Historic sweep: Cougars capture opening round victory against Ethan
RAPID CITY -- School history was going to be made by either Burke or Ethan on Thursday.
The Cougars and Rustlers were both searching for their first opening round victory at a state volleyball tournament.
After a 3-0 sweep, it was Burke that claimed its first-ever opening round win at state by the set scores of 25-20, 25-15 and 26-24 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
“It feels amazing,” Burke senior libero/outside hitter Lainee Schonebaum. “It’s our third straight year going to state. I am just so happy. I don’t know how to express my feelings.”
Burke (33-5) rode the hitting of Schonebaum (16 kills) and Taylee Indahl (15) to earn the elusive opening-round victory.
“The last couple of years we had to come out and face Warner right off the bat,” Burke coach Billie Jo Indahl said. “We played Ethan last year and we matched up really well. We felt pretty good about them coming in. We felt we matched up pretty well and we thought it would be a great match.”
The set scores weren’t indicative of the intensity of the match, but a few extra runs by the Cougars propelled them to victory.
“We do talk about that a lot, limiting runs and things,” Ethan coach Stephanie Plastow said. “They are a very tough serving team and our serve receive was just not up to par.”
After falling behind 2-0 in the match, the Rustlers (27-7) had one last-gasp effort in the third set. It was evened up at 24-24, but the Cougars recorded two points to complete the sweep.
“I think we had more confidence going in and we just kind of feel like home because we’ve been here and so it just felt good,” Schonebaum said.
The Cougars finished with six aces, with Indahl and Bobbi Jo Wischmann both recording two apiece. Burke also racked up 64 digs, with Wischmann leading the way with 17 and also 25 assists.
“I said it’s going to come down to defense and I think it did,” Billie Jo Indahl said. “If we could just keep attacking the ball and keep it on our side, then things were going to go well and I felt like our defense was really good. They really stepped up and really did well against their big hitters.”
Jada Plastow led Ethan with 14 kills, while Cameryn Logan added 12 kills and 13 digs. Hannah Bartscher added 16 digs and Jessica Bartscher dished out 28 assists.
Ethan plays No. 2 Chester Area at 3:45 p.m. Central time Fridy in the consolation semifinals.
Taylee Indahl added 14 digs, while sister Adisyn Indahl posted 11 digs. The Cougars will play No. 7 Faulkton Area in the championship semifinals at 7:15 p.m. Central time Friday in the championship semifinals.