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O'Gorman defeats Mitchell in straight sets

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RAPID CITY - The Kernel volleyball team lost in straight sets to No. 1 Sioux Falls O'Gorman in a consolation match at the Class AA state volleyball tournament in Rapid City.

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No. 5 Mitchell will play for seventh place against the loser of the second consolation match between Aberdeen Central and Huron. The match will begin at noon tomorrow.

This is the third straight year Mitchell has played in the seventh place match.

"Against a team this good, you can't afford any mental mistakes or communication errors, and we had a couple happen that fueled their momentum run," said Mitchell head coach Deb Thill, whose team lost 25-16, 25-18, 25-22. "From then on, you could just see it and everything swung their way."

In the first set, the Kernels pulled out to a five-point lead at 16-11. After an O'Gorman kill to end the run, the Knights scored 13 straight points to win the first set 25-16.

The second set remained close until the score was tied at 17, and O'Gorman went on an 8-1 run to take the set.

Mitchell got down early in the third set, trailing by as many as six points. The Kernels came within two points at 24-22 but won the third set and match on a Mitchell service error.

Mitchell's Taylin Alm had 17 kills, Kendra Morgan recorded 32 set assists and Megan Farnham tallied 16 digs. Emma Schmidt had five kills and nine digs in the loss.

O'Gorman was led by Lauren Witte with 13 kills, eight digs and one block. Taryn Kloth had 11 kills and three aces and Dalee Stene added 37 set assists.

Senior Kerri Young, who had six kills and three blocks in the match, said the team needs to move forward and come ready to play in its final match of the tournament season.

"I think the seniors just need to be role models for the team and leave everything on the floor in our last game," she said. "All in all when we've played together this season, we've been good. We would like to end the season that way."

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Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.
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