Belle Fourche took control of its match with Custer early, sweeping the Lady Wildcats 25-7, 25-11, 25-15 in the semifinal round of the Region 8A volleyball tournament Thursday at Ed Petranek Armory.
The win propelled the Lady Broncs, 28-3, into the Region 8A championship match versus the Lead-Deadwood-St. Thomas More winner Tuesday in Belle Fourche. The Region 8A champion earns a berth in the State A Tournament in Aberdeen Nov. 21-23.
Belle Fourche enjoyed an early 7-0 edge in the first set. “We’ve been waiting all season to come out and get after it,” said Belle Fourche coach Loree Schlichtemeier. “We did that tonight, coming out ready to play. That’s the best we’ve played all season.”
The Lady Broncs held a 7-1 lead in the second set. Custer closed the gap to 10-5, but Belle then out-pointed the visitors 10-4, claiming a 20-9 advantage.
The two teams were deadlocked at 10, 13 and 14 in the third set. Belle tallied seven straight points. An attack kill by senior outside hitter Fehrin Ward gave the Lady Broncs a 21-14 lead.
Morgan Ham closed out the match with back-to-back ace serves.
“Our serves were huge,” said Schlichtemeier. “We were aggressive.”
Karli Jewett, Ham and Nicole Kling each recorded a trio of aces.
Ham added nine kills, four solo blocks and one assisted block. Liz Day topped the setters with 29 assists. Taylor Gubbrud collected 13 kills and eight digs. Ward had 10 kills and 12 digs. Jewett managed 14 digs.
Five seniors – Jade Spring, Novenna Fierro, Hallie Uhrich, Sierra Davies and Nykyla Malinosky – played their final pep match for the Lady Wildcats, 13-16. Statistics were not available for Custer.