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GREGORY — Jayd VanDerWerff is trading his Gregory red in for Jackrabbit blue. The talented Gorilla football standout said Monday that he will play football at South Dakota State University, accepting a preferred walk-on offer from the Jackrabbits. VanDerWerff, who was Gregory's most versatile player on back-to-back state championship teams and three of the last four Class 9AA title teams, told The Daily Republic it was a tough decision between the two Football Championship Subdivision schools in the state: picking SDSU over the University of South Dakota.
RAPID CITY—As the No. 8 seed in the Class A volleyball bracket, McCook Central/Montrose was an underdog in the state tournament. And the Fighting Cougars blew expectations out of the water by finishing in fifth place in Class A, defeating Sioux Valley in four sets to cap a successful state tournament for the Fighting Cougars at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City. Set scores were 27-25, 25-17, 15-25 and 25-22.
RAPID CITY—After two days of struggles at the state tournament, the Mitchell High School volleyball team got back to what they've done so much of this season: winning. The Kernels took out their frustrations on Sioux Falls O'Gorman, sweeping the Knights in three sets 27-25, 25-19 and 25-15, claiming seventh place at the Class AA state volleyball tournament at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City. The Mitchell campaign ends at 21-6 on the season in the Kernels' first state appearance since 2012.
RAPID CITY—Hanson coach Yolanda Price had to do something she rarely does Friday afternoon. After an uninspired effort in the first set against Faith in the Class B state consolation semifinals, Price had to motivate her team with a fiery message in the team huddle. And it worked. Hanson played more like the team Beaver fans have seen all season and won the next three sets to get past the Longhorns at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and into the fifth-place match today. Set scores were 23-25, 25-15, 25-17 and 25-18.
RAPID CITY—Mitchell's time at the Class AA state volleyball tournament didn't get any better Friday afternoon. The Kernels had spurts of strong play but could never get over the hump provided by Mitchell's rival Huron, as the Tigers got picked off the Kernels for the second time this season. Huron won the final two sets and the match in four frames in the consolation round match at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, winning 25-22, 22-25, 25-15 and 25-20.
RAPID CITY -- In a season in which so much has gone the Kernels’ way, a win was not in the cards for the Mitchell High School volleyball team Thursday. Second-seeded Mitchell led 2-1 after three sets but saw a young and lengthy Sioux Falls Washington team rally to win sets four and five to pull off the upset, as the seventh-seeded Warriors took down the Kernels in the Class AA state quarterfinals Thursday at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City.
RAPID CITY—The Hanson High School volleyball team wasn't itself Thursday afternoon. And Herreid/Selby Area took full advantage in the Class B state quarterfinals. The fifth-seeded Wolverines claimed the third and fourth sets for a 3-1 win over the fourth-seeded Beavers at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City. Set scores were 25-14, 18-25, 25-21, and 25-17.
The message has been pretty simple for the Mitchell High School volleyball team in the run-up to the Class AA state tournament. "Play like we know you can," Mitchell coach Deb Thill said. "It's the state tournament but coaches can't give too much information, because you get the kids thinking too much and we just need them to play." Mitchell (20-4), seeded second in the Class AA bracket, begins its march to a possible state title tonight, with an 8:45 p.m. Central match against No. 7 Sioux Falls Washington (20-13) at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
By seed, there were no upsets in the Class AA volleyball state-qualifying Round of 16 on Nov. 9, as all eight higher-seeded teams advanced. What exactly that means for the state tournament this week in Rapid City is unknown. But it seems to point a solid state tournament field this week at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Mitchell coach Deb Thill said she expects a competitive tournament but not too much different from previous versions of the eight-team tournament.
With 20 wins in the team's back pocket heading the Class AA state tournament, the Mitchell High School volleyball team has had a memorable season. Here's five matches that have helped to define the Kernels' season to date. Aug. 22 win over Aberdeen Central