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Home sweep: MHS volleyball downs Pierre in home opener, 3-0

Mitchell's Carly Haring (15) gets a kill between Pierre's Emry Heiss (8) and Miah Kienholz (2) on Tuesday at Mitchell High School. (Matt Gade / Republic)

The home opener for the No. 5 Mitchell High School volleyball team went as according to plan on Tuesday.

The Kernels dispatched Eastern South Dakota Conference foe Pierre in straight sets, 25-17, 27-25 and 25-13 at the MHS Gym.

"We had a lot of energy (Tuesday) and we just played great all around," Mitchell senior setter Mandy Schmidt said.

The Kernels received offensive production up and down the lineup, with Schmidt engineering the offense. Schmidt dished out 32 assists.

"Mandy, I think just does a great job of trying to read the blockers and read the defense on the other side and our hitters did a good job of responding," Mitchell coach Deb Thill said. "I was very happy with that."

Mitchell (4-1, 1-0 ESD) was powered offensively by Chelsea Brewster with 12 kills and 11 digs, while Carly Haring put down nine kills. Payton Morgan added seven kills and Sage Jorgensen chipped in with six kills.

The Kernels pulled away for a pair of wins in the first and third sets, but the Governors (1-2, 0-1 ESD) put up a fight in the second set.

Leading 17-10, the Kernels gave Pierre some life as the Governors closed the deficit to 17-15.

"We were up 17-10 and then we missed some serves," Thill said. "I think we missed six serves in just that set and probably after that point. So when you do that, you can't let teams get back in and we gave them a little bit of some confidence."

Mitchell never relinquished the lead, but Pierre forced ties at 24-all and 25-all. Haring pounded down two straight kills to give the Kernels a 2-0 advantage in the match.

"Coming back in that set definitely helped us get the momentum and we kept it all the way through that third set," Schmidt said.

The Mitchell momentum carried into the third set as the Kernels built a 19-10 lead en route to the sweep.

"I thought our kids responded well and we played tough at the end and we played hard at the end," Thill said.

Bridget Thill finished with 13 digs. Regan Waddell added five kills. Waddell is filling in for two-time all-stater Mackenzie Miller, who is recovering from an offseason knee injury.

"Regan is playing right now and I thought she had a really good match, too," Thill said.

Mitchell will have a whole week off until its next match on Sept. 4 against Brandon Valley at 7 p.m. at the MHS Gym.

Notes: Prior to the match, Schmidt was recognized for breaking the school's all-time assist record. She broke the mark at the state tournament last season. Schmidt now has 2,137 career assists. "It's just really exciting after all the years and I am so thankful to have such great passers and hitters that have helped me get this," Schmidt said.

Subvarsity scores

JV: Pierre won 2-0. Set scores were 25-17, 25-20. Kazlyn Schulz had five kills, while Katy Sebert had nine assists and one kill.

Sophomore: Pierre won 2-0. Set scores were 25-23, 25-20.

Freshman A: Pierre won 2-0. Set scores were 25-21, 15-19.

Freshman B: Pierre won 2-0. Set scores were 25-13, 25-18.