COLMAN – For the first time in school history, the Colman-Egan volleyball team will be playing in a state volleyball tournament. The No. 4 seeded Hawks will face No. 5 seeded Bridgewater-Emery in the Class B State Tournament Thursday in Huron.
The Hawks advanced to State after sweeping Kadoka Area in the SoDak 16. Colman-Egan head coach Abigail Dockter said her team is ready to represent their school for the first time in a State Volleyball tournament.
“We’re very excited [for the State Tournament],” Dockter said. “It’s the first time for our school to make it there. It’s been a goal for our girls these last couple years, so it’s very exciting and we’re very anxious to go there and are ready to play.”
Dockter added that her team will have to manage their nerves if they want to come out on top.
“The biggest thing for our team is that their nerves kind of hurt them sometimes. So especially this year, we’ve talked about making sure to come out and be a team and leave it all out there. For a lot of them it’s their last time and so this game kind of means more. I mean each game in the playoffs was a big deal because you either keep going or you’re done.
“Obviously it’s a big thing for these girls making it for the first time for our school and what not and having this opportunity. But at the same time, I just have to keep reminding them to go out and be the team that they are and do that consistently and not let the nerves kind of take your game away from you. Instead use it as power and be confident in everything you do,” Dockter said.
Colman-Egan went 21-3 this season while the Huskies went 19-2. The two teams were supposed to play in the regular season, but it was canceled due to COVID-19.
“We’re anxious to finally play them,” Dockter said. “I think we’re pretty comparable. They have some strong hitters on the outside. Our blockers are going to have to really get moving and block across the net. They’re pretty scrappy and quick and just smart players. So our girls are really going to have to use our offense so we can get them out of their system as much as possible. … Whichever team shows up and wants it bad enough will be the one that takes it away.”
The Hawks have two players that had over 200 kills or more this season in senior Olivia Baumberger (203) and junior Mackenzie Hemmer (200). Senior Elizabeth Moore led the team in digs with 193 and senior Braiden Westley led CE in assists with 330. Dockter said if her team wants to advance to the State Semifinals they’re going to have to play as a team.
“Our biggest thing is, each one of our girls knows their roles and what they need to do for our team to be successful. So we need to make sure that each of them comes out and plays their best game and work together. Usually our worst games are when our girls aren’t working together. So we have to work together and build each other up and use each one of our girls on the court. That is what will help us be successful,” Dockter said.
Action between the Hawks and Huskies is set to begin at 2 p.m. on Thursday.