The Milbank Lady Bulldogs battled the Aberdeen Roncalli Cavaliers on Thursday, August 29, to open the high school volleyball season. They suffered a 3-1 loss on their home court.
“Roncalli has a good team,” stated Milbank head coach Nancy Hoeke. “We competed hard and pushed ourselves.”
Milbank came away with a first set comeback victory at 26-24. The locals fell behind early in the set at 1-6, 6-10, and 10-17. The Cavaliers then made three consecutive hitting errors to help the Lady Bulldogs’ cause. Tracy Pillatzki came up with a solid block at the net to cut the deficit to 14-18. Roncalli made two more errors before getting two blocks to movethe score to 16-20.
Milbank continued to battle. Madi Thue stepped up to make three consecutive kills to pull to within one point at 19-20. A dual block by Pillatzki and Amy Nelson knotted up the score at 20-20. The teams evened the score again at 22-22, 23-23, and 24-24. Roncalli committed another hitting error before Jaecy Engebretson secured the victory with a kill at 26-24.
“I was really proud and impressed with the comeback,” said Hoeke. “That is a relatively big deficit to overcome. We really showed our ability to fight back and were excited with the win.”
Set two, however, was a whole different game. Milbank trailed early at 4-14 and struggled to put anything together. The Lady Bulldogs fell 13-25. “We couldn’t get anything going at all,” said Hoeke.
The Lady Bulldogs continued to battle in the third and fourth sets. Milbank again got down early in the third set at 4-14. Aberdeen collected additional errors and with a serving ace by Pillatzki and two kills by Engebretson, Milbani cut the score to 13-17, but they eventually fell 19-25.
The fourth set was much the same. Milbank fell behind early at 6-10 and 10-16. The Lady Bulldogs cut the deficit to 15-19 with kills from Pillatzki and Thue, errors by Roncalli, and a serving ace by Hallie Schulte. Milbank could not secure the win and fell 18- 25. “I thought we competed and played pretty good in the last two sets,” added Hoeke.
Thue led the team with 11 kills on 23-33 hitting, 13-16 serving, and eight digs. Engebretson followed with nine kills on 34-40 hitting, 7-9 serving, 10 assists on 37-38 setting, and six digs. Pillatzki went 11-16 hitting with five kills and led the team in serving with three aces going 12-12. She also had one solo and one assisted block. Elsie Rogers chipped in with five kills on 10-16 hitting and went 5-7 serving. Schulte led the team with 17 digs. She also aided with one ace on 13-14 serving and eight assists on 28-29 setting. Nelson went 55-57 setting with 10 assists, 10-11 serving, nine digs, and one assisted block. Cassidy Christians went 7-8 serving and had 10 digs.
In earlier games, the Milbank C team won 2-1 with scores of 25-15, 15-25, and 15-9. The Lady Bulldogs junior varsity fell 2-0 with set scores of 23-25 and 13-25.
Photo – Senior Jaecy Engebretson