RAPID CITY — The Miller Rustlers defeated the Parker Pheasants 3-2 in five sets for an exciting seventh place match Saturday morning at the Civic Center in the Class A State Volleyball match.
Set scores for Miller, now with 26-5 on the season were 17-25, 25-17, 25-21, 23-25 and 16-14.
Parker took an early lead in the first set with a rapid start. Raelin Jurgens sent Miller into a timeout at a score of 8-4.
VonnaGail Schlechter came in for the Rustlers with a kill before Kadye Fernholz hit triple kills. Grace Leberman played to keep the lead with a pair of kills for the Pheasants at a 19-13 score. The Rustlers did not manage to keep up in the first set, but a Schlechter kill and a pair of net calls on the Pheasants sent them into a late timeout at 23-17 to Parker for a quick rally before they came back to win 25-17.
The second set was dominated by the Rustlers, who caught fire with a seven point lead at 10-3, which sent the Pheasants into an early timeout. Karley Peters came in with an ace for Parker, but a combination of too many errors and Miller kills kept their heads under water in the second set. Fernholz sent the Pheasants into a timeout with a pair of kills to make the Ruslter’s lead 18-14, before a kill by Rachel Oligmueller blasted the Rustlers into a 23-17 lead, ending the set at 25-17.
Set three began with the Rustlers eager to take another win with four early points, but the Pheasants caught up to tie the score at 5-5. From there the lead was passed back and forth, both teams fighting hard for the win. Jurgens and Hannah Viet put the Pheasants in the lead at 8-6. Schlechter answered with a kill for the Rustlers before a timeout at 11-8. Miller caught fire after their timeout and tied the score up at 11-11, which sent the Pheasants into time out. A pair of kills from Fernholz and a point from Karly Beckett pushed the Rustlers to set point at 24-21, with the winning kill from Schlechter, which put the Rustlers up two sets to one.
The Pheasants were eager to take the fourth set to keep the game going in a fifth. With a pair of kills from Viet and a point from Jurgens, the Rustlers were sent into a timeout with Parker in the lead at 11-8. Annie Keeter and Fernholz grabbed points for Miller to bring the score up to a tie at 12-12. The score stayed close as both teams raced to the win. Schlechter sent the Rustlers into the lead at 19-17. A pair of kills from Jurgens tied up the score again at 19-19.
With a 3-0 run by Parker, Grace Leberman put the Pheasants into the lead at 21-19, which brought Miller to their last timeout of the set at a two-point loss. The score was tied up at 22-22 when Keeter caught a point for Miller, but Parker took the fourth set with a point from Leberman at 25-23.
The fifth set began with double points from Fernholz, and a kill from Schlechter, Miller up 5-1. Viet answered for the Pheasants with a much needed pair of kills to make the score 6-3. At a 9-4 lead, Parker took their final timeout of the game after being shook by triple points from Schlechter. The Rustlers had a three-point run, which brought the lead to 12-5, but the Pheasants were eager to stay alive and edged their score to within two at 12-10 in favor of Miller. Coming back from a Rustlers’ timeout, the Pheasants rallied their way into the lead with a seven-point run, before Beckett put Miller to match point at 14-13, but a net call tied them up at 14-14. Fernholz claimed seventh place for Miller, 16-14, with a pair of kills at the end of the fifth set.
The Rustlers’ leading player was Fernholz with 26 kills and 19 digs. Schlechter hit 15 kills and 21 digs, while Oligmueller made 50 assists. Beckett made two aces and 27 digs, while Schaefers hit three kills and one ace.
The Pheasants were led by Viet with 22 kills, while Jurgens hit 19 kills, followed by Leberman with 18 kills and 21 digs. Even made 61 assists for Parker.
PHOTO CREDIT TO S.D. PUBLIC BROADCASTING
Miller’s VonnaGail Schlechter passes the ball during the seventh-place match on Saturday in the Class A State Volleyball Tournament at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City.