The Milbank Lady Bulldog volleyball team slipped past Ortonville, MN, 3-1 in non- conference action at the Milbank Armory on Monday, September 30. The win lifts the locals to 7-9 on the season. “I thought the first two sets we played the best we have,” expressed head coach Nancy Hoeke. “We had awesome flow to the game, pretty much error free. It seemed like balls we touched went right where we needed them to. We made a lot of great defensive plays. Our hitters were on, setters were getting the ball to them. Things were going near perfect. It was a
good overall match for us, especially wrapping up a busy week and a half. I’m proud of the girls for their positivity and energy.”
Milbank jumped out to an early lead at 6-2. Ortonville came back to even the score up at 10-10. The Lady Bulldogs went on two runs midway through the set to open the game up at 19- 13. The locals pushed ahead to finish the set at 25-17 with two kills by Jaecy Engebretson.
The Lady Bulldogs again jumped out to early lead in the second set at 14-3. That solid play continued through the set, and Milbank won 25-12. The tides turned in the third set. Milbank produced several unforced errors and fell
behind 8-15. The Lady Bulldogs battled back but could not overcome the early deficit and fell 18-25.
“Honestly, I can’t explain the third set,” said Hoeke. “It’s just volleyball. Just when you think you’ve got things figured out, the tide turns. It’s tough too for all 6-9 players to stay mentally focused and at the top of their game for an entire match. We also have to remember, the team on the other side of the net is also a varsity team with their share of skills and determination.”
The team played evenly to set the fourth set, but Milbank trailed 5-8. J. Engebretson stepped up to the service line and helped the Lady Bulldogs score 13 consecutive points to overtake the lead at 18-8. Ortonville committed three consecutive errors to end the set and match at 25-14.
“Fortunately, we were able to start out the fourth set strong, get a lead, and put the pressure back on Ortonville,” added Hoeke. “That allowed us to relay and just play.” J. Engebretson led the Milbank offensive attack with 13 kills on 41-43 hitting, nine aces on 25-28 serving, six assists on 17-17 hitting and nine digs. Madi Thue followed with nine kills on 19-21 hitting, one ace on 9-10 serving, 14 digs, and one solo block. Tracy Pillatzki tallied three kills on 9-12 hitting, 7-8 serving, and had five digs while Elsie Rogers added three kills on 16-19 hitting and three digs.
Other team leaders were Amy Nelson with 10 assists on 58-60 setting, three aces on 6- 10 setting, and 11 digs; Cassidy Christians, eight assists on 27-29 setting, one ace on 11-11 serving and 15 digs; Hallie Schulte, 9-10 serving and 19 digs, and Siri Bien, one ace on 7-8 serving.
The Milbank junior varsity team fell to Ortonville 2-0 with scores of 23-25 and 16-25. The locals’ C team also dropped 2-1 with scores of 17-25, 25-19, and 13-15.
Results from Dakota Valley High School Saturday, September 28
The Milbank Lady Bulldogs finished seventh overall in the Eastern Volleyball Classic held at Dakota Valley High School Saturday, September 28. Milbank faced a tough Dakota Valley team to start the day. The locals fell 25-14 and 25- 10 in the match. “It was hard to get anything going against Dakota Valley,” stated head coach Nancy Hoeke. “They are really smooth, and their offense is a level above other teams we’ve seen.”
In other first round games, Tri-Valley defeated Chamberlain 2-0, Tea Area beat Webster 2-1, and Winner downed Sisseton 2-0. The Lady Bulldogs then faced Chamberlain and fell 2-1 with scores of 18-25, 25-18, and 28-26. “I would really like to play that last few points again of the last set,” noted Hoeke. “We had match point twice but didn’t get the job done. We were so close.”
Milbank then went to the seventh-place match for a rematch with Sisseton. The Lady Bulldogs avenged an earlier season loss with a 2-0 victory. Scores for the set were 25-15 and 25- 17. “I’m proud of the girls for the strong finish at the end of the day to dominate Sisseton,” Hoeke added.
Webster took fifth place over Chamberlain. Tri-Valley defeated Tea Area for third place, and Dakota Valley was crowned the champion over Winner.
Jaecy Engebretson led the Lady Bulldogs with 34 kills on 80-89 hitting, 9-11 serving, five assists on 10-10 setting, 25 digs and one solo block for the tournament. Tracy Pillatzki followed with 10 kills on 23-29 hitting and three aces on 14-14 serving. Madi Thue tallied nine kills on 26- 35 hitting, 4-4 serving, and 22 digs while Amy Nelson had five kills on 18-19 hitting, five aces on 31-35 serving, and 26 assists on 98-103 setting. Elsie Rogers also had five kills on 11-11 hitting and had two blocks. Hallie Schulte dropped in two aces on 23-25 serving and led with 35 digs. Cassidy Christians went 15-15 serving and added 11 assists on 25-28 setting. She also had 16 digs. Siri Bien went 22-28 serving with two aces, and Averie Engebretson had three assists on 4- 4 setting.
Photo – left to right, Tracy Pillatzki, Jaecy Engebretson, Cassidy Christians, and Hallie Schulte.
Photo – back row, left to right, Casside Seezs, Averie Engebretson, Jaecy Engebretson, Siri Bien,
Madi Thue, Amy Nelson, and Elsie Rogers. Front row, Jessica Van Peursem, Cassidy Christians,
Hallie Schulte, Shelby Lee, and Tracy Pillatzki.