The Milbank Area Lady Bulldogs rolled to a 3-0 victory over the Sisseton Redmen in Northeast Conference high school volleyball action Thursday, September 15, in front of a large home crowd at the Milbank Armory. The Lady Bulldogs improve to 6-3 on the season and remain undefeated in the NEC with a 5-0 record.
Milbank Area was hitting on all cylinders to start the match. With numerous kills by Caryssa Mielitz, Mady Hilbrands and Jaden Hoeke and an ace by Mikaela Hoeke, the Lady Bulldogs soared ahead 10-2. The locals maintained their pressure and secured the first set win at 25-8.
Mielitz took charge to start the second set with four straight kills followed by an ace from Molly Rick to go ahead 5-0. Sisseton found a few holes in the Lady Bulldogs defense and took advantage of unforced errors to even the score at 10-10. Things then started to fall apart for the opponent as they committed several errors which Milbank Area took advantage and won the set at 25-13.
In the third set, the Lady Bulldogs relaxed their play which Sisseton capitalized on. The teams knotted the score ten times early in the set all the way to 15-15. Milbank Area seemed a bit frazzled and fell behind at 17-20 before head coach Nancy Hoeke decided to take a timeout to settle her players. The Lady Bulldogs fought back and pulled to within one point at 22-23 with a kill by Rick. Sisseton answered with a kill of its own and game point within striking distance. Mielitz wouldn’t allow that and pounded down a big kill to push the score to 23-24. The Redmen then hit the ball into the net to tie things up at 24-24.
Mielitz belted out another kill to overtake the advantage at 25-24, but then a blocking error by the Lady Bulldogs tied things up again at 25-25. Mielitz took charge and found two consecutive holes to win the set at 27-25.
Mielitz led Milbank Area with 20 kills on 37-43 hitting, two aces on 9-9 serving and 18 digs. Rick added five kills on 19-22 hitting, 12-14 serving, 6-6 setting and nine digs while M. Hoeke had four kills on 17-19 hitting, 24 assists on 62-62 setting, one ace on 19-19 serving and 14 digs.
Other top players contributing to the Lady Bulldog victory were Mac Schuelke, six assists on 32-34 setting, one ace on 9-9 serving, one kill and nine digs; Madi Schulte, 9-9 serving, 6-6 setting and nine digs; Maty Lightfield, 10-11 serving and five digs; Mady Hilbrands, 6-8 hitting with two kills, two digs and two blocks; J. Hoeke, three kills on 12-12 hitting, two assists on 6-7 setting, three digs and two blocks; Jaecy Engebretson, two kills on 11-11 hitting and six digs, and Gabbi Cummins, 1-2 hitting and one block.
The Lady Bulldogs will travel to Sioux Valley Tuesday, September 20, before hosting Clark-Willow Lake Thursday, September 22. Milbank will then host the eight-team Eastern Volleyball Classic Saturday, September 24, at the Milbank Armory. Opening games begin at 10 a.m.
Pictured is junior Maty Lightfield.