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Warner goes back-to-back, Monarchs top Chester Area in championship

Craig Wollman
South Dakota Public Broadcasting

Warner is the state champion again in Class B high school volleyball in South Dakota. The Monarchs defeated Chester Area 3-1 on Saturday night in the state title match at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls.

For Warner and head coach Kari Jung, this is their eighth state championship in program history. Most coaches will tell you each state title is different.

“This one was really special because it was such a battle to get every point,” Jung said. “Sometimes it’s easier, and this one we knew wasn’t going to be an easy battle at all.”

The Monarchs started off hot winning the first set 25-23 and then the second set 25-16. But in the third set, Chester staged a comeback, winning it 25-14.

“They took us out of system so bad in that set, and they just had control,” explained Jung. “I was afraid it would totally shift momentum, but our kids tried to fight for it, knew that if they didn’t win set four, it would even be more of a battle.”

Warner did win a highly contested fourth set 26-24 to clinch the victory.

Kyleigh Schopp led Warner in kills with 22 for the contest. Kyra Marcuson also added 15 kills. Lauren Marcuson and Courtney Bjorgaard combined for 40 digs – Marcuson with 22 and Bjorgaard with 18.

The Monarchs will graduate three seniors this coming spring – Kiah Koch, Kendyl Anderson, and Kamryn Anderson. F

“On the way home we start thinking, who’s going to replace these people and we have three seniors and they’re going to be tough to replace,” exclaimed Jung.

Along with Warner’s eight state championships, they’ve been runner-up five times, and have been to the state tournament a total of 14 times.

Harrisburg and Sioux Falls Christian also won state volleyball championships in 2022. The 2023 state volleyball tournament will take place from Summit Arena at The Monument in Rapid City on November 16-18.

Nate Wek is currently the sports content producer and sports and rec beat reporter for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. He is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism Broadcasting and a minor in Leadership. From 2010-2013 Nate was the Director of Gameday Media for the Sioux Falls Storm (Indoor Football League) football team. He also spent 2012 and 2013 as the News and Sports Director of KSDJ Radio in Brookings, SD. Nate, his wife Sarah, and two kids Braxan and Jordy, live in Canton, SD.