The Milbank Area Lady Bulldogs are heading to the State Class A volleyball tournament for the second consecutive year and they are ready. “We are excited to be playing in the state tournament again,” stated head coach Nancy Hoeke. “This group of seniors wanted to end their careers this way, making it back. They have a little different mindset this time. Last year they were just so dang happy to have made it. This time they know what it’s like and are ready to take on the challenge.”
Milbank Area has secured the number six seed in the tournament and will face the number three seed Bon Homme in the opening round Thursday, November 17, at 6 p.m. The tournament will take place at the Watertown Civic Area, in Watertown.
The Lady Bulldogs have set their goal to compete hard and put themselves in the position to win each set. “We are a really good defensive team and we need to keep the ball alive which will frustrate opponents,” explained Hoeke. “Our hitters have to get us kills and mix it up to keep opponents guessing. We have served well all year and need to continue that. As a team we’re at 93%. That puts added pressure on the opposition.”
Bon Homme finished the regular season with a 27-4 record. “Bon Homme revolves around their middle attackers. So we need to dig them up and not let them get easy kills. Hopefully we can get some blocks on them to slow them down.”
In the opening game of the tournament, number one seeded Dakota Valley will take on the number eight seed, Sioux Valley, at noon Thursday. Number four seed Mobridge-Pollock will battle number five seeded West Central in the second game of the afternoon at 1:45 p.m.
In the night session Thursday, Milbank Area will face Bon Homme in the first game at 6 p.m. Number two Sioux Falls Christian faces number seven Madison at approximately 7:45 p.m. “We have played Dakota Valley, Sioux Falls Christian, and Madison this season and know they are for real,” said Hoeke. “I think overall this year, there are quality teams all the way from #1 to #8.”
Keep up with The Valley Express for all your state volleyball tournament action.