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Rustlers outlast Huskies for 7th place

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Ethan's Jada Plastow (4) goes up for a kill against a pair of Bridgewater-Emery defenders on Saturday at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

RAPID CITY -- Friendly rivals -- Ethan and Bridgewater-Emery -- played one last five-set match this season.

The Rustlers erased a 2-0 deficit and rallied for a five-set win over the Huskies for seventh place at the state volleyball tournament on Saturday. The set scores were 22-25, 18-25, 25-16, 25-19 and 15-10 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

“It’s always competitive,” Ethan coach Stephanie Plastow said. “They like to play each other and obviously both teams like to win. It’s a really tight race. Anybody can win these type of matches where it’s a rivalry type of thing. So you never know what can happen.”

Ethan went 4-0 against the rival Huskies this season, including another five-set marathon win on Oct. 1. Bridgewater-Emery also took a 2-0 match lead in that meeting, but the Rustlers rallied back for the five-set win.

“We didn’t have to do like scouting or anything,” Bridgewater-Emery coach Mary Ernster said about facing Ethan again. “They just know and I mean it’s a big match for our girls. They always want to beat Ethan and we’ve come so close a lot of different times this year.”

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The familiarity between the two schools -- separated by 25 miles -- was on display on the court.

“We knew what everybody did and where to place the ball,” Ethan senior setter Jessica Bartscher said. “They knew where we placed the ball and it’s difficult the fourth time.”

They took turns seizing the momentum through the first four sets, but Ethan captured it in the final set. The Rustlers broke away from a 6-6 tie and closed on a 9-4 run.

“We were pumped up and then we kind of just let them get their confidence back in that third set and after that we couldn’t quite keep up,” Ernster said.

Ethan racked up a whopping 111 digs, with Hannah Bartscher (26) and Jada Plastow (22) leading the way. Jessica Bartscher finished with 51 assists and 13 digs. Plastow smacked 24 kills, while Cameryn Logan put down 23.

The Rustlers will graduate Jessica Bartscher, Plastow and Regan Gerlach from this season’s team.

“I really don’t want to be done,” Jessica Bartscher said. “It makes me really sad, but we have basketball and I’m really excited for that. Volleyball has been amazing this year and the last couple of years.”

The Huskies were led by Haley Schulz with 10 kills. Julia Weber added nine kills and 17 digs. Casey Meyer posted 20 digs, while Kerrigan Schultz added 18 assists and 16 digs.

Related Topics: VOLLEYBALL
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