The Madison Bulldogs were inches away from taking down the #1 volleyball team in the state on Thursday, pushing Dakota Valley to five sets before falling at home to the Panthers. Dakota Valley, who has not lost a match to a South Dakota school this season, opened up a 5 point lead quickly in the first set. Madison would rally to tie and eventually take a lead, but the Panthers hung on for a 26-24 win.
In set 2 it was the Bulldogs running out to a fast start before seeing the Panthers rally. Madison eventually hung on for a 28-26 win in the set. The Bulldogs carried the momentum into the 3rd set, never trailing in a 25-19 win. The Panthers then ran away with the 4th set, 25-16, to set up a decisive set five.
Dakota Valley opened the final set with a 4-1 lead, but three serving errors eventually put the Bulldogs up 13-12. Madison junior Abby Brooks appeared to make that a 14-12 lead with a hit to the back line that was initially called in, but then overruled. With the score then tied at 13-13, the Panthers picked up the last two points to win the set, and the match, 15-13.
Brooks led the match with 18 kills and 10 blocks. Kendra Leighton added 14 kills and 23 digs, Grace Nelson had 34 digs and 21 assists for Madison.
The Bulldogs record falls to 14-7, while Dakota Valley improved to 19-1. Madison will take on Wagner this Saturday, at the Chester Classic.