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Platte-Geddes takes down Hamlin in SoDak 16 match defined by runs

After dropping the first set, Platte-Geddes took the next three to advance to the Class A state tournament

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Patte-Geddes' Regan Hoffman tips the ball over as Hamlin's Gracelyn Leiseth (left) and Kami Wadsworth (right) go for a block during a SoDak 16 match on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Salem.
Zech Lambert / Mitchell Republic
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SALEM, S.D. — One big run in a match full of of them pushed Platte-Geddes back to the state tournament.

Down 2-1 in the match, eighth-seeded Hamlin erupted at the start of the fourth set and jumped out to a 10-2 lead, which ballooned to a 13-4 advantage, but the ninth-seeded Black Panthers scored 13 of the next 14 points to come all the way back and take a 17-15 lead, eventually finishing off the set and the match to punch their ticket to the state tournament. Set scores were 16-25, 25-10, 25-16 and 25-21.

“I’m really happy that we made it,” Platte-Geddes setter Avery DeVries said of qualifying for the state tournament. “This is the goal that everyone wants and so it was super awesome that we made it.”

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Platte-Geddes' Avery Devries sets the ball against Hamlin during a SoDak 16 match on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Salem.
Zech Lambert / Mitchell Republic

The trip to the Class A state tournament comes on the heels of the Black Panthers’ 2021 trip to the Class B state tournament in which they were the No. 1 seed and finished in third place.

During the 13-1 run, Hamlin took a timeout after the first four points Platte-Geddes scored to make it 13-8 and coach Melissa Johnson used that opportunity to keep her girls fired up.

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“We were coming back and we were playing well but I just told them, ‘We have to get angry right now, we have to get mad and just hit the ball like we’re hitting it,’” Johnson said. “I was just trying to light a fire under them and have them finish because they were hitting well and just to continue that.”

Hamlin dominated the first set against the Black Panthers, forcing Platte-Geddes to take two timeouts en route to a 25-16 win. But the Black Panthers answered back in the second set with their first big run of the match, storming out to a 9-2 lead and eventually securing a 25-10 set win.

“I just said that we were making a lot of errors and they weren’t and we had to switch that,” Johnson said of the first set. “We had to be the ones playing great volleyball, bettering the ball, getting it to target and getting them out of system. I felt like we did that after the first set.”

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Platte-Geddes' Cadence Van Zee tips the ball over the net against Hamlin during a SoDak 16 match on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Salem.
Zech Lambert / Mitchell Republic

Platte-Geddes kept the momentum from the second set and turned it into an 8-0 start to the third set before Hamlin answered with a 7-2 run of its own, forcing Platte-Geddes to take a timeout. After surrendering another point out of the timeout, the Black Panthers mounted a 13-5 run to put the set out of reach and take a 2-1 lead in the match.

Karly VanDerWerff was the leader for the Platte-Geddes’ attack, posting a match-high 23 kills to go along with 11 digs, six blocks, an assist and a service ace.

“She was very on tonight,” Johnson said of VanDerWerff.

Cadence Van Zee chipped in 12 kills, 16 digs, a block, two aces and two assists, while Regan Hoffman added 11 kills and 10 digs for the Black Panthers and DeVries picked up 44 set assists and three aces.

For Hamlin, Ally Abraham posted a team-best 21 kills with two solo blocks and a block assist. Kami Wadsworth contributed 37 assists in the loss.

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Hamlin’s season comes to a close at 26-5 with the loss. The Black Panthers moved to 27-7 with the win and are slated as the seventh seed in the Class A state tournament, taking on Miller in the first round at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17 in the Premier Center in Sioux Falls.

“It was so relieving,” DeVries said of the feeling after the match-clinching point. “We were all just super nervous, especially after the first set. So once we won and we were done with it we were just super excited.”

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Platte-Geddes celebrates after winning the match against Hamlin during a SoDak 16 match on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Salem.
Zech Lambert / Mitchell Republic

Zech Lambert is a sports reporter for the Mitchell Republic. He graduated from Penn State University in May 2022 and began at the Mitchell Republic in July 2022. He can be reached at zlambert@mitchellrepublic.com or on Twitter @Zech_Lambert.
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