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The Wagner volleyball team defeated Parker in the Region 5A finals last Friday night, sending the Red Raiders to the state tournament, starting Thursday. The Red Raiders put together a 30-1 record and were awarded the No. 1 seed in the Class A tournament. Wagner will be matched up against a familiar area team in the first round. No. 8 seeded Winner and Wagner will open the Class A volleyball tournament at noon MST (1 p.m. CST) at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City. Wagner's only loss this year came to a 28-0 Northwestern team in its second match of the season.
The Mitchell Kernels' Kendra Knight was named to the 2008 Eastern South Dakota All-Conference volleyball team Monday. The senior setter was the only first-team selection for the Kernels, but two of her teammates, senior middle-hitter Taylor Overweg and outside-hitter Stephanie Uher each finished their careers with Mitchell on the honorable mention list. "All three that got on it worked hard," Kernels' head coach Deb Thill said. Knight set up hitters on the team such as Overweg and Uher, and she finished the season averaging 7.2 assists per game.
MARION -- Things couldn't get much better for Hurley/Marion's Brad Tunge than they are now. High off of what he calls one of the top moments in his life, the Cobras just won the 9AA state football championship on Thursday. His team took down a previously undefeated Ipswich team, 48-28, in the DakotaDome. "When we went out there, I instantly broke a sweat," Tunge said. "I was pumped and ready to go." Tunge escorted his team to victory.
PARKER -- That final point -- the one that sent the Wagner High School volleyball team to the state tournament -- took just a little longer than normal. The 25th point volley went back and fourth, up and down and into the rafters. As the ball came down, a pass was sent up to Wagner's Jilanne Doom, and she spiked her team to Rapid City. Wagner swept the Parker Pheasants in three games (25-22, 25-16 and 25-18) Friday night in Parker, winning the Region 5A championship. "It was a little stressful," Red Raiders' head coach Amy Tyler said about the final rally point.
VERMILLION -- After two of Avon's seniors went down, running back Earv Archambeau knew he had to step up his game. He had a hand in three of Avon's first four touchdowns, including two rushing scores and a halfback pass to Marshall Cihak in the back of the end zone. He finished with 213 rushing yards and was awarded the Joe Robbie MVP award and the Outstanding Back award for helping Avon rout Gettysburg 37-8 in the 9A state title game Thursday in Vermillion. "I think I stepped it up a little bit," Archambeau said.
VERMILLION -- Already having one game at the DakotaDome under their belts this year, the Avon Pirates have their second game in Vermillion in six days. The 9A championship game between Avon and Gettysburg is scheduled to start today at 2:30 p.m., and the two high-powered offenses should benefit from the turf at the Dome. Avon defeated Sully Buttes in the semifinal round Saturday, 49-14, and Avon head coach Tom Culver said he knew his team's speed would play a factor in the game.
VERMILLION -- After two of Avon's seniors went down, running back Earv Archambeau knew he had to step up his game. He had a hand in three of Avon's first four touchdowns, including two rushing scores and a half back pass to Marshall Cihak in the back of the end zone.
The Mitchell Kernel volleyball team dominated the Huron Tigers in the teams' first matchup of the season. A three-game sweep. In the second meeting, the Kernels took a closer, five-set victory just 20 days ago. On Tuesday night -- the most important matchup between the two teams -- the Tigers finally beat the Kernels. Huron used aggressiveness at the net and a solid defense to take a three-game sweep over the Kernels in the Mitchell High School gymnasium and advance in the playoffs.
PLATTE -- Tears of frustration ran down the faces of many Black Panthers on Saturday night. PGDC's three-month undefeated reign ended when Tri-Valley defeated the Black Panthers 18-0 in the 11B semifinal game. As Tri-Valley knelt the ball down for the final time, the aura of PGDC's home field felt different. Parents seemed to be in shock and awe that someone defeated their Black Panthers. Although a 10-1 season is nothing to be ashamed of, PGDC threw away its hopes of going to the Dome -- Tri-Valley was not the better team.
PLATTE -- A low fluttering spiral skipped off the frozen field and into Platte-Geddes/Dakota Christian's tailback Thad Campbell's arms. The incomplete fourth down pass from quarterback Jordan Johnson late in the fourth quarter finished the Black Panthers' season and crushed any hopes of a miracle come back. PGDC suffered its first and only loss of the season Saturday night to Tri-Valley, 18-0, on a cold 11B semifinal game. "We don't like the feeling to lose," a tearful Johnson said after the loss.