Two of the three defending champions made it back to the title fights with semifinal victories at Friday’s 2022 South Dakota State High School Volleyball Tournament.
Top seed Sioux Falls Christian won his sixth straight title and twelfth Class A title in 16 years with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-7, 25-15) in the semifinals against Elk-Point Jefferson. With a 3:0 (25:20, 25:15, 25:11) victory over Wolsey-Wessington, the seeded Warner earned the chance to repeat himself in class B.
In Class AA, the story was very different as two-time defending champion and second-place Sioux Falls O’Gorman fell 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-23) to third-place Harrisburg and Die at top-seeded Sioux Falls Washington lost 2-3 (25-23, 12-25, 25-22, 20-25, 15-7) to fourth-seeded Sioux Falls Jefferson.
Harrisburg and Jefferson meet in the AA Finals at 7 p.m. Saturday. Sioux Falls Christian takes on third-placed Elkton-Lake Benton in the Class A and Warner takes on third-placed Chester Area in the Class B title bouts, also scheduled for 7pm
Here’s a breakdown of Friday’s games by class:
The Harrisburg-Jefferson matchup doesn’t come as a complete surprise. They’ve been in the top four, along with Washington and O’Gorman, for pretty much all season.
Jefferson, a sophomore in high school, has a 25-6 record that included an 0-4 record against the top three teams, including two to Washington, prior to Friday. The Cavaliers and Warriors fell back and finished fourth before Jefferson took over in the fifth set with strong play from 6-foot senior middle hitter Madison Paulsen and 5-7 junior outside hitter Ella Kvernmo.
“We hadn’t been able to beat the top three teams all year, but we hadn’t played to our full potential against them and they didn’t know that,” said Paulsen, who has 12 kills and four block assists graduated
Kvernmo contributed 12 kills and 16 digs and junior setter Presly Pastian contributed 37 assists and 18 digs for coach Beth Donnelly’s team.
Washington (26-5) got big matches from Joslyn Richardson (25 kills, 14 digs), Carlie Beckstrand (15 kills), and Macie Malchow (42 assists, 10 digs).
The Cavaliers have a shot at the new school’s first-ever state volleyball title a week after the school’s football team won their first Class 11AAA state championship.
“After the football team won, they told us it was our turn. I told them we would do it for them,” said Paulsen. “We just go out there and do what we can.”
If Jefferson wants to win, they have to beat the hottest team in their class. Harrisburg finished the season No. 1 in recent polls and Friday’s win was the Tigers’ 15th straight win.
The series included a 3–0 regular season win over the Knights, who won the first set in the rematch before Harrisburg recovered.
“We knew they were going to come back and have a lot of energy and fight,” said Harrisburg senior Morrisen Samuels, 6-1, who had 11 kills and 17 digs. “We just stuck to our game plan from the original period, watched more movies about it and prepared.”
It was’nt easy. All four sets were close. In the end, Harrisburg earned a chance to play for their first state championship since 2017.
“We just have to go home, get a good night’s sleep and focus on our first contact tomorrow,” Samuels said. “This is how we will win.
O’Gorman (26-5) was led by senior Bergen Reilly, 19 kills and 13 digs; Brooke Harvison, 36 assists and 13 digs; and Brogan Beck, 13 kills, two solo blocks and five block assists.
In the consolation semi-final, Pierre Rapid City beat Stevens 3-2 (25-21, 25-21, 19-25, 22-25, 15-9) and Sioux Falls Lincoln also scored 3-2 (25-23, 14). -25, 25-22, 19-25 and 15-11 victory over Huron.
Ayvrie Kaiser had 15 kills and 13 digs and Reese Terdlinger had 15 kills, a solo block and seven block assists for Pierre (16-6). Macey Wathen contributed 17 kills and 12 digs and Carsyn Mettler contributed 13 kills, 27 assists and 24 digs for Stevens (23-13).
Nyareal Kutey’s 14 kills, a solo block and five block assists and Samantha Zeeck’s 36 assists and 12 digs put Lincoln (21-11) on pace. Heaven Gainey had 18 kills and 17 digs, Brynn Gose had 15 kills, Bryn Huber had 45 digs, and Hamtyn Heinz had 42 assists, 13 digs, and five aces for Huron (19-11).
Saturday: Rapid City Stevens vs. Huron, seventh place, 11:30 a.m.; Pierre vs. Sioux Falls Lincoln, fifth place, 1:15 p.m.; Washington vs. O’Gorman, third place, 5 p.m.; Harrisburg vs. Jefferson, championship, 7 p.m
Enduring Power Sioux Falls Christian didn’t open the door for an eighth-place Elk Point-Jefferson team that knocked off top seed Wagner in the first round on Thursday.
The Chargers (32-5) settled the deal with 12 kills and eight digs from Ellie Lems, 10 and 11 from Peyton Poppema and 10 and 12 from Sidney Oostra. Addisen Barber provided 32 assists and Tayler Byl provided a solo block and five block assists.
“We came out with a lot of energy and played well,” said Lems, a 6-0 senior middle hitter. “It’s just fun to play with our team and we’ve had a great time this season.”
Elk Point-Jefferson (25-10) was led by Sophia Giorgio’s 16 assists and 12 digs and Josie Curry’s six kills.
