Hawks take SoDak 16 win Back to State B

Colman-Egan players Karissa Williams (12), Aleigha Lange (3) Anna Zwart (1) and Kaylee Voelker (8) cheer on a point as head coach Abigal Docter looks on at right

WATERTOWN – For the third straight season, Colman-Egan has qualified for the Class B State Volleyball Tournament. The Hawks made quick work of Herreid/Selby Area on Tuesday night with a 3-0 sweep in the SoDak 16.
“It feels great [to be going back to State],” said Colman-Egan head coach Abigail Dockter. “It kind of doesn’t feel real yet, but it’s a great feeling. It’s something we worked hard for, so it’s kind of just a feeling of relief that it’s finally set in stone.”
The Hawks got out to a fast start, winning the first set 25-16. C-E then took control in the second set as it won 25-8 and they sealed the sweep with a 25-13 win in the third set.
Dockter said her team did a great job moving the ball out of the back row and setting up their offense.
“We’ve really struggled with our coverage in our back row and just getting passes and allowing our offense to get going. Tonight, it was like night and day with some of our previous games. We covered the floor really well and our passes were much better and more consistent when they needed to be, which allowed us to really use our offense time and time again. I think that really helped us overall,” Dockter said.
Berkley Groos had 13 digs and five kills for the Hawks. Kadance Landis had 10 kills and Kaylee Voelker had 16 digs. Lanie Mousel and Ava Mousel each had 15 assists. Daniela Lee had 13 digs and Brynlee Landis had five kills. Elaina Rhode had five kills and four blocks and Abby Rhode had four blocks.
The Hawks are now 23-9 on the season and Dockter said as they enter the State Tournament, she feels like they’re playing their best volleyball.
“I think [we’re playing some of our best volleyball] and the State Tournament just brings the sort of energy and the sort of motivation for these girls that you don’t see every single game during the regular season. It’s fun and it’s a very fun time to be playing. We’re very fortunate that we’re able to play three more games and I’m excited to see what happens and how well we play and compete,” Dockter said.
Colman-Egan was runner-up at last year’s State Tournament as the Hawks were swept by Warner in the State Championship. There are eight upperclassmen on the team and Dockter thinks that the experience her team gained last season at State will help them as they head into this year’s tournament.
“Every year is different, and you have different girls, but most of the girls that I have right now played [in the State Tournament] last year. So, one nice thing, and we talked about it from the beginning, is that we’ve played in huge games. Last year, our region championship was a huge game and it was close and went into five sets. Our first round and second round at State were very neck-and-neck games and we pulled through and won them. So, they’ve all had the experience of playing in these huge matches where there’s pressure and you have to figure out how to get the win, and I feel like that will hopefully be to our benefit,” Dockter said.
Colman-Egan will be the No. 6 seed in this year’s tournament and will take on No. 3 Chester Area (26-5). The Flyers swept the Hawks in their lone meeting this season. Dockter said that the Hawks will need to distribute the ball on the front line if they want to pull the upset.
“I think something that we’ve been doing a lot better job of is moving the ball better across our front row and not just going to one-person time and time again. We’ve really moved it around to all three spots, which allows us to change it up and it makes the defense have to move a little bit. … If we do that, I think it really helps our chances [to make a run in the State Tournament],” Dockter said.
The match between the Hawks and the Flyers will be at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17 at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls. The other quarterfinal matchups include No. 1 Warner vs. No. 8 Freeman, No. 4 Northwestern vs. No. 5 Wolsey-Wessington and No. 2 Burke vs. No. 7 Castlewood.

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