Mitchell's new offense pays dividends in sweep of Sturgis

Mitchell's Lizzie Tyler dives for a dig during a match against Sturgis on Saturday at Mitchell High School. (Nick Sabato / Mitchell Republic)

Mitchell High School installed a new offense less than a day before Sturgis, and on Saturday, it paid off.

The Kernels shifted from a one-setter offense to two, allowing sophomore Jurzee Gregg to handle the offense with senior Katy Sebert. The two combined for 22 assists in the match and Mitchell swept the Scoopers in Class AA volleyball play.

Sturgis gained some momentum near the end of the first set before the Kernels eventually took the frame, but they were forced to battle back on two occasions in the second set and controlled the final set from start to finish to win 25-19, 27-25 and 25-11.

Sebert finished with 14 assists and Gregg totaled eight during the match, as Thill’s trust in her team to pick up a new offense quickly was rewarded as the Kernels snapped a skid of seven losses in eight matches.

“We decided to mix it up and let Katy hit, because Katy is one of our most efficient players,” MHS head coach Deb Thill said. “I thought Jurzee did a great job. We decided yesterday, put it in today and I thought she did a great job.”


Hitting errors haunted Mitchell (3-7) in the second set and the Scoopers gained a 14-10 advantage. The Kernels came back to tie, but Sturgis once again regained control by taking five of the next six points.

The Kernels once again rallied to earn 10 of the next 13 points and pushed Sturgis (6-6) to a match-point situation. Two miscommunication miscues allowed the Scoopers to tie the game and forced Thill to call timeout to regroup.

Thill’s message was simple: “Don’t let the ball hit the floor.” Mitchell responded by finally finishing off the set to take a decision 2-0 lead in the match.

“We missed six or seven serves, and if you miss that many in a set, you’re giving up points and momentum,” Thill said. “For our kids to come back and win that showed some great effort on our part.”

The Kernels had total control of the third set, scoring the first five points and jumping out to a 7-1 advantage. Trailing 19-5, Sturgis had a small flurry, but Mitchell’s five aces in the set -- eight in the match -- put the match away for good.

“I thought we served pretty aggressively after missing (early),” Thill said. “Just because you miss doesn’t mean you can serve lollipops. I thought our kids did a good job of that.”

Cameryn Logan has 12 kills, while Kaspen Alm added eight. Sarah Sebert had 21 digs, while Lizzie Tyler added 13 and Kay Sebert had 11.

Makayla Keffeler had eight kills and Brinley Pickett had six, while Jillian Beck made four blocks for Sturgis.


Mitchell travels to Brookings at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Sub-varsity scores: JV: Mitchell def. Sturgis, 25-23, 24-26, 15-7. Sophomores: MItchell def. Sturgis, 25-19, 25-21. Freshmen: Mitchell def. Sturgis, 25-23, 21-25, 15-6.

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