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Kernels fall to No. 2 Stevens

Mitchell's