Vermillion's volleyballers concluded their regular season on a positive note last week, defeating regional powerhouse Harrisburg in a marathon five-game match and losing to top district seed Elk Point-Jefferson in a 3-1 match full of close games.
The Tanagers finished at 14-11 and third-seeded in District 8A. They were to open district play Thursday night at No. 2 Dakota Valley at the same time top-seeded EPJ was hosting Beresford. Last night's winners play tonight (Friday) at the higher seed's home court for the district crown and advancement to regional play next Tuesday on this district champ's court.
Vermillion, playing its final regular-season home match, came out red-hot against Harrisburg, winning two straight games, 25-22 and 25-21. The Tigers rallied with a pair of 25-20 wins to force a deciding fifth match. The usual first-to-15-points rule wasn't enough for these two teams, but the Tanagers eventually prevailed, 18-16.
Sierra Allen was again the team's top attacking weapon with 14 kills. Michelle Blythe had 10 kills, Lexi Regnerus nine and Ashley Ouellette seven. Elyse Hughes-Berheim had six service aces.
Molly LeCates and Kylie Fischbach continued their role as the team's top set-up players with 20 and 15 assists, respectively. In the digs category Hughes-Berheim was the team leader with 21, but she had company in that regard with Jenny Bye's 13 digs, Blythe's 13 and Allen's eight.
At Elk Point Friday the Tanagers, after falling 25-20 in the opening game, came back to tie the match with a 25-23 second-game victory. The Huskies then won by 25-18 and 25-21 counts to clinch the match.
Allen was the kills leader for Vermillion with 12. Ouellette had seven, Blythe six and Regnerus six. Hughes-Berheim had three service aces.
LeCates had 16 assists and Fischbach 11. Hughes-Berheim had 20 digs, Jenny Bye 18, Blythe 11 and LeCates 10.