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Redfield gets offensive to fuel win over Bulldogs

Redfield’s Gracie Fast (4) hits the ball past Milbank Area’s Rylie Overby, center, as the Pheasants’ Chloe Zens, far left, looks on during Thursday night’s Region 1A semifinal match at the Roncalli High School gym. Photo by John Davis taken 11/3/2022

Redfield came out aggressive and on the attack Thursday night.

The Pheasants never trailed in the first two sets, then fought back in the third to record a 25-21, 25-21, 25-20 Region 1A volleyball victory over Milbank Area at Roncalli Gym.

“That’s probably the most complete match we’ve played,” said Redfield coach Joel Osborn. “We always know there’s going to be runs by both teams, but we did a good job of sustaining and understanding that they’re going to make run, but we just have to battle back. We did a good job of that tonight.”

Redfield built a 9-2 lead in the opening set only to have the Bulldogs battle back to tie the score at 17-17. The score remained close before the Pheasants scored five of the last six points to secure the opening set.

Redfield was able to open an 18-10 lead in the second set and close that one out for a two-set lead.

Milbank Area led for a good share of the third set, including an 18-16 advantage near the end. However, the Pheasants closed with a flurry, scoring six of the last seven points to finish off the sweep.

“They just kept attacking, attacking, attacking,” said Milbank Area coach Nancy Hoeke, “and then when we back up where we find those angles, they throw in a tip, so it’s hard to know what to do.”

The Pheasants didn’t do too much tipping. They came out aggressive from the start and hammered down balls with authority throughout the match.

“We talked about that,” Osborn said. “At times you’re going to get tip points, but tips don’t win you matches. Being aggressive does, and I think we did a good job for sure.”

The sweep was a big contrast from an earlier match when the Pheasants edged Milbank Area in five sets.

“The first time we played them I think we were just really nervous,” said Redfield senior Gracie Fast. “This time we came in more confident and that really helped us out.”

Katie Rozell had 13 kills to lead the Pheasants and Fast followed with a dozen. Camryn Rohlfs led the team with four aces and also had 36 set assists, including her 2,000th career assist.

“She’s been our main setter for three years,” Osborn said. “She always works hard. She wants to win. She has the competitive edge about her.”

Redfield’s Camryn Rohlfs, center, sets the ball as teammate Katie Rozell, right, looks on during Thursday night’s Region 1A semifinal match against Milbank Area at the Roncalli High School gym. Photo by John Davis taken 11/3/2022

Fast has been the recipient of many of those Rohlfs assists through the years.

“I love having her as a setter,” Fast said. “She really knows where to put the ball for me to be able to put it away.”

Rachel Schulte led Milbank Area with nine kills and 14 digs. Averie Engebretson had a match-leading six aces to go along with 21 set assists and 10 digs.

The Bulldogs finished their season with a 19-11 record.

“I’m real happen with the season,” Hoeke said. “It was 2016 since we had a record like this.”

Redfield, 19-12, moves on to the SoDak 16 on Tuesday where it will face defending State A champion Sioux Falls Christian.

“We just have to stay confident and work together,” Fast said.

Serving: Milbank Area 52-61 7 aces (Averie Engebretson 11-14 6 aces, Riley Overby 7-10 1 ace); Redfield 70-74 5 aces (Camryn Rohlfs 18-19 4 aces).

Hitting: Milbank Area 94-110 27 kills (Rachel Schulte 25-30 9 kills, Claire Snaza 17-21 5 kills, Overby 16-19 4 kills); Redfield 85-99 38 kills (Katie Rozell 29-31 13 kills, Gracie Fast 23-25 12 kills).

Setting: Milbank Area 96-98 25 assists (Engebretson 84-86 21 assists); Redfield 91-94 36 assists (Rohlfs 83-85 36 assists).

Digs: Milbank Area 50 (R. Schulte 14, Engebretson 10, Hallie Schulte 10); Redfield 72 (Chloe Zens 18, Fast 17).

Blocks: Milbank Area 4 assists (R. Schulte 1, Casside Seezs 1, Overby 1, Isabella Anderson 1); Redfield (Annie Smith 3 assists).

Records: Milbank Area 19-11; Redfield 19-12.

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