Lady Tigers send seniors out with Saturday win
By Jay Davis
The Lady Tigers gave their seniors a big sendoff with a 3-1 win over Pine Ridge in the seventh-place game at the State A Volleyball Tournament in the Watertown Civic Arena on Saturday.
“I’m really pleased with the way they played,” said coach Keri Bolduan. “I’m very proud of them.”
Each of the three seniors had big moments and played major roles in the Lady Tigers beating the Lady Thorpes 25-15, 19-25, 25-22, 25-17.
“It was nice to see them step up,” said Bolduan, “and they did it at the right times.
The Lady Tigers got off to a good start, jumping out 6-1 in the opening set. Kady Pinney had a kill and an ace and Ariel Bieber had two kills to get the Lady Tigers out of the gate. Pine Ridge was trying to rally but still trailed 18-14 when Callie Slater made two straight alert plays on balls that had been passed into the net. Both potential Pine Ridge points turned into Lady Tiger points, pushing the lead to 20-14. The second came on Bieber’s fourth kill of the game. Pinney hit two kills as the lead rose to 24-15. Slater crushed an ace to polish off the win.
Pine Ridge used a 5-0 run midway through game two and used an 18-12 lead to gain a 25-19 win.
Mobridge-Pollock did not come storming back early in game three. Pine Ridge stayed on course from the previous game and jumped out to a quick 10-4 lead. The Lady Tigers started chipping away before two Pinney kills and two Slater aces tied the set at 13-13. Two more Pinney kills gave the Lady Tigers a 15-13 lead. The teams traded points until Pinney polished the game off with the kill to give the Lady Tigers a come-from-behind victory.
With momentum swung all the way over to the Lady Tigers, they put the game away early with a 12-3 run. Ellie Rabenberg took over for a while with two kills and two aces during the run. The Lady Tigers led by as many as 13 points at 19-6 before coasting home with a 25-17 win and the seventh-place trophy.
Pinney led the Lady Tigers with 17 kills, 18 digs and four aces. Rabenberg and Kayleigh Henderson had nine kills each and Bieber had seven. Slater sent 35 assists around the net to her hitters. Slater and Rabenberg added four aces each. Rabenberg led defensively with 22 digs. Maranda Wagner had 18, Slater 13 and Aundrea Kramer had 13.
Lynette Bettelyoun led Pine Ridge with 13 kills. Shania Richard had eight kills and a match-leading 29 digs. Anissa Martin had 31 assists and 17 digs.
The Lady Tigers ran into the Wagner Red Raiders on Friday for the second straight year, and for the second time in a row were beaten rather handily. Wagner beat the Lady Tigers 25-21, 25-18, 25-7.
“They weren’t a good matchup for us,” said Bolduan. “They did a lot of things we hadn’t seen all season.”
A big part of Wagner’s dominance was the play of setter Jessa Doom. Her marksman-like passing kept the Red Raiders in top hitting position the entire match.
“Their setter was so tough,” said Bolduan.
The Lady Tigers did not put up a lot of numbers in the match. Pinney had seven kills, while Rabenberg had five and Slater had four. Slater dished out 13 assists. Wagner had 13 digs and a pair of aces.
Doom spread 34 assists around the court. The balanced attack left no Red Raider with double digits in kills. Kim Koupal and Nicole Weber led the way with nine kills each. Doom and Sydney Breen led defensively with 10 digs each.
The Lady Tigers opened the tournament looking to pull off a major upset against top seeded Belle Fourche. All three sets were close, but Belle Fourche had well-timed runs in each game and won 25-22, 25-17, 25-21.
“That’s the game where the girls were disappointed,” said Bolduan. “They thought they could do more.”
What the Lady Tigers could not do was match Belle’s Fehrin Ward. The Broncs’ 5’11” middle hitter kept coming up big at all the right times for Belle Fourche.
Ward had a block and two kills during a Belle Fourche 7-1 run in the first set. The run came with the Tigers leading 13-12 and ended with the Broncs leading 19-14. The Lady Tigers fought back to tie the match at 22-22, but the Broncs forced their way to a 24-23 lead before Taylor Gubbrud hit a kill to end game one.
Ward had five kills and two blocks in the early stages of set two, giving Belle Fourche an early 11-3 lead. The lead kept going at 16-6 and 20-9 before the Lady Tigers tried to mount a comeback. The Lady Tigers scored four straight points to get to 20-13, but could not keep the ball hitting on the other side of the net and the Broncs held on for a 25-17 win.
Set three was back and forth until Belle Fourche went on a 6-1 run and took a 19-12 lead. Again the Lady Tigers fought and got all the way back to three points at 22-19 and to two points at 23-21, but could not finish the rally as Belle held on for the 25-21 win.
