The Milbank Area Lady Bulldogs added a new event to their volleyball schedule this season. They battled three Minnesota schools during the Montevideo volleyball... Lady Bulldogs Battle at New Volleyball Tournament

The Milbank Area Lady Bulldogs added a new event to their volleyball schedule this season. They battled three Minnesota schools during the Montevideo volleyball tournament on September 9. The Dawgs went 1-3 with a win over Renville County West (RCW), and losses to Litchfield, Montevideo, and Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop (GFW).

The Lady Bulldogs started the day with a 2-0 loss to Litchfield. Milbank was defeated 25-21 and 25-23. “We got behind and down seven in both sets and had to fight our way back,” said Milbank Head Coach Nancy Hoeke. “Litchfield ended up winning the tournament, so we have to feel good that we played with the best team. A few less errors and our result could have been different.”

Molly Rick led the Milbank offense with eight kills on 24-28 hitting, 6-7 serving, and 12 digs. Jaecy Engebretson followed with seven kills on 16-17 hitting, one ace on 7-7 serving, and 10 assists on 37-37 setting. Gabbi Cummins tallied three kills on 7-8 hitting, 6-7 serving, six assists on 20-20 setting, six digs, and one assisted block.

Also adding to the totals for the Lady Bulldogs, were Makayla Johnson, three kills on 8-11 hitting and one assisted block; Jaden Hoeke, 7-7 serving; and Elisabeth Schwenn, three assists on 3-4 setting.

Milbank made some lineup changes, and improved to 97% serving in their next match against Montevideo, but was unable to secure the win. The Lady Bulldogs dropped 2-1 with scores of 21-25, 26-24 and 23-25.

“Our lineup changes seemed to give us better opportunities,” Coach Hoeke said. “Gabbi Cummins is a good passer and moving her into serve-receive helped make us stronger. There were streaks where we earned our points by getting kills. That resulted from better passing. We need to keep building on that and not just wait for our opponent to make mistakes. We are disappointed with the loss, but we can take a lot of positives from this match.”

Rick led the team with 14 kills on 27-38 hitting, 10-10 serving, 13 digs, and one solo block. Engebretson followed with 7 kills on 22-25 hitting, 8-8 serving, 13 assists on 44-45 setting, and one assisted block. Cummins contributed 6 kills on 15-19 hitting, 7-8 serving, 10 assists on 29-30 setting, 13 digs, and one assisted block. Hoeke chipped in with 5 kills on 10-14 hitting and two aces on 17-17 serving. Johnson added 3 kills on 9-9 hitting and was 5-5 serving. Maty Lightfield had one ace on 15-16 serving and 8 digs; Tonya Meyer, 5-5 serving and six digs; Schwenn, three assists on 5-5 setting and one assisted block; and Anna Mathews, one assisted block.

Milbank defeated RCW 2-1 with scores of 22-25, 25-17 and 25-15. “We had lots of blocking and serve-receive errors,” said Coach Hoeke. “Those are focus and concentration skills and techniques, and we need to figure out how to keep our minds on what it is we need to do. Playing in a tournament like this is a lot of volleyball and a long day, but it gives us a really good test.”

Rick again led the team’s offense with 13 kills on 31-36 hitting, 11-12 serving, six digs, and one solo block. Engebretson tallied 8 kills on 17-18 hitting, 6-6 serving, and 13 assists on 37-38 setting. Cummins produced 6 kills on 16-18 hitting, one ace on 8-10 serving, seven assists on 21-21 setting, and one assisted block.

Also adding to the totals for the Lady Bulldogs were Lightfield, two aces on 6-6 serving, five assists on 13-15 setting, and five digs. Johnson had four aces on 15-16 serving. Hoeke was 18-21 serving and made one assisted block.

Milbank ended the tournament with a 2-0 loss to GFW. Scores were 14-25 and 20-25. “We pretty much seemed to run out of gas in this final match of the day,” expressed Coach Hoeke. “I’ll give credit to GFW though. They play really solid defense and it was hard to put the ball away. All of the Minnesota teams we watched are steady. They don’t let balls hit the floor, and they just keep power attacking. They don’t do much tipping, and we scored a lot throughout the day by tipping to the middle.”

Rick led the Lady Bulldogs in the final match with 7 kills on 18-22 hitting, 6-6 serving, and seven digs. Engebretson had four kills on 19-21 hitting, 4-4 serving, and 10 assists on 32-32 setting. Cummins tallied 4 kills on 6-7 hitting, 5-5 serving, four assists on 15-15 setting, and 10 digs. Hoeke added 4 kills on 7-11 hitting and Lightfield, 6-6 serving and nine digs.

Photo Gabbi Cummins.

Staff Writer

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