’Cats scramble for win over Cavaliers

The Custer High School volleyball team played a close match against St. Thomas More Sept. 12 night. The match went to five sets and the ’Cats squeaked by with a win as they won that last set with a score of 15-13. The previous sets were close too, with the ’Cats and Cavaliers alternating wins in each set  (25-19, 20-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-13).
The Wildcats started the game with a sizeable lead, but allowed the Cavaliers to catch up—but not enough to win the set, though.
“We let some of our momentum down and gave them an opportunity to get back into the game. We had a couple areas of the court where we struggled with our coverage and they monopolized on those areas,” said head coach Jill Hohn.
Playing through the five sets with a victory was a test of the team’s mental toughness and focus, Hohn said, which they have been working on all season. She said they had some great offensive plays and were able to scramble for balls they previously would have dropped.
“We have had quite a few matches reach five sets this year and prior to the game had failed to finish them with a win. Being able to perform well in the fifth set was a hurdle we needed to overcome. That was a huge step for us,” said Hohn. “Rachel Miklos had a great game.”
Miklos had 15 kills and six digs. JoJo Larsen had 12 kills, Kylee Pulscher had 26 assists and 13 digs. Kayda Hanis had 11 digs and six aces.
The team’s match against Rapid City Christian (RCC) was also a test of the team’s mental strength, this time facing the intimidation that comes with playing a formidable opponent.
“RCC is a powerhouse.  They continue to get better each year. They have new players this really that have really helped their level of play,” Hohn said. “RCC is a very talented team and are intimidating to play against.  They have an extremely fast offense that took us time to adjust to.”
The Wildcats lost the match in three sets (25-13, 25-14, 25-20).
Still, the loss came with valuable playing time, and allowed the team to hone its skills while learning from their opponent.
“We kept positive attitude. It is not often that we play teams at that level so it was a good opportunity to learn from them,” said Hohn.
On Tuesday, the team played their homecoming week game against Pine Ridge, where Hohn hopes to come in “prepared but not overconfident.”
“Homecoming is an exciting time, but we need to be able to focus on the games and tasks at hand for the week,” Hohn said. “The girls have all been working really hard in practice and we continue to break down parts of our play that need extra attention and have seen growth in those areas.”


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