Vermillion places fifth at SE volleyball classic by Jim Prosser The Tanager volleyball team was entered in the eight-school Southeast Area Classic as host on Saturday, Dec. 22.
Varsity pools consisting of: A � Elk Point-Jefferson, Lennox, Wagner and Vermillion; and B � West Central, Harrisburg, Parkston and Redfield.
The meet followed a match play format. Each team played three matches in their pool and then played off to eight places according to each placement in their pool. (Due to a late cancellation, there were only seven teams in the tournament.)
Vermillon�s path to fifth place included a varied up and down trip through the tie breaker criteria.
Game # 1: A 15-8, 5-15, 12-15 loss to Elk Point-Jefferson in the first game portended trouble for the remainder of the meet. Meggie Donnelly led the offense with 9 service points, 23 assists, and 10 digs; Whitney Tolsma had 8 service points, 1 ace, 7 digs, and 4 kills. Tessa Tuetken had 1 block, 1 assist, 6 kills, 4 service points, 1 ace, and 7 digs while Ashley Bjorkman also scored 4 service points, 10 digs, 8 kills, and 1 block.
Game #2 vs. Lennox was a close match but passing as well as great defensive efforts from Sorensen and Bjorkman were keys to the 15-11, 15-10 victory. Karen Sorensen led with 7 SP, 3 aces 17 D, 8 K; Ashley Bjorkman � 1 B, 3 SP, 1 ace, 18 D, 8 K; Meggie Donnelly � 27 A, 3 K, 8 SP, 13 D with 23 assists; and Tessa Tuetken � 1 kill, 7 SP, 2 aces and 9 digs.
Game #3 had critical consequences in the outcome as the Tanagers upended Wagner�s Red Raiders 15-6, 12-15, 15-11 for a three-game victory.
Coach Lenni Billberg commented, �The team really came out flying in this match. Passing continued to really stand out for the Tanagers with extra efforts coming from Bjorkman (17 D) and Sorensen (10 K) again.�
Tuetken led with 11 SP, 5 aces, 6 D, 8 K; Donnelly had 35 A, 6 SP, 1 ace, 6 D, 1 K; Allison Stewart contributed 4 SP, 1 ace, 8 D, 5 K; Bjorkman � 8 SP, 1 ace, 17 D, 7 K; Sorensen � 2B, 10 K, 6 SP,10 D; Tolsma � 1 B, 6 K, 6 SP, 1 ace, 6 D.
The results of play in pool A left three teams tied with 2 win, 1 loss records and the playoff tie breaker criteria had to use the fourth item which put Wagner in the chamionship game, Elk Point-Jefferson in the third place game, and Vermillion in the losers bracket.
Game #4 was anti-climatic as Vermillion obliterated Parkston 15-3, 15-2 as Ashley Bjorkman led the team in 12 digs; Donnelly again led with 28 assists; Stewart and Tuetken each had 9 service points; and Sorensen led in kills with 9.
The final classic results � first place � Wagner def. Harrisburg 15-10, 15-13; third place � West Central def. Elk Point-Jefferson 15-13, 13-15, 15-5; fifth place � Vermillion def. Parkston 15-3, 15-2.