The Milbank Area Lady Bulldogs are set to battle for the Region 1A volleyball championship title this evening as they take on the Groton Area Tigers. The teams will take the court at 7 p.m. at the Milbank Armory.
The locals defeated the Tigers 3-2 on their home court earlier this season, but will need to have a solid game in hopes of earning a berth to the state Class A tournament. Groton Area upset the number one seed, Sisseton, in the semi-finals which sets up tonight’s match. “Since Sisseton had beaten us twice during the season, that was always going to be in the back of our minds,” noted head coach Nancy Hoeke. “So not having to play Sisseton tonight is to our advantage.”
Milbank Area has a 16-10 overall record while Groton Area is 12-12. “Defense will be key to the match tonight,” said Hoeke. “If we can keep the ball alive it will be frustrating for their hitters. We will have to play a good match as it looks like Groton Area is playing well right now. We also have to keep our ‘cool’ and our heads, stay positive and keep working all night.”
The winner will advance to the State Class A volleyball tournament slated for November 19-21 in Sioux Falls. The last time the Lady Bulldogs played in the state tournament was in 2009 where they finished second.
“We are all very excited,” expressed Hoeke. “We have done what we’ve needed to prepare. We are proud to be in the ‘sweet 16’ and would be honored to be in the ‘elite 8’ and make it to state. Now it’s just time to go play and see how it works out.”