Kernels come from behind to beat TigersHURON — Mitchell got its redemption against Huron, and it was in stunning fashion. The Kernels (10-5) came back from two sets down to defeat the Tigers 3-2 Tuesday night in an Eastern South Dakota Conference high school volleyball match.
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
HURON — Mitchell got its redemption against Huron, and it was in stunning fashion.
The Kernels (10-5) came back from two sets down to defeat the Tigers 3-2 Tuesday night in an Eastern South Dakota Conference high school volleyball match.
“We’ve played a lot of five-set matches, so we know what it takes,” said Mitchell head coach Deb Thill, whose team lost to the Tigers in five sets earlier this season at the Corn Palace. “I was really proud of the effort the kids put on the floor. I thought it was a total team effort.”
The Kernels, who stopped Huron’s six-match win streak, came out firing in the fifth set and took a 5-2 lead, but the Tigers (8-6) fought back to tie the set at 7. Although the teams were tied several times, Mitchell prevailed with a 4-1 run at the end of the set to earn the victory. Set scores were 24-26, 21-25, 25-16, 25-17, 15-12.
This was the sixth five-set match the Kernels have played this year. It was the fourth win the team has picked up when going to a decisive set.
Mitchell’s Megan Farnham, who had 24 digs in the match, said the team played point by point in the final set Tuesday night.
“We try to be the first team to get to five, 10 and 15 points in the set,” Farnham said. “That seems to work really well for us, and we knew we had to play together and stay excited for every point.”
Thill said the Kernels had the right focus going into the fifth set.
“We kind of found some holes in their defense and Kendra (Morgan) did a really nice job of mixing it up offensively,” Thill said, referring to the team’s setter.
Morgan led the Kernels with 48 set assists and added 13 digs, while middle hitter Taylin Alm recorded a team-high 18 kills and three blocks. Kerri Young added 13 kills, Sidney Neugebauer had 12 digs and eight kills and Jenna Neugebauer recorded four aces in the win.
In the first set, Mitchell had three set points, but the Tigers won five consecutive points and closed out the set with back-to-back blocks, winning 26-24. It was a tough way to start the night as Mitchell held a 24-21 lead but couldn’t close the set.
Huron took a 15-10 led in the second set and never looked back. The Kernels cut the deficit down to one twice but they were unable to even the match out as the Tigers took the set 25-21.
In the third set, the Kernels took an 11-4 lead, but the Tigers came back and evened the set at 12. Mitchell finished the set with a 13-4 run to stay alive in the match.
“I thought we made some adjustments after the first two sets,” Thill said. “The kids really stepped up their defense from there on out.”
The Kernels took the momentum from the third set into the fourth and won 25-17, forcing a fifth and final set.
“It feels great,” Farnham said. “We really wanted to beat them at home, but this win feels just as good.”
The Kernels return home with a pair of matches against Rapid City Central and Rapid City Stevens this weekend. Mitchell begins the weekend against Central at 7 p.m. Friday at MHS and plays Stevens in an afternoon match at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
JV: Huron, 25-15, 15-25, 25-12. Rachel Bucholz had 10 digs, five blocks and six kills and Taylor Sebert added seven digs.
Sophomores: Huron, 25-13, 17-25, 25-15.
Freshmen A: Huron, 25-15, 25-11. Ally Goldammer had four kills and one dig.
Freshmen B: Huron, 25-9, 25-14.