The Rapid City Central volleyball team will attempt to reach the Class AA state tournament for the first time since 2013 when they take on Sioux Falls Lincoln in the SoDak 16 tomorrow night. For the Cobblers to spring the upset they'll lean heavily on a player who has been a leader since the day she first stepped on the court.
Rapid City Central senior Rhiannon Nez's high school volleyball career is coming to a close ... but her impact on the Cobbler program is one that will be felt for years to come ...
Deming said, "She's just an all-around person. She's a great student. She's very compassionate. She cares about other people an all-around person. On the court she's our leader, she steps it up and brings everybody along with her. She's just one of those kids that you'd like to have for your own daughter."
Nez's explosiveness in the middle of the Cobblers lineup has been a huge key to basically everything the team has done over the past few seasons, but her coach says the impact the Chadron State signee has had on the program goes far beyond the volleyball court.
Deming said, "She's leaving a lot behind. She is a phenomenal middle hitter but it's the other part of her that she's going to leave behind, the good teammate, the effort that she puts out and just her attitude on the court and off the court ... that's what will be missed with her."
Nez credits her coaches and in particular her mother, Priscilla, and older sister, Shanoa, with setting an example for her to reach while also helping her through the ups and downs that go with being an athlete.
Nez said, "Definitely my coaches have been a big part of that and so has my family my mom has definitely pushed her goals aside to help me fulfill my goals of playing volleyball in college."
Those ups have translated into a scholarship to play at Chadron State ... and Nez looks forward to the next step, even as she already misses the camaraderie of her Cobbler teammates.
Nez said, "It makes me really sad but I'm happy ... its like a bittersweet feeling. I'm happy to be going to college and be starting a new life but I'm sad that I've spent my four years here."
As one might expect from a player called a compassionate leader by her coach, Nez has some simple advice for future generations of Cobblers.
Nez said, "Stay really close with your teammates because that really makes or breaks you winning games, yeah, just staying close and make sure that you include everyone if you go do things because this definitely isn't an individual sport. It's a team sport."
Congratulations to this week's Athlete of the Week, Rapid City Central senior Rhiannon Nez.>
The Black Hills State women's basketball team has opened its season with a 2-0 record ... tonight the Yellow Jackets hosted another group of Yellowjackets as Montana State Billings came to Spearfish looking for its first win ...
1. 3RD QUARTER, 37-22 BLACK HILLS STATE, THE YELLOW JACKETS RACQUEL WIENTJES PASSES INSIDE TO MORGAN HAM, SHE'S ALL ALONE AND LAYS IT OFF THE GLASS FOR
2. A DEFENSIVE BREAK DOWN FOR MONTANA STATE-BILLINGS. 2. ASHLEE BEACON PASSES OFF TO RACQUEL WINTJES, SHE DRIVE INTO THE LANE AND PUTS IT HOME.
WIENTJES SCORED 11 POINTS.
3. BLACK HILLS STATE UP BY 16, MORGAN HAM SHOWS OFF HER QUICKNESS AS SHE GETS TO THE HOOP AND LAYS IT IN. HAM HAD 9 POINTS TO GO ALONG WITH 6 REBOUNDS.
4. MONTANA STATE-BILLINGS' HANNAH COLLINS DRIVES IN, SHE MISSES THE SHOT, TARYN SHELLEY GRABS THE REBOUND AND PUTS IT RIGHT BACK IN FOR 2.
ALYSSIA MARTINEZ LED THE LADY YELLOW JACKETS WITH 12 POINTS AS THEY IMPROVE TO 3-0 WITH A 60-42 VICTORY.
The Rapid City Rush were on the road tonight and fell to the Wichita Thunder by a score of 4-3 for the second time this season as Jack Combs scored his second goal of the night with 13 second to play to give Wichita the win. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Rush. The Rush drop to 8-4-2 early in the season, while Wichita is now 8-3-3. The Rush will wrap up the road trip with games at Tulsa and Kansas City on Friday and Saturday.
Today was the opening national signing day for all Division I and II sports except for football and the regular baskebtall period and a few local athletes made their future decisions ...
The St. Thomas More track and field team has three athletes who committed to Division I universities today ... state champion sprinter Jacob Hyde will run for the Nebraska Cornhuskers ... middle distance state champ Kaci Cooper will run for North Dakota State ... and Ciara Benson will compete for South Dakota State ... Rapid City Stevens basketball all-stater Kyah Watson officially signed to play at the University of South Dakota. St. Thomas More football and basketball all-stater Ryder Kirsch decided on basketball and will play for Ryan Thompson at Black Hills State. And Rapid City Stevens soccer player Chris Bauer will play soccer at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, Raider volleyball player Laura Petik is headed to the University of Mary and Rapid City Central softball standout Alyssa Burke will play at Dakota Wesleyan.