District tourney loss ends Tanager volleyball season

Vermillion's volleyball season ended last Thursday when the Tanagers dropped a semifinal match in the District 8A tournament to Dakota Valley.

The Panthers got momentum with a narrow cliffhanger of a win, 25-23, in the match's first game.  They rolled in the second game, 25-9, and kept the Tanagers at bay in the third game, 25-18, to advance to the finals and end the VHS season.

Sierra Allen had six kills and 15 digs for Vermillion with Michelle Blythe contributing four kills and 11 digs.

Coach Lenni Billberg's team nevertheless had a winning record this season of 14-12, including an 8-2 home record.  They also swept to the Big 8 Conference championship with a perfect 4-0 record against league opponents West Central, Madison, Lennox and Harrisburg.

Four Tanager athletes earned all-conference recognition, including Sierra Allen, Jenny Bye and Elise Hughes-Berheim on the first team and Lexi Regnerus on the honorable mention list.

In season-long statistics compiled by Billberg and her statisticians, Jenny Bye and Hughes-Berheim were the leaders in diving all over the court for digs.  Bye had 306 and Hughes-Berheim 280.  Sierra Allen had 183, Michelle Blythe 165, Molly LeCates 131, Lizzie Bye 77, Ashley Ouellette 76, Lexi Regnerus 57 and Kylie Fischbach 34 digs.

Allen had 70 total blocks, Regnerus 66, Ouellette 46, Fischbach 30, Blythe 23 and Jenny Bye 13.

On offense Allen was the kills leader for Vermillion with 208, followed by Blythe's 142, Ouellette's 105, Regnerus's 101, Jenny Bye 87, Lizzie Bye 53 and Fischbach 15.

Hughes-Berheim with 35 and Allen with 34 were the leaders in service aces.  Ouellette recorded 27, Jenny Bye 21, LeCates 17 and Blythe 15.

LeCates with 367 and Fischbach with 199 were the Tanagers' assist leaders.

In addition to those listed among the statistics leaders, other members of the VHS varsity this fall were Megan Chickering, Emily McClelland, Jana Bye, Sarah Szymonski, Sami Girard and Beth Szymonski.

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