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Burke uses team effort to beat Faulkton Area in consolation final

SIOUX FALLS--Sometimes it's not how a team starts, it's how they finish. Burke High School started the Class B state volleyball tournament in less than ideal circumstances after No. 2 Warner handed the No. 7 Cougars a resounding defeat. After a w...

Burke senior Lahna Matucha spikes a ball past Faulkton Area's Grace Schlechter (4) during the Class B state volleyball tournament consolation final on Saturday at the Premier Center in Sioux Falls. (Nick Sabato / Republic)
Burke senior Lahna Matucha spikes a ball past Faulkton Area's Grace Schlechter (4) during the Class B state volleyball tournament consolation final on Saturday at the Premier Center in Sioux Falls. (Nick Sabato / Republic)

SIOUX FALLS-Sometimes it's not how a team starts, it's how they finish.

Burke High School started the Class B state volleyball tournament in less than ideal circumstances after No. 2 Warner handed the No. 7 Cougars a resounding defeat. After a win over Ethan in the consolation semifinals on Friday, they had chance to close out the weekend on a high against No. 5 Faulkton Area on Saturday in the consolation finals at the Premier Center.

Burke did not leave anything to chance, racing out to a double-digit win in the first set and zipped past Faulkton Area for fifth place, 25-15, 25-22 and 25-20.

"We talked about going in with a goal of finishing better than last year, which was sixth place," Burke head coach Billie Jo Indahl said. "...We really regroup, refocused and we were a totally different team these last two days. They wanted it so much. They really played as a team, it was a team effort and consolation champs feels pretty good right now."

While the Cougars came away with a sweep, there were various points in the match in which Faulkton Area was pressing for a comeback and the set could have gone either way.

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Rather than allow a rally to continue, though, Burke was able to bring it to a halt and regain control to close out the set.

"We knew it was going to be a battle," Indahl said. "We lost to these guys earlier in the season, but we knew we could play well. We matched up really well with them. They've got some big hitters, we've got some big hitters and it came down to blocking at the net."

Burke didn't have a size advantage on the front line, but it managed to use athleticism as the key to the match. Taylee Indahl and Lahna Matucha were able to find holes in the Faulkton's blocking, while Sierra Swan was strong in the middle and Bobbi Jo Wischmann (28 assists) set them up in key situations.

Indahl recorded a match-high 16 kills and seven digs, while Matucha added eight kills and eight digs and Swan added five kills and 2.5 blocks.

"We have a bunch of 5-foot-7 girls that can jump out of the gym, so I'm really proud of them for stepping up and taking those big blocks," Indahl said. "It was just an all-around team effort."

Peyton Melius led Faulkton Area (26-8) with 14 kills and eight digs.

Burke ends the season 31-8.

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