Tanager volleyball team places at Madison Invite

Tanager volleyball team places at Madison Invite by Jim Prosser The Tanager Volleyball team joined in a 12 team invitational tournament at Madison Saturday, Jan. 19.

The schools were assigned to one of four pools, each containing three teams � Pool #1 (Madison, Philip, and Sisseton); #2 (Arlington, Milbank, and West Central); #3 (Dell Rapids, Miller, and Vermillion); and #4 (Hamlin, Lennox, and Tri-Valley).

The Tanagers lost both matches in Pool #3, losing to state #2 ranked Miller 13 � 15, 15 � 3, 11 � 15 ; and Dell Rapids 11 � 15, 15 � 6, 12 � 15. In match #1, leaders for VHS were: Meggie Donnelly � 16 assists, 1 ace, and 5 digs; Ashley Bjorkman � 1 assist, 10 kills, 1 block, 3 aces, and 5 digs; Karen Sorensen � 1 block, 6 kills, 1 ace, and 4 digs; Tessa Tuetken � 5 digs, 2 kills, 1 assist, 1 ace, and 2 blocks.

Whitney Tolsma also had 1 block, 2 kills, 2 aces, and 6 digs; and Allison Stewart was credited with 1 ace and 6 digs.

�We played very well against an excellent Miller team,� said coach Lenni Billberg. �We could have easily won the match. We played poorly in the second match against a team which was not as good as Miller. We were drained emotionally after the first match loss and couldn�t get going,� she said.

Match #2 was a three-game affair against Dell Rapids so stats were numerable. Defensive digs and offensive kills were shared almost equally by the members of the Tanager team. Donnelly scored the most assists with 11, 3 blocks, 2 aces, 7 digs; Bjorkman had 8 aces, 6 digs, and 4 kills; Sorensen had 4 kills and 4 digs. Tolsma had 3 kills, 4 aces, and 8 digs; Tuetken scored 2 aces, 3 kills and 7 digs while Stewart had 4 aces and 7 digs. Dru VanKley recorded a solo block, 5 kills, and 7 digs.

Match #3 paired Vermillion with the loser from Pool #1, Philip and the consolation semi-final match was a short two games as the Tanagers won 15 � 8, 15 � 5. Donnelly with 16 assists, 2 aces, 2 digs, and 1 kill was the leader of the flock. Sorensen had 6 aces, 9 kills, and she also had 3 digs; Ashley Bjorkman had 5 kills, 1 ace and 6 digs. Tuetken recorded 1 block, 4 digs, and 2 kills. Tolsma had 3 kills along with 6 digs; and Stewart was credited with an assist and 3 digs.

�Philip was the poorest of the teams we faced Saturday,� coach Billberg said. �It was nice to get back on track with a win.�

This brought the team to the consolation final against pool #3 semi winner West Central � a two game �screamer� which left the Tanagers being credited with a 10th place finish after winning 15 � 9, and 15 � 10. The leader in assists was, again, Donnelly with 19. She also recorded 2 blocks, 1 ace, and 3 digs. Bjorkman had 1 ace, 9 digs, 1 block and 11 kills. Sorensen had 4 digs and 3 kills. Stewart shared the dig lead with 9 and Tolsma scored 1 block, 1 kill, 1 ace, and 8 digs. Tuetken had a block, 2 kills, 1 ace, and 7 digs; and VanKley recorded a block and 2 kills.

�It was great to finish the day with a good win against a fine West Central team. Our girls now know they can play with anyone if they do things correctly,� coach Billberg said. �Meggie and Karen had a great tournament.�

The team record to date was 15 win, 9 loss, 1 split.

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