The Lady Bulldogs volleyball team put up a “W” in an exciting match against Florence-Henry on September 14. Milbank outfought the Lady Falcons to emerge victorious with set scores of 25-13, 27-29, 26-24, and 25-17.
Nancy Hoeke, head coach for Milbank, commented on the opening set, “The combination of limiting our errors (we only made three unforced errors) and Florence-Henry making errors certainly helped to take the pressure off us and build a lead on them. Teams – including us – don’t always come out ready to play, but we had a really good start.”
Hoeke noted that Florence-Henry turned up their effort and competed much harder in the second set. “We had 14 unforced errors giving them 14 points off missed serves and hitting errors. It was a great competitive set with the score being close right to the end. Neither team would give in and fought tough.”
Serving, which has been Milbank’s strong suit this season, continued on trend in Thursday’s match. “That certainly puts the pressure on,” Hoeke noted, “and doesn’t give up easy points.”
As a team, the Lady Bulldogs hit 97 of 102 for 95 percent. They put up eight aces. Individually, Addisyn Krause went 24 of 24, with three aces. Ella Sandvig was 21 of 21 with two aces. Skyler Skoog hit 18 of 18 with one ace. Siera Wenzl was 10 of 10. Rachel Schulte hit 15 of 17 with two aces. Shaylee Schuchard went nine of 12.
Skoog led Milbank’s attack with 17 kills. Rachel Schulte followed with 13. Isabella Anderson added 11. Schuchard had seven. Claire Snaza contributed five, and Hailey Zinter recorded one.
Krause and Schulte combined for an impressive 50 assists. Krause with 27 and Schulte with 23.
For Milbank’s defense, Sandvig led the team with 36 digs. Wenzl and Schulte each had 24. Skoog made 21. Addisyn Krause had 16, and Schuchard had 10. Schulte also recorded the team’s only solo block and added two assists. Schuchard made three assisted blocks; Snaza and Anderson, two; and Zinter, one.
“Our defense was digging up so many balls which frustrated their hitters,” Hoeke said. “We chased down balls that were well off the court and returned them which is a back breaker for (opponents).”
Hoeke also observed, “ Set three was really ‘telling’ as to the type of team we have the potential to be. After a tough set, not all teams mentally or physically have what it takes to keep battling and overcome. These girls did that! It shows the next level we could get to, which is exciting. The girls are starting to believe and know it takes more than just ‘wanting’ to win.” The third set was another close one and ended on a thrilling note when the Lady Bulldogs fought through Florence-Henry’s set point to stay alive and win it.
“We could see FH was frustrated and they didn’t play well in the fourth set,” Hoeke concluded. “ It felt like we were in the zone and not going to let down.” Indeed, the Lady Bulldogs chalked up a hard-earned 3-1 win.