The good news is that an exceptionally athletic class of senior girls led the way in putting together an outstanding volleyball season at Vermillion High School. The bad news is that that season ended much more prematurely than they had hoped.
The Tanagers worked all season to compile the best record in District 8A – 15 wins in all – to earn home-court advantage for the district tournament. But that edge disappeared in a hurry Tuesday night when Beresford swept Vermillion, 3-0, in their semifinal match, bringing an abrupt end to the Tanager season.
Vermillion stayed competitive throughout the close match, and when the Tanagers found themselves down two sets to none after 25-16 and 25-21 losses, it was nothing new. Twice in the past two weeks the Tanagers had rallied from 2-0 holes to win 3-2 victories, and one of those came over Beresford.
But this time the Watchdogs didn't let it happen again. Beresford captured the third set, 25-22, to end the match and the Vermillion season with a 15-9 record. Meanwhile, Beresford, with a record of only 12-14 and the fourth seed in the district, advanced to the championship match last night (Thursday) at defending champion Elk Point-Jefferson's home court. EP-J swept Dakota Valley, 3-0, in Tuesday's other semifinal.
In the Tanagers' match Katie Herrera had six kills, two digs and three blocks. Kylie Fischbach posted two kills, 10 digs, 10 set assists and a service ace. Lizzy Bye compiled 16 digs and two kills.
Seniors who saw their volleyball careers come to a halt were Emily McClelland, Bye, Fischbach, Jonna Lynch, Sami Girard, Bailey Carlson, Lexi Regnerus, Beth Szymonski and Kelly Amundson.
The Tanagers ended their regular season with a 3-0 loss at Elk Point-Jefferson last Thursday, dropping sets by 15-25, 18-25 and 20-25 scores. Amundson had five kills, Bye 20 digs and four kills, Val Moos 15 digs and two aces, Regnerus three kills, Girard six set assists and eight digs, Blair Gilkyson seven digs, McClelland six digs and Fischbach nine set assists, nine digs and three block assists.