The Pierre T.F. Riggs Governors volleyball team will play the Brandon Valley Lynx in the first round of the Class AA State Volleyball Tournament at Summit Arena at The Monument in Rapid City on Thursday. Action is scheduled to start at 1:45 p.m. MT.
The Govs (16-5) are the no. 5 seed, while the Lynx (22-9) are the no. 4 seed. The Lynx defeated the Govs 3-1 on Oct. 2 at Riggs Gymnasium in Pierre. This will be the first trip to the State Tournament for the Govs since 2016. Govs coach Tiffany Stoeser told the Capital Journal that the Govs are prepared for Thursday’s match.
“Most things are accomplished by this point,” Stoeser said. “We wanted to get to the State Tournament, so there’s a sense of accomplishment there. We’re one of the top eight, but we want to be one of the big dogs. We want to get in there and compete with the top teams in the state, because we think we can. We’re working on what we can handle, and what we can control.”
The Govs got a chance on Wednesday to get a feel for the court at The Monument. Thursday’s matches will be the first volleyball matches to take place in the venue. On Monday, Stoeser said getting that chance to see the venue beforehand is important.
“It’s a new gym. It just opened this month or last month,” Stoeser said. “We’ll get to see where the scoreboard is, where the benches are, where the out of bounds lines are, and how much room we have between us and the other courts. You need a feel for that kind of stuff beforehand. We’re gonna get our full hour in there, get acclimated and used to that environment so that we’re prepared when we step out there on Thursday.”
Senior Jenna Bush said it’s very exciting to be able to go to the State Tournament in her senior year.
“I’ve had a lot of fun playing with these girls,” Bush said. “I’m really happy we made it this far. I’m feeling really good going into it. We’re preparing a lot in our practices, which are structured so that we play really hard out there on Thursday. I feel really good about it.”
Fellow senior Addison Cumbow echoed her teammate’s sentiments.
“It’s really exciting, because we worked really hard this season,” Cumbow said. “We’ve overcome a lot of challenges. To be able to make it with this team is amazing.”
The Govs are led by junior Avrie Kaiser, who has a team high 277 kills. Junior Remington Price has 141 kills, while sophomore Reese Terwilliger has 116 kills and 82 blocks. Junior Lily Sanchez has 106 kills and 83 blocks. Price, Kaiser and Sanchez all have 33 aces. Sophomore Aleise Christopherson has 235 assists, while senior Addison Cumbow has 219 digs.
The Lynx are led by senior Taylor Stemen, who has 231 kills and 40 aces. Junior Josey Wickersham has 168 kills and 45 aces, while senior Hannah Parliament has 167 kills and 54 blocks. Senior Kazi Ellingson has 149 kills and 35 blocks, while sophomore Mya Hejl has 41 blocks. Senior Liz Kopp rounds out the Lynx with 41 aces, 27 blocks and 712 assists.
Action on Thursday for the Class AA State Tournament is scheduled to start at 12 p.m. MT, with the Govs/Lynx game to follow.