The Milbank Area Lady Bulldogs battled the top volleyball teams in the state during the Sioux Falls Christian tournament Saturday, September 3, and dropped to 3-3 on the season.
The locals faced Unity Christian in their first match. Milbank Area started out tough which shook up the Iowa team. The Lady Bulldogs led early in the match before Unity Christian evened the score at 15-15. The teams battled it out before Milbank Area eventually fell 25-19. Unity Christian pulled together and led throughout the second set all the way to a 25-12 win.
“Even though we lost 2-0, we consider this a win for our team,” noted head coach Nancy Hoeke. “Unity Christian is a top team in Iowa, so we are happy with this outcome.”
Caryssa Mielitz led the Lady Bulldogs with five kills on 14-17 hitting, one ace on 6-7 serving and two digs. Molly Rick followed with two kills on 8-11 hitting, 4-5 serving and eight digs while Jaden Hoeke added one kill on 2-2 hitting, 2-3 setting and two digs.
Mikaela Hoeke went 35-37 setting with nine assists, one kill on 4-5 hitting, 3-4 serving and five digs. Also contributing for Milbank Area were Maty Lightfield, one ace on 6-6 serving and one assist on 3-3 setting; Mady Hilbrands, one kill on 2-2 hitting and five digs; Madi Schulte, 3-3 serving and three digs, and Jaecy Engebretson, 4-5 serving and one dig.
Milbank Area then faced a tough Warner team and fell 25-6 and 25-12. The Lady Bulldogs began to get frustrated with their play and were unable to put together its offense.
Mielitz led the way for the Lady Bulldogs with four kills on 20-24 hitting, 4-4 serving, five digs and one block. Rick tallied two kills on 11-14 hitting, 2-2 serving, one assist and seven digs. M. Hoeke went 41-43 setting with four assists, 6-8 hitting with two kills, 5-5 serving and six digs while Engebretson added one kill on 2-2 hitting, 2-3 serving, one assist and two digs.
Rounding out the team leaders were Lightfield, one assist on 3-4 setting, 1-2 serving and two digs; Hilbrands, one kill on 4-4 hitting, one block and two digs; Schulte, 5-5 setting, 3-3 serving and seven digs, and J. Hoeke, 4-4 setting and 2-4 hitting.
Milbank Area then faced Aberdeen Roncalli in the placing match of the tournament. The Lady Bulldogs found themselves down early in the set at 8-4. The struggles continued and the locals fell 25-20.
Milbank Area battled back and led for much of the second set until Roncalli tied it up at 15-15. The teams teetered back and forth tying up the score seven more times to 23-23. Rick took charge and ended the set with two big kills for the 25-23 victory which pushed the match into the third set.
The Lady Bulldogs came out flat and faced an early 12-3 deficit. The locals remained behind at 15-20 before making a slight comeback, but could not overtake the advantage and fell 25-22.
Mielitz led the Bulldog charge with 19 kills on 35-40 hitting, one assist and nine digs. Rick chipped in with seven kills on 15-23 hitting, one ace on 6-8 serving, 4-4 setting and 18 digs. M. Hoeke contributed 25 assists on 83-88 setting, two kills on 10-13 hitting, 15-17 serving and 12 digs while J. Hoeke went 4-6 hitting with one kill, 9-9 setting, one assist and three digs.
Rounding out the leaders for the Lady Bulldogs were Schulte, one ace on 8-9 serving, one assist and 15 digs; Hilbrands, 4-7 hitting, 5-5 setting, one block and two digs; Engebretson, one kill on 5-5 hitting, one ace on 13-15 serving and seven digs, and Lightfield, 7-7 serving, 3-3 setting and seven digs.
Milbank Area will travel to Webster Thursday, September 8, for its next single match.
Pictured is senior Mady Hilbrands.