The 2019 SDHSAA State Volleyball Championships will begin on Thursday of this week from Rapid City at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. All three days of the event will stream live online at sdpb.org/volleyball with the championship session on Saturday airing live as well on SDPB1-TV.
All thee defending state champions from last year are back at the state tournament again this year, however, none of the champions from 2018 are top seeds at the 2019 event.
Rapid City Stevens swept Sioux Falls Washington 3-0 in the ‘AA’ championship match last year, and this year, the Raiders sit at the No. 7 seed for the tournament. For the ‘A’ championship in 2018, Sioux Falls Christian swept No. 1 seeded Miller, and now for 2019, the Chargers come into the state tournament as the No. 5 seeded team. Warner also enters the state tournament as the No. 5 seed this season. Last year the Monarchs topped rival Northwestern 3-1 for the ‘B’ championship.
Here are the standings for all three state tournaments in 2019.
No. 1 – Watertown
No. 2 – Sioux Falls O’Gorman
No. 3 – Huron
No. 4 – Sioux Falls Roosevelt
No. 5 – Sioux Falls Washington
No. 6 – Sioux Falls Lincoln
No. 7 – Rapid City Stevens
No. 9 – Harrisburg (beat No. 8 seeded Aberdeen Central in SoDak 16)
‘AA’ Bracket - Schedule and Times
No. 1 – Miller
No. 2 – Dakota Valley
No. 3 – McCook Central/Montrose
No. 4 – Winner
No. 5 – Sioux Falls Christian
No. 6 – Groton Area
No. 7 – Madison
No. 8 – Elk Point-Jefferson
‘A’ Bracket - Schedule and Times
No. 1 – Northwestern
No. 2 – Chester Area
No. 3 – Ethan
No. 4 – Faith
No. 5 – Warner
No. 6 – Burke
No. 7 – Faulkton Area
No. 8 – Bridgewater-Emery
‘B’ Bracket - Schedule and Times
Teams To Watch!
A - Sioux Falls Christian is a bit deceiving. They’re 24-9 on the season but have only lost one match to an ‘A’ opponent – Dakota Valley on September 26th. They’ve also had victories in the regular season over No. 3 seeded McCook Central/Montrose, and then the Chargers beat No. 2 seeded Dakota Valley during the second meeting between the two on October 19th.
A - Miller is dangerous as well. They’re making their 11th state tournament appearance in the Linda DeBoer era. Earlier this year, DeBoer recorded her 600th career win. Additionally, the Rustlers have one of the best players in the state on their roster in Kadye Fernholz. Next season Fernholz will take her talents to Manhattan, Kansas to play division one volleyball for Kansas State.
B - Northwestern is one of the best teams in all of South Dakota, which has led to the Wildcats dominating their opponents all year long. Throughout the regular season and playoffs, Northwestern has only lost one set. That’s right – ONE SET ALL YEAR! It was against Miller of Class A. Miller took the first set, and then Northwestern took it from there to win 3-1. Seriously, this may be one of the best Nora Groft coached teams that we’ve seen. Coach Groft’s daughter Madalyn, a future Dakota State Trojan, broke the Northwestern assists record for a career this season with 3,335. Heading into the state tournament, and according to the statistics held by Max Preps, her total sits at 3,465 assists.
AA - Watertown has a ton of experience on this year’s roster – seven seniors and ten juniors. They’ve lost just two matches all year, one was to No. 2 seeded O’Gorman, who they split the regular season series with, and the other one was No. 5 seeded Washington, which was a five-set loss for the Arrows. Also, for Watertown, Minnesota State – Mankato commit Sophie Tietz is really good. Max Preps has her ranked as a top-5 player in all of South Dakota.
AA - O’Gorman, as mentioned previously, split the regular season series with Watertown. On the year, O’Gorman lost only four regular season matches. However, only one was a to a South Dakota ‘AA’ opponent. Three of the losses came on October 12th as part of a St. Michael volleyball weekend in Minnesota. The three losses sustained at the event were to Minnesota teams.