Tanager volleyball team opens season The Vermillion Tanager varsity volleyball team opened its season with a 15-10, 12-15, 15-10 win over the Harrisburg Tigers at home on Monday, Dec. 13.
Carey Engstrom led the Tanagers with 11 points and two service aces, four kills and six digs. Elly Kjose added 8 points and 11 set assists while Melissa Rydell had 8 points and three blocks. Karen Sorensen pounded home six kills and had 11 digs. Jaclyn Powell tallied four kills.
The "B" team won its match 15-11, 17-15 and the "C" team lost a close 5-15, 15-3, 10-15 match to open its season.
"It was a nice win to open the season," said Head Coach Kathy Reckling. "Harrisburg has a scrappy team and we played a little tentative at times. We need to be more aggressive from an offensive standpoint. The "B" team had a solid win in their match and the "C" team showed some great things at times and will continue to improve as we progress through the season."
The varsity Tanagers kept their record undefeated at 2-0 as they pounded Canton 15-5, 15-11 last Thursday, Dec. 16 at the VHS gym.
Lana Johnson had a very good night for the Tanagers, scoring 6 points on her serve, two of which were aces. She also had four digs in the night. Kjose had 6 points on her serve and nine set assists.
Powell and Engstrom each had three kills in the game. Powell and Sorensen each had two blocks in the game. Nancy Heine led defensively with seven digs.
The Tanagers won a close "B" match 16-14, 15-10 and the "C" team won 15-8, 15-8 to make it a clean sweep for the VHS volleyball teams against the C-Hawks.
"We played much more aggressively tonight," Coach Reckling said. "We really got after the C-Hawks in the first game. If we can play like that at all times we can be very good. We just need to be consistent with our play throughout an entire match."
"It was nice to be able to sweep Canton in all three matches," she continued. "I thought our 'B' and 'C' teams showed great improvements. We have some very good, young ladies that are going to help us this season and in future seasons at VHS."
The varsity volleyball team evened its record at 3-3 for the season as they lost three matches and won one match in the Yankton Optimist Invitational Tournament last Saturday, Dec. 18 at the Yankton Summit Center.
The Tanagers lost matches to Huron (10-15, 7-15), Yankton (11-15, 4-15), and Spearfish (11-15, 6-15) in pool play and then defeated Lennox (15-3, 9-15, 15-6) for seventh place in the tournament.
"This was an extremely competitive tournament," said Coach Reckling. "It was undoubtedly some of the best volleyball competition in the state of South Dakota. It was good for us to be able to play against these teams early in the season. It will make us better at the end of the year."
The Tanagers return to action next Tuesday, Dec. 28 as they compete in the third annual Southeast Area Classic in Hartford beginning at 9 a.m. Teams competing in the Classic will be Elk Point-Jefferson, Harrisburg, Lennox, Parkston, West Central and Vermillion.
Vermillion will play Lennox at 9 a.m. Harrisburg at 10 a.m. and West Central at 2 p.m.