Tanager volleyball team opens season with wins

Tanager volleyball team opens season with wins by David Lias The Vermillion Tanager volleyball team defeated Beresford 15-6, 16-4 in competition held Dec. 7 in Vermillion.

The Tanagers were 40 of 50, or 80 percent in serving, with 19 aces. Leading servers were Melissa Gale, 14 of 16 with 9 aces and 13 points; Jana Prasek, 10 of 10 with 6 aces and 7 points; and Amanda Iverson, 7 of 8, with 1 ace and 5 points.

"We pretty much won this match with our serving," said Coach Jody Zeller. "Our percentage was lower than what I would like to see but when they were in they were hard for Beresford to handle."

The Tanagers made 34 of 34 sets, and scored 11 assists. Leading setter was Melissa Gale, with 30 sets and 9 assists.

Attack leaders were Amanda Iverson, who was 12 of 16 with 5 kills; Laura Burcham, who was 6 of 9 with 4 kills; Jana Prasek, who was 2 of 3 with 2 kills; and Melissa Gale, who was 5 of 7 with 2 kills.

Leading blocker was Melissa Rydell with 3 blocks and 1 ace block.

"We did some nice things for our first match of the year," Coach Zeller said. "We can only get better from here.

Harrisburg defeated

The Tanagers upped their season record to 2-0 by defeating Harrisburg at a Dec. 14 away match 15-10, 16-14.

The Tanagers were 43 of 54 in serving, or 80 percent, and made 12 aces. Leading servers were Melissa Rydell, who was 11 of 13, had 6 aces and scored 11 points; Megan Tolsma, who was 9 of 10 and scored 6 points; and Kelly Peterson, who was 4 of 4, had two aces and scored 4 points.

Vermillion was successful in 55 of 56 sets, and completed 17 assists. Leading setter was Melissa Gale who completed 53 of 54 and had 17 assists.

The Tanagers were 54 of 66, or 82 percent, in attacks, and had 20 kills. Attack leaders were Amanda Iverson, 15 of 16 with 10 kills; and Laura Burcham, 13 of 16 with 5 kills.

"We are still learning how to play together as a team," Coach Zeller said. "I was very impressed by our composure in the second game. We were down 8 to 2 and 14 to 9 and we handled the position we were in and came out ahead."

Vermillion made 10 of 14 blocks, and had 4 ace blocks. Melissa Rydell was block leader, with 5 blocks and 2 ace blocks.

"Harrisburg had 7 game points in game two and we held them off time and time again," Zeller said. "Our communication and teamwork really came together in this game."

Vermillion's volleyball squad will participate in the Yankton Invitational Saturday.

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