The Milbank Lady Bulldogs have suffered some tough losses in their recent matches, but came back with a nice 3-1 victory over Clark-Willow Lake Thursday, September 21, on the road. The locals improved their season record to 4-5 overall.
Milbank started out strong and took the 8-3 lead early in the first set. The Cyclones went on a four-point run to cut the deficit to 17-15 midway through the set. A kill by Molly Rick and three consecutive serving aces by Gabbi Cummins gave the Lady Bulldogs the commanding 24-15 advantage. The locals secured the win on the next point, at 25-15, with a hitting error by Clark-Willow Lake.
Jaecy Engebretson started out the second set with two back-to-back aces. Several consecutives unforced errors by Milbank gave Clark-Willow Lake the 6-10 lead. Milbank pulled to within one point at 11-12 with a kill by Rick and two kills and a block by Cummins. The teams continued to battle until Milbank trailed 21-23 late in the set. Two Lady Bulldog errors gave the Cyclones the 23-25 second set win.
Milbank maintained the lead throughout the entire third set. The Lady Bulldogs led 13-8, 18-12 and 24-16. Rick belted down a kill to claim the set victory at 25-16. The fourth set was a tight battle. The teams exchanged the lead back-and-forth when Clark-Willow Lake went ahead 14-17 and again at 19-22. Cummins dropped in an ace before the teams exchanged errors to move the score to 21-23. Rick threw down another kill to cut the gap to one point at 22-23, but a serve-receive error gave the Cyclones the 22-24 advantage. Two consecutive errors by Clark-Willow Lake knotted the score up at 24-24. Engebretson fired in a kill to give Milbank the 25-24 lead. An error by the Cyclones gave the Lady Bulldogs the 26-24 set and match victory.
Rick led Milbank with 22 kills, two aces and one assist. Engebretson followed with 10 kills, 16 assists and two aces. Cummins tallied eight kills, 15 assists, four aces and one block while Makayla Johnson added three kills and five aces. Other key contributors were Maty Lightfield, six assists and one ace; Jaden Hoeke, two kills and one ace, and Elisabeth Schwenn, five assists.
Pictured is Makayla Johnson.