Kernels defeat Tigers in five-set thrillerThe Kernels and Tigers went the distance — again. This time, the home team came out victorious as No. 2-seeded Mitchell defeated No. 3-seeded Huron in the first round of the District 3AA volleyball tournament.
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
The Kernels and Tigers went the distance — again.
This time, the home team came out victorious as No. 2-seeded Mitchell defeated No. 3-seeded Huron in the first round of the District 3AA volleyball tournament.
“(Huron) has played us in this exact same district match for the past two years with us as the higher seed and they’ve beaten us both times,” Mitchell head coach Deb Thill said. “For our kids to come out on top in a match that could’ve gone either way is big.”
The Kernels (14-7) move to the championship match and will play Aberdeen Central, which beat Pierre in straight sets, for a state tournament berth Tuesday.
This was the ninth five-set match for the Kernels, which have a 7-2 recordwhen playing a decisive set this season. Set scores were 26-28, 27-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-9.
“We just go in confident and know that we can win it,” said Mitchell’s Sidney Neugebauer about playing in the fifth set. “It’s really fun and exciting for us.”
Thill said her outside hitters played a major role in the victory.
“Sidney and Emma (Schmidt) stepped up big time tonight,” said Thill at the conclusion of the match. “We knew they were going to be keying on our middle, but I think that they really came through for us.”
Neugebauer had 13 kills, 13 digs and two aces for the Kernels and Schmidt recorded 14 kills, 30 digs and one ace.
In the first set, the Tigers (12-9) looked as though this match would end early, taking command of the set 20-15. Mitchell came back with a 9-4 run to even the set at 24. Each team fought off a set point, but Huron eventually took the set 28-26 on a block.
The Tigers got out to an early lead again in the second set, going ahead 6-1. Mitchell came back to level out the set 13-13. From this point, the set had eight more tie scores before the Kernels won back-to-back points to win 27-25.
Mitchell had a three-point lead at 20-17 in the third set, but Huron fought back to tie at 22. The Kernels won three consecutive points and won the set on a Mitchell ace.
Huron won the fourth set 25-21, forcing a fifth set between the teams for the third time this year.
With a 6-4 Huron lead in the fifth set, Mitchell won five straight points to go ahead 9-4. The Tigers closed the gap within one at 9-8 but was unable to take the lead. Mitchell went on a 6-2 run end the set and match at 15-9.
Taylin Alm had 19 kills, Kerri Young had nine kills and two blocks and Kendra Morgan had 49 set assists.
Huron was led by Katelyn Allerdings with 22 kills and two blocks. MaKayla Goergen recorded 30 assists and Bailey Rathjen added 19 digs.