The Lady Bulldogs volleyball team faced Hamlin on Thursday, September 8, in Milbank. The Lady Chargers were rated one of the top 10 teams in the state by the South Dakota Media Preseason Volleyball Poll, but Milbank gave them a run for their money in five sets.
Head coach Nancy Hoeke commented on the final set: “Hamlin had the momentum. We clawed back to within one at 9-10, but Hamlin’s experience and strong play was too much.” The Lady Bulldogs took the set loss at 11-15 and the Northeast Conference match loss at 2-3. Complete set scores were: 21-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-27, and 11-15.
“In the first, we were down 5-10, but caught up again at 15-15,” Hoeke recalled. “We had a slow start and seemed apprehensive. It took us time to believe we could compete and play with Hamlin. Then, it seemed like a switch flipped. We kept gaining momentum and played with confidence. We played from ahead most of sets two and three. Defensively, there were some great plays, and we really played together as a team transitioning from defense into offense.”
Throughout the match, Milbank excelled at serving. They powered up 101 of 108 for 94 percent, including 10 aces. Averie Engebretson led the way with 16 of 16. Hallie Schulte went 13 of 13, including one ace. Emily Wollschlager was right behind her at 13 of 13. Casside Seezs went 15 of 16, including three aces. Addisyn Krause was 17 of 19, including an ace. Rachel Schulte added 27 of 31, with a whopping five aces.
Hoeke also commended the team for having three players who posted double-digit kills and five players with six or more kills. R. Schulte led the attack with 39 of 50, including 15 kills. Rylie Overby was at 35-41, with 11 kills; Claire Snaza at 26-29, with 10 kills; Engebretson at 22-22, with eight kills; Seezs at 11-17, with six kills; Isabella Anderson at 6-7, with two kills; and Krause at 6-8, with two kills. Krause also racked up 26 assists. Engebretson had 23, and H. Schulte had three.
H. Schulte paved the way for the Lady Bulldogs with 25 digs. Engebretson was next at 22. R. Schulte had 19; Krause, 13; Wollschlager, 10; Overby, six; and Seezs, five. Engebretson recorded a solo block, and Snaza and Krause each had one block assist.
For the Lady Chargers, Gracelyn Leiseth had 20 kills and Emily Everson had 15. Addie Neuendorf posted 11 kills and 20 digs. Kami Wadsworth had 15 digs and two block assists. Jaci Trowbridge put up four aces. “The match was a competitive one,” Hoeke said. “Both teams were so defensive and kept balls alive that were nearly out of play. Both teams used offensive strategies with some hard hitting. It was very exciting!”
What’s next for the Lady Bulldogs? Milbank hosts Waubay-Summit at MHS on Tuesday, September 13. The C match starts at 5:15 p.m. The JV team plays at 6:15 p.m. Varsity gets going at 7:30 p.m.
JV Lady Bulldogs Repel the Chargers
The JV Lady Bulldogs emerged victorious against the Lady Chargers of Hamlin on Thursday, September 8, in Milbank. Set scores were 25-21,22-25, and 15-8.
Coach Kelli Pillatzki said, “We overcame a lot of obstacles during this match and we worked as a team. We will continue to work on making smart decisions and playing with consistency.”
Milbank went 17 of 19 in serving for a team average of 89 percent. Abby Pillatzki led the squad at nine of 10, with three aces. Rylee Scoular went two for two, and Shaylee Schuchard was six of seven. Scoular and Schuchard also recorded one ace apiece.
A. Pillatzki also led the way in setting at 23 of 23, with five assists. Claire Snaza was two for two with two assists. Siera Wenzl posted four digs, Ella Sandvig had three, and A. Pillatzki had two.
For the defense, Sandvig was 10 of 10, with four kills. Isabella Anderson was nine of 10, with three kills. Wenzl went three of eight, with two kills.