“We kept coming back,” said Bolduan “but we kept coming up short.”
The Lady Tigers had a balanced offense with Pinney getting nine kills, Henderson eight and Rabenberg seven. Slater did nearly all the setting with 24 of the team’s 25 assists. Rabenberg was the top defender with 13 digs.
Ward finished the match with 14 kills and 2.5 blocks. Gubburud backed her up with 12 kills. Shelbie Budmayr had 11 digs and two aces. Liz Day dished out a match-leading 33 assists.
After hitting 32 kills and four aces and defending with 40 digs, Pinney was named to the all-tournament team.
“She played very well,” said Bolduan. “She hits the ball so hard.”
Pinney is joined on the all-tournament roster by: Kiara Vander Pol, Kristen Stern and Hayley McCarron of state champion Sioux Falls Christian; Shlyler Funk, Jayde Bergmann and Lindsey Smith of runner-up Dakota Valley; Kaylee Vander Wal and Haley Hillestad of third place Sioux Valley; Fehrin Ward of fourth place Belle Fourche; Jessa Doom of fifth place Wagner; and Abby Dockter of sixth place Aberdeen Roncalli.
Pine Ridge (31-4)15 25 22 17
Mobridge-Pollock (24-8)25 19 25 25
Pine Ridge: Serving 2 aces (Robbie Ghost Bear, Brittany Backward); Setting 38 assists (Anissa Martin 31, Ghost Bear 2, Backward 2, Shania Richard 2, Cortez Standing Bear); Hitting 43 kills (Lynette Bettelyoun 13, Richard 8, Martin 6, Ghost Bear 5, Standing Bear 5, Backward 5, Pond); Blocks 2 (Backward 2); Digs 92 (Richard 29, Martin 17, Standing Bear 15, Bettelyoun 11, Backward 8, Ghost Bear 7, Shaylene Richard 3, Pond 2).
Mobridge-Pollock: Serving 14 (Callie Slater 4, Kady Pinney 4, Erin Rabenberg 4, Kayleigh Henderson 2); Setting 42 assists (Slater 35, Aundrea Kramer 4, Ariel Bieber, Pinney, Rabenberg); Hitting 46 kills (Pinney 17, Henderson 9, Rabenberg 9, Bieber 7, Kramer 2, Slater 2); Blocks 0; Digs 92 (Rabenberg 22, Maranda Wagner 19, Pinney 18, Slater 14, Kramer 13, Henderson 4, Bieber 2).
Mobridge-Pollock (23-8)21 18 7
Wagner (31-4)25 25 25
Mobridge-Pollock: Serving 3 aces (Wagner 2, Slater); Setting 16 assists (Slater 13, Pinney 2, Kramer); Hitting 20 kills (Pinney 7, Rabenberg 5, Slater 4, Bieber 2, Henderson, Kramer); Blocks 1 (Slater); Digs 50 (Wagner 13, Pinney 13, Slater 10, Rabenberg 9, Kramer 3, Henderson 2).
Wagner: Serving 6 aces (Nicole Weber 2, Sydney Breen 2, Kim Koupal, Jessa Doom); Setting 34 assists (Doom 26, Weber 4, Koupal 3, Alex Dvorak); Hitting 39 kills (Koupal 9, Weber 9, Gina Soukup 6, Dvorak 6, Doom 5, Ali Kuca 4); Blocks 4 (Dvorak 2.5); Digs 37 (Breen 10, Doom 10, Koupal 5, Soukup 5, Weber 5, Delaynie Dickerson 2).
Mobridge-Pollock (23-7)22 17 21
Belle Fourche 32-1)25 25 25
Mobridge-Pollock: Serving 7 (Slater 2, Wagner 2, Rabenberg 2, Henderson); Setting 25 assists (Slater 24, Kramer); Hitting 26 kills (Pinney 8, Henderson 7, Rabenberg 5, Bieber 4, Slater 2); Blocks 1 (Kramer); Digs 49 (Rabenberg 13, Pinney 9, Wagner 9, Slater 8, Henderson 6, Kramer 4).
Belle Fourche: Serving 4 aces (Shelbie Budmayr 2, Taylor Gubbrud, Nicole Kling); Setting 40 assists (Liz Day 33, Tyler Montgomery 5, Gubbrud 2); Hitting 44 kills (Fehrin Ward 14, Gubbrud 12, Budmayr 9, Kling 5, Day 3, Montgomery); Blocks 4 (Ward 2.5); Digs 52 (Budmayr 11, Day 9, Montgomery 9, Ward 8, Gubbrud 6, Kling 6, Maclyn Hauck 3).