Huron beats Kernels at S.D. Class AA state volleyball tournamentYANKTON — There were chances galore for the Mitchell High School volleyball team.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
YANKTON — There were chances galore for the Mitchell High School volleyball team.
But, determined not to be upset in the first round of the Class AA state volleyball tournament, Huron didn’t let Mitchell take advantage of its opportunities.
And there were plenty of those for the Kernels.
Huron defeated Mitchell 3-1 Thursday at the Summit Center. The Kernels — who played their first match at the state tournament since 2004 — lost by set scores of 23-25, 25-19, 25-23 and 25-22.
“We had our chances to win, and that’s all you can ask of your team,” Mitchell coach Deb Thill said. “Sometimes luck goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t.”
The Kernels play a consolation match against Aberdeen at 1:45 p.m. today in Yankton, while Huron advances to the semifinals against Sioux Falls Lincoln.
Mitchell had late leads in both the second and third sets against the Tigers. When it came down to the closing points in both of those sets, it was the experience of Huron — which took seventh at last year’s state tournament and is the second seed this year — that helped earn points. And it got its points mainly off the block.
“Mitchell had us out of system a lot and we were scrambling,” said Huron coach Shelly Buddenhagen, whose team claimed the Eastern South Dakota Conference outright this season. “They controlled the tempo, but where we gained the momentum was at the net.”
Huron had 32 blocks in the match and was led by TyAnn Buddenhagen with nine solo blocks. Late in both the second and third sets, the Tigers got blocks on Mitchell’s offense, swinging momentum in their favor.
In set two, Huron’s Anna Cramer stopped a Dana Misiaszek kill attempt, which was a part of its 8-1 run to tie the match at one set apiece. With the teams tied at 21 in the third set — which, at one point, the Kernels led 13-7 — Katelyn Allerdings deflected slams by Kerri Young and Lexie Weier. Mitchell got within 24-23, but TyAnn Buddenhagen sent a spike to the floor for the third-set win.
“They do a very good job of blocking and we had a tough time with that, trying to help our hitters out,” Thill said.
Four different players had at least five blocks for the Tigers, who improved to 20-3.
“We’ve been a pretty good blocking team all year, but we just knew Mitchell really well because we’ve seen them,” Buddenhagen said. “We were just able to get up and get the ball.”
The Kernels trailed by as many as four points in the fourth set, but rallied to tie the match at 17 when Taylin Alm recorded a kill. Huron’s front row continued to slow Mitchell’s hitters and won long rallies in the final points to close the match.
“All of the games were close,” Thill said. “We just happened to win the first one.”
The Kernels’ offense got off to a quick start in the first set, getting plenty of kills by Young and Misiaszek, but Huron crept back to get within one at 21-20.
Young had a kill and a block in the final five points and the Kernels watched Huron’s Paige Shonley knock the ball into the net for their 25th point and the opening-set win.
The Kernels were led by Misiaszek with 14 kills, Young had 10 and Alm had 11. Charlee Nelson had 43 assists and Olivia Willis and Lexie Weier each had 17 digs. Ashley Weber added two aces.
Brittany Hirschkorn and Buddenhagen each had 13 kills to lead the Tigers.
Mitchell (14-10) is 0-3 against Aberdeen this year. The Kernels lost in four sets in all three matches, including the opening round of the district tournament.