Athlete of the week: Chamberlain’s Wagner leads Cubs to perfect week, conference titleCHAMBERLAIN — Beating Mobridge-Pollock’s volleyball team Saturday will be a memory Kennedy Wagner remembers for a long time.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
CHAMBERLAIN — Beating Mobridge-Pollock’s volleyball team Saturday will be a memory Kennedy Wagner remembers for a long time.
The 5-foot-9 junior setter for Chamberlain High School helped her team win five matches last week. The Cubs (7-2) defeated Todd County and Wessington Springs in straight sets during the week. They also won three straight matches in sweep style to win the Big Dakota Conference tournament title Saturday in Fort Pierre.
In the semifinals at the BDC tournament, Wagner and Chamberlain beat Mobridge-Pollock — which has qualified for three straight Class A state tournaments — 25-22 and 27-25.
“The Mobridge game, we had so much intensity,” Wagner said. “I thought it was by far the best game we’ve had all season.”
Wagner had 10 assists and 15 digs in the match. She finished with 13 digs and seven assists in the championship game over Winner, another tightly contested match the Cubs won 25-23, 26-24.
For her efforts, Wagner has been named The Daily Republic’s athlete of the week, an award that’s voted on by the newspaper’s sports staff.
“Kennedy, being our setter, she’s like a great quarterback for us because she’s in every play,” Chamberlain coach Amy Donovan said. “If she’s not setting, she’s getting a good pass to set something up. Her serves have been great and she’s very consistent.”
Wagner missed only three serves in the BDC tournament. She was 22-of-23 in a win over McLaughlin, 39-of-40 against M-P and 26-of-27 against Winner. She also had nine digs against Todd County Tuesday and nine assists versus Wessington Springs on Thursday to prove her well-rounded characteristics in the sport.
Chamberlain’s two losses on the year are to No. 1-ranked Wagner and Mobridge-Pollock. The Cubs lost to M-P in straight sets in their season-opening match.
But when Chamberlain won in straight sets Saturday, it was the first time the Cubs beat M-P in three years.
“I remember the last time Chamberlain beat Mobridge was when I was an eighth-grader,” said Wagner, who was a BDC all-tournament team selection with teammates Laura Pazour and Alex Pederson. “They’ve been one of our rivals and it was just really fun to watch and then be a part of when we beat them.”
Donovan, whose team is loaded with 11 seniors, said the Cubs’ goal is to make it to the state tournament. To do that, they would have to win District 12A and then potentially meet up with M-P in the region championship.
“We have a shot at the state tournament this year,” Wagner said. “With the way we played last week, I think we can do it.”
Kennedy and the Cubs, who are on a six-match win streak, are in action next Thursday when they host Lyman.