In the second semifinal, Elkton-Lake Benton (32-3) continued to make the most of his second straight trip to the state, the only two in history, by defeating Miller 3-0 (25-22, 25-9 and 25-21). The Elks won the consolation championship in 2021 and will play for the bigger title on Saturday.
Rachael Krog produced 11 kills and 17 digs, Kailyn Drietz produced 10 kills, and Tevan Erickson produced 29 assists, 14 digs, a solo block, and five block assists for the elks.
“We’re all so excited to be here and the fact that we get to play at a state championship, especially my senior year… oh my god! Stunned is the word I would use,” said Krog, a 5-10 underdog.
The Rustlers, who fell to 33-3, had 12 kills from Ally Mullaney, 21 digs from Jolie Palmer, and 25 assists and 10 digs from Tyra Gates.
Krog and the Elks don’t seem concerned that they’re underdogs against Sioux Falls Christian.
“We have them. We have them,” Krog said. “We will play our game and we will show them.”
In the consolation semifinals, Dakota defeated Valley Wagner (25-17, 25-11, 25-17) and Platte-Geddes defeated Belle Fourche 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-20).
Dakota Valley (27-8) received 11 kills and 10 digs from Claire Munch, 11 kills from Jorja Van Den Hul and 35 assists from Logan Miller. Emma Yost had six kills and Macy Koupal had 19 assists and 11 grabs for Wagner (31-5).
Karly VanDerWerff’s 20 kills and 12 digs and Avery DeVries’ 36 assists set up Platte-Geddes (32-7). Mataya Ward produced 10 kills and Lily McCarty produced 22 assists for Belle Fourche (27-8).
Saturday: Wagner vs. Belle Fourche, seventh place, 11:30 a.m.; Dakota Valley vs. Platte-Geddes, fifth place, 1:15 p.m.; Elk Point-Jefferson vs. Miller, third place, 5 p.m.; Sioux Falls Christian v Elkton-Lake Benton, Championship, 7 p.m
Warner doesn’t have the recent dominance that Sioux Falls Christian has shown, but the Monarchs have had a dominant Class B program for more than two decades. They improved to 36-2 by quickly finishing off Wolsey-Wessington (29-5) in Friday’s first semifinal.
The Monarchs again had many contributors, including Ava Nilsson (32 assists, 10 digs), Kyra Marcuson (13 kills), Courtney Bjorgaard (11 digs) and Kamryn Anderson (five kills, eight digs and three block assists).
Anderson and her sister Kendyl, and Marcuson and her sister Lauren are each twins to Warner.
“We try our best every year to make it to the championship,” said Kamryn Anderson, 5-10 middle hitter. “We just go out there and play our hearts out.”
The loss ended Wolsey-Wessington’s hopes of winning a state title in his first state volleyball tournament. Lainey Utrecht had 15 digs, Leah Williams had six kills, and 6-4 senior Mallory Miller had six kills, a solo block, and three block assists for the Warbirds.
The second semi-final was closely fought between Chester Area (28-5) and Burke (32-5). After losing the first set 26-24, the Flyers rebounded and won the last three by 25-19, 27-25, and 25-22.
Seniors Serena Larson (four kills, six digs and three block assists) and Kaylor Geraets (25 tackles) are two of the veterans on a team with a slew of young stars including freshman Lily VanHal (23 kills, 20 assists, 13 tackles). and three). Aces), 8th year Jacy Wolf (11 kills), Junior Addison Bates (11 kills) and freshman Emery Larson (21 digs).
“I was a sophomore when I first played in the state,” said Serena Larson, a 5-7 hitter. “It’s been great growing with these girls and watching them grow as the season progresses.”
Kailee Frank amassed 18 kills and 27 digs, Emmie Hausmann 11 kills, and Addisyn Indahl 14 kills, 10 assists and 27 digs for Burke.
Chester Area, also a strong Class B program, won its only state championship in 2015.
“We’re really coming from behind,” said Serena Larson. “I don’t think a lot of people expected us to come here, so we’re just playing for everything we can.”
In Friday’s consolation final, Northwestern defeated Freeman 3-0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-15) and Castlewood defeated Colman-Egan 3-1 (25-18, 17-25, 27-25, 25-178 ). for his first volleyball win in a state tournament in 25 years.
Ella Haven had 25 kills, 12 digs, four aces, a solo block, and three block assists, and Brooklinn Halverson had 33 assists, eight digs, and four aces for Northwestern (28-9). Kate Miller made nine kills and Ashlin Jacobsen 27 digs for Freeman (21-11).
Castlewood (23-8) was led by Emerson Carter with 12 kills, a solo block and three assists; Mackenzie Everson 17 kills and 23 digs; Gracie Haug 38 assists and 22 digs; and Maddie Horn 10 kills and seven digs. Berkley Groos had 10 kills and 22 digs and Lanie Mousel had 25 assists for Colman-Egan (23-11).
Saturday: Freeman vs. Colman-Egan, seventh place, 11:30 a.m.; Northwestern vs. Castlewood, fifth place, 1:15 p.m.; Wolsey-Wessington vs. Burke, third place, 5 p.m.; Warner vs. Chester Area, Championship, 7 p.m