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Dakota Valley turns back Hamlin

Hamlin’s Kami Wadsworth, right, hits the ball as Dakota Valley’s Jorja Van Den Hul, far left and Madeline Stout, center, defend the net during Thursday’s Class A match at the South Dakota State Volleyball Tournament in Rapid City. Looking on for Hamlin are Addison Neuendorf, left and Lily Smith, back center. Photo by John Davis taken 11/18/2021

RAPID CITY – The Hamlin Chargers got the chances they wanted, they just weren’t quite able to convert them.

Hamlin pushed perennial power Dakota Valley hard before coming up short 29-27, 25-21, 25-15 in the opening round of the Class A State Volleyball Tournament at The Monument Thursday night.

“We obviously put ourselves in position,” said Hamlin coach Ashley Heinrich, “we just couldn’t seal the deal, unfortunately.”

The Chargers had multiple set points in the opening set, but lost in extra points. They also were within reach in the second set before Dakota Valley took control.

“We just kind of made some unforced errors and they kind of capitalized on that,” Heinrich said. “I think in the third set, we just gave it everything we had in the first two sets and just couldn’t quite come back in that one.”

Ally Abraham finished with a dozen kills to lead the Chargers. Jorja Van Den Hulll had 13 kills for the Panthers.

Heinrich was pleased with her team’s effort against what she called the toughest opponent her squad has faced this season.

Hamlin’s Gracelyn Leiseth, left and Ava Prouty, right, defend the net as Dakota Valley’s Madeline Stout, center, hits the ball during Thursday’s Class A match at the South Dakota State Volleyball Tournament in Rapid City. In the background at right for Hamlin is Alyssa West. Photo by John Davis taken 11/18/2021

“Coming into this game, I told them that I was going to be proud of them no matter what. I just wanted them to put themselves in a position where they had a chance to win and they did absolutely that,” Heinrich said. “They played a really, really good volleyball game and there’s nothing to be upset about there, for sure.”

Hamlin, 26-7, takes on Elkton-Lake Benton in consolation round action at 1:45 this afternoon.

Heinrich is expecting another quality match.

“We’re excited for it. I know it’s going to be a good game,” Heinrich said. “Hopefully, we come out with the same kind of fire and passion that we did tonight.”

Serving: Hamlin 6 aces (Grace Everson 2, Ellyana Prouty 2, Ally Abraham 1, Payton Weelborg 1); Dakota Valley 4 aces (Sophie Tuttle 2, Reagan VanRooyan 1, Logan Miller 1).

Hitting: Hamlin 30 kills (Abraham 12, Kami Wadsworth 7, Gracelyn Leiseth 5); Dakota Valley 44 kills (Jorja Van Den Hul 13, Tuttle 11, Madeline Stout 8).

Setting: Hamlin 28 assists (Everson 12, Wadsworth 9); Dakota Valley 41 assists (Miller 39).

Digs: Hamlin 59 (Alyssa West 14, Everson 11, Prouty 11, Wadsworth 9); Dakota Valley 61 (Sammi Archer 18, Kate VanRooyan 13, Tuttle 12).

Blocks: Hamlin 6 assists (Abraham 3, Prouty 2, Wadsworth 1); Dakota Valley 6 assists (Stout 2, Tori Schulz 2, Van Den Hul 1, Miller 1).

Records: Hamlin 26-7; Dakota Valley 27-8.

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