The Chester Lady Flyers will be making their eighth straight trip to the State B Volleyball Tournament this weekend in Huron.
The Lady Flyers are the No. 3 seed and will face No. 6 seed Faulkton Trojans in the opening round at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
The Lady Flyers and the Trojans faced each in last year's opening round, and Faulkton won 3-2.
"I expect it to be quite a battle again," said Chester Coach Jean Benson. "Last year's match was one of the best matches of the tournament in that it was a five-set battle. Faulkton's Peyton Melius is without a doubt one of the best hitters in the state in any class. She will be a force that we will have to be aware of. They are a very good, very scrappy volleyball team who will be ready to play and who will be looking to advance themselves back into the state championship match."
Chester will enter the State Tournament with an impressive 21-2 overall record. Both setbacks came against Class A Garretson, once in the regular season and then in the Big East Conference Tournament.
Chester has wins over two Class A Tournament teams, Parker and Winner, along with two wins over other State B Tournament teams, Bridgewater-Emery and Colman-Egan.
"We hope that the tenacity of our regular-season schedule will help us be prepared for the level of competition we will see at the State Tournament," Benson said. "We play against more Class A teams, as we are the only Class B team in the Big East Conference."
Chester will be taking one match at a time this weekend.
"Our only focus right now is on Faulkton -- one game at a time, one match at a time," Benson said. "I think this year's Class B Tournament has eight great volleyball teams playing in it. The excitement of the SoDak 16 has all matches of the State Tournament now being good, solid matchups, so I expect to see some fantastic volleyball in the Huron Arena."
According to Benson, this Chester team has had to outwork most of the teams they have played this year.
"They are more resilient than teams in the past," she said. "They've hung on in big matches and found ways to win them."
Leading the way for Chester this season are seniors Kenna Brown, Ella Pry and Jada Becker. Other players are juniors Carly Becker, Breckyn Ewoldt and Jayda Kenyon; sophomores Kaylor Geraets, Karly Campbell, Serena Larson and Lexi Siemonsma; and seventh-graders Emery Larson and Lily VanHal.
Other first-round matches have No. 1 Northwestern battling No. 8 Corsica-Stickney at noon, No. 4 Colman-Egan facing No. 5 Bridgewater-Emery at 2 p.m., and No. 2 Warner playing No. 7 Hitchcock-Tulare at 7 p.m.
"Our focus is playing our best volleyball of the season in November," Benson said. "The fact that we will be playing volleyball at the State Tournament makes it already a great trip. We just want to play great volleyball and to keep everyone involved safe and healthy."
The tournament will run through Saturday with games at 12, 2, 5 and 7 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.