryssa Mielitz pounded the ball home to secure the first set win at 25-22.
Things started out a little shaky for the Lady Bulldogs in the second set. They found themselves trailing 4-8, but pulled back to within one point at 8-9. Milbank Area struggled to get its hits knocked down and fell behind further at 11-16. The Lady Bulldogs kept plugging away and little-by-little inched closer until they evened the score up at 20-20. Senior Katie Cannedy took charge and belted out three big hits while Mackayla Schuelke dropped in an ace to overtake the lead at 24-20. Molly Rick finished out the second set with a kill for the 25-20 victory.
The teams continued to battle in the third set and knotted the score five different times until Milbank Area fell behind at 13-19. The Lady Bulldogs came back again to even the score at 22-22 and again at 25-25. Neither team let up, but the Cavaliers made a mistake to give the Lady Bulldogs the 26-25 advantage. A Milbank Area error tied the score once again at 26-26. Mielitz belted out a kill to push ahead 27-26. Roncalli ended the match with an error to give the Lady Bulldogs the 28-26 victory.
Mielitz led the Milbank Area attack with 13 kills on 40-48 hitting, one ace on 10-13 serving, 14 digs and one block. Cannedy followed with nine kills on 24-27 hitting, one ace on 11-12 serving and 19 digs. Gabriel tallied eight kills on 13-15 hitting and four digs while Rick added four kills on 19-23 hitting, six digs and two blocks.
Hoeke went 71-72 setting with 14 assists, 13-14 serving with one ace, 21-21 hitting with five kills and 12 digs while Schuelke had 14 assists on 39-39 setting, one ace on 8-8 serving and 13 digs. Also contributing for the Lady Bulldogs was Madi Schulte with two aces on 16-16 serving and 18 digs; MyKayla Thyne, nine digs, and Tori Brandenburger, two digs.
Milbank Area travels to Madison, SD, Tuesday, October 13, for non-conference action before hosting Sisseton Thursday, October 15, in a conference showdown. The team will wrap up the week at Northwestern Saturday, October 17.
Junior Varsity – The Milbank Area junior varsity team suffered a 2-0 loss to Roncalli with scores of 21-25 and 19-25. The team fell to 5-7 on the season. Gabbi Cummins led the young Lady Bulldog attack with two kills on 8-10 hitting, two aces on 7-7 serving and six digs. Jaecy Engebretson followed with two kills on 6-8 hitting, three assists on 14-14 setting and five digs. Maty Lightfield went 8-8 serving and 27-28 setting with four assists while Alexis Folk dropped in two aces on 6-6 serving.