Christian looking to return to state tournament

The Rapid City Christian volleyball team reached the Class A state tournament last season for the first time in school history ... and that experience and resulting expectations have created something a little different for head coach Elizabeth Kieffer's squad.

The Comets knocked off St. Thomas More in last season's SoDak 16 to reach the state tournament in Sioux Falls ... but if Christian wants to do the same this year they'll have to navigate a region that includes a More squad that just swept Christian last week but also the No. 5 team in the state, current No. 1 seed and undefeated Hill City Rangers. Christian lost a key piece from last season's team in Kayla Clewley, a force at the net, but the Comets are banking on experience and hard work to help them again this season.

Kieffer said, "It was a huge accomplishment for our school to get to state last year. It motivated not only our players but I think the whole entire school. We felt very blessed for that opportunity to compete and, yes, to see what East River brings to the table which is huge and there's a lot out there. I think we learned a lot going to state, we didn't really end up how we would have liked to but just getting there was a huge step and this year we hope to build on that."

Morgan said, "Knowing that we have to keep pushing ourselves to be the top team and that's kind of how it was last year. We didn't have the perfect record, we weren't undefeated but we knew we were going to have to play our hardest to stay on top at the very end when it counted the most."

This year's combined state volleyball tournament will be held right here in Rapid City from November 21st through the 23rd.