Kernels fall to Yankton in 4 setsThe Yankton Gazelles took advantage of a low-energy opponent, beating No. 5-ranked Mitchell in four sets Tuesday night at Mitchell High School.
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
The Yankton Gazelles took advantage of a low-energy opponent, beating No. 5-ranked Mitchell in four sets Tuesday night at Mitchell High School.
“You expect your senior leaders to step up and make sure that effort’s happening all the time, and obviously I didn’t see that,” said Mitchell head coach Deb Thill, whose team lost 25-22, 25-13, 22-25, 25-21. “We have the personnel to get the job done, and the kids have to decide to do it or to come off the floor.”
Thill said Yankton set the tone early in the Eastern South Dakota Conference matchup.
“Set one really set the tone for the rest of the match,” she said. “We let too many balls hit the floor and gave them the momentum too many times.”
In the opening set, Mitchell was down 22-17 but was able to win five straight points to tie it at 22. But the Kernels were unable to keep the momentum going as Yankton served out the next three points to take the set.
The Gazelles got out to an early lead in the second set and never let up to win 25-13 and go ahead 2-0 in the match.
Mitchell came out firing in the third set and took the early 5-1 lead and the Kernels pulled out to a 24-11 lead.
“I think we talked a lot more and started making the plays,” junior Taylin Alm said about the Kernels’ effort in the third set.
Alm led the Kernels with 16 kills and Kerri Young and Emma Schmidt recorded nine kills apiece. Young also added four blocks for MHS and Schmidt added two ace serves.
Thill said her team was in system and serving aggressively, which caused Yankton to struggle.
Yankton’s coach Leasa Woodward agreed.
“In set three, we couldn’t get the ball to our setter and we ended up sending it soft their way and dealing with fire coming back at us,” Woodward said.
Mitchell went on the win the third set but allowed Yankton to score 10 consecutive points before closing out the set.
Woodward said the Gazelles took some of that momentum into the fourth set, which Yankton won 25-21 to close out the match.
“We came back out of ugly and that’s something you have to do in this sport because it’s unforgiving,” Woodward said. “I thought we set out in set four and played with confidence and never let up. It wasn’t always pretty, but we got the job done and I was proud of our effort.”
Thill said Yankton earned the win
“You have to give them credit,” Thill said. “They made the plays when they had to, and we kind of sat back and let them.”
Kendra Morgan had 35 set assists and Megan Farnham tallied 16 digs. Jenna Neugebauer had 14 digs, five kills and three aces in the loss.
Alm said the Kernels need to regroup and come into practice tomorrow with purpose.
“I think we need to come to practice focused and ready to play,” Alm said. “We need to work on communicating more and playing together.”
It its next action, Mitchell travels to play Brandon Valley at 7 p.m. Thursday in Brandon Valley.