Sioux Falls Washington is a big school and has a big volleyball team. With a frontline that averages over 6’, including a 6’4 middle hitter and a 6’6 outside, they can be intimidating.

In the first game of the match at Dakota Valley Sept. 12, the Panthers did look intimidated. Their hitters struggled with the big Warrior block; Washington servers made short work of the DV passing game. DV lost that game 19-25.

Head coach Mary Miller and assistant coach Lonnie Bermel used the break to remind their hitters to just hit the ball.

“[We] related to the players to go back to the basics and swing the way they were taught and have done 1,000 times,” Bermel said.

He said the players on the bench keeping stats tracked the Washington defense and helped the DV hitters see what was open. It was all downhill after that, as DV won 3 straight games – 25-20, 25-16, 25-19.

See full story in this week’s Dakota Dunes / North Sioux City Times.