The Milbank Area Lady Bulldogs are headed to the Sweet 16! The girls volleyball team defeated Aberdeen Roncalli in the first semi-final game of the Region 1A high school volleyball tournament November 3, in Sisseton.
Class A implemented a Sweet 16 tournament this year. Thus, no region champion is named in any of the eight regions. The final two teams that remain alive from each region advance to the Sweet 16 tournament. Those 16 teams are then re-seeded for the final match on November 10.
Groton Area downed Webster Area in the second semi-final game and also secured a spot in the Sweet 16. Other teams who advanced are: Dakota Valley, Custer, Sioux Falls Christian, Bon Homme, Mobridge-Pollock, West Central, St. Thomas More, Miller, Madison, Elk-Point Jefferson, Redfield-Doland, and Sioux Valley. One region has yet to play their semi-final round, so final Sweet 16 pairings will not be available until Sunday, November 6.
Watch the Valley Express for all the Sweet 16 matchups.
Semi-final Game Re-cap:
In the semi-final game Thursday, Milbank Area got out to a solid start. They surged ahead at 12-6 with kills by Caryssa Mielitz, Jaden Hoeke, Jaecy Engebretson, and Molly Rick, and an ace by Maty Lightfield. The Lady Bulldogs widened the gap to 20-11 following four consecutive kills by Mielitz. Milbank Area then took it home, closing out the first set at 25-13.
In the second set, Milbank Area jumped ahead at 12-8 with two back-to-back kills by Rick. Roncalli came back to even the score at 13-13 and again at 15-15. The Lady Bulldogs pushed ahead to again take the 19-16 advantage. Milbank Area then went on a six-point run – three kills by Rick and one by J. Hoeke and blocks by J. Hoeke and Engebretson- to secure the win at 25-17.
Tension was high in the third set for Milbank Area. The Lady Bulldogs trailed 11-6. Several unforced errors found Milbank Area behind 16-9. The Bulldogs were unable to put a solid run together and fell 25-13 sending the match to a fourth set.
In the final set, Milbank Area found themselves ahead 12-8. Roncalli pulled to within two points at 14-12, but the Lady Bulldogs remained in the lead at 19-14 following three consecutive kills by Rick. Milbank Area followed with a five-point run – a kill by Engebretson, two blocks and a kill by Rick, and an ace by Mackayla Schuelke – to surge ahead at 24-15. Rick finished off the set with a kill and secured the 25-17 victory for the Lady Bulldogs.
Mielitz led the Lady Bulldogs with 22 kills on 55-58 hitting, 4-6 serving, 4-4 setting and 21 digs. Rick followed with 14 kills on 39-41 hitting, 13-13 serving, 10-10 setting, 34 digs, and three blocks. Engebretson tallied six kills on 18-20 hitting, one ace on 12-14 serving, two assists on 7-7 setting, three digs. and one block. Mikaela Hoeke contributed two kills on 23-23 hitting, 26 assists on 74-74 setting, 12-13 serving, and 16 digs. Schuelke added one ace on 7-7 serving, seven assists on 32-32 setting and 20 digs.
Other contributors for Milbank Area were: J. Hoeke, three kills on 13-15 hitting, two assists on 13-14 setting, seven digs, and two blocks; Madi Schulte, 8-8 serving, 6-6 setting, one kill, and six digs; Lightfield, two aces on 18-20 serving, one assist on 5-5 setting, and seven digs; and LaChasity Finley, one kill on 3-3 hitting, one assist on 4-4 setting, and one block.