LEAD —  Lead-Deadwood defeated Custer three sets to one Tuesday night at the Lead-Deadwood High School gym, and reached the second round of the Region 8A volleyball tournament.

The home standing Lady Golddiggers won the first two games 25-20 and 25-14. Custer won the third game 27-25 before Lead-Deadwood won the fourth game 25-21 to secure the match victory.

“We definitely knew where their (Custer) holes were on their defense,” Lady Golddiggers’ head coach Kim Hansen said. “We were just trying to expose that.”

Custer led 18-15 in the first game before Lead-Deadwood gained side out. Raygan Mattson’s block brought the Golddiggers within 18-17.

Mattson served an ace to push the Lady Diggers ahead 20-19. Natalie Janssen’s attacking kill boosted the edge to 21-19.

Kailee Bertrand and Janssen teamed on a block to give Lead-Deadwood the 25-20, first-game win.

The visiting Wildcats led 7-3 in the second game before Lead-Deadwood stormed back for a 15-11 edge. Rebecca Groeger served three aces to highlight a four-point run that extended the Lady Diggers’ advantage to 19-11. 

With Lead-Deadwood ahead 22-14, Anna Campbell recorded an attacking kill and block to highlight a three-point run and secure the 25-14 win.

Groeger served three consecutive aces in the third game as Lead-Deadwood moved ahead 12-7. 

The Golddiggers’ lead reached 21-17 on Hannah Campbell’s attacking kill. Groeger served an ace to make the score 22-17.

The Lady Wildcats battled back and forged 24-24 and 25-25 ties before scoring the final two points for the 27-25 win.

An attacking kill by Mattson and serving ace by Anna Campbell put Lead-Deadwood 11-5 in the fourth game. Hannah Campbell served an ace to make the score 15-10.

Bertrand’s attacking kill in the fourth game gave the Lady Diggers side out and a 22-20 edge. The margin stayed at two points (23-21) before Anna Campbell and Jayna Prince recorded attacking kills to give Lead-Deadwood the 25-21 win and match victory.

Groeger earned Hansen’s praise for efforts that featured seven serving aces.

“She has been our best server the last three years,” Hansen said in describing the senior. “She’s a very humble player, so when you see her get excited on the court, she knows she’s getting her work done.”

Golddiggers’ statistical leaders follow.

Serving: Hannah Campbell 16 for 16 with 1 ace, Rebecca Groeger 26-27 with 7 aces.

Set assists: Kailee Bertrand 27.

Attacking kills: Anna Campbell 16, Bertrand 7, Natalie Janssen 5.

Blocks: Raygan Mattson 2, A. Campbell 2, Janssen 2.

Digs: Blake Mehlberg 30, A. Campbell 27.

Lead-Deadwood will take an 18-11 record into Thursday’s match at top-seeded Hill City. The Lady Rangers, 27-3, had a first-round bye.

Hansen said Hill City boasts a lot of offensive weapons, so Lead-Deadwood’s blocking game will need to excel. 

“We’re going to have to get low defensively and then be quick at the net,” Hansen said.

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