The Milbank Area Lady Bulldogs punched their ticket to the state Class A high school volleyball tournament with an exciting 3-0 victory over the Groton Area Tigers tonight at the Milbank Armory. The Lady Bulldogs captured the Region 1A championship title with the win.
The teams battled point-by-point throughout the entire match. Milbank Area got an early 3-0 lead in the first set. Groton Area came back to knot the score 3-3. The match teetered back and forth and was tied 11 times before the locals went ahead 22-18. Groton Area cut the deficit to 22-20 with two kills. A serving error by the Tigers put Milbank Area ahead 23-20 before Molly Rick and Mikaela Hoeke blocked a hit to widen the gap 24-20. Groton Area belted out a kill to keep the match going, but Rick finished it off at 25-21 with a big kill.
The second set remained as close as the first. Milbank Area battled for each point and pushed ahead 16-12 midway through the set. The Lady Bulldogs kept plugging away and fought for every ball. The locals extended its lead to 20-15. Groton Area pulled to within three points at 21-18. Caryssa Mielitz and Katie Cannedy each added a kill to move ahead 24-19. Mielitz dropped in an ace to win the second set at 25-19.
Both teams played even throughout the third set. Groton Area went ahead early on at 8-10 before the Lady Bulldogs pulled even at 12-12, which was the last time the Tigers would hold the advantage. Milbank Area pushed ahead at 20-15 with a block by Rachelle Gabriel. With the score at 22-16, the Lady Bulldogs began to taste the victory. Groton Area hit the ball into the net to widened the gap for Milbank Area at 23-16. Another Tiger error gave the Lady Bulldogs the 24-16 edge. A error by the locals moved the score to 24-17 before Groton Area committed another error, and the Lady Bulldogs took the third set at 25-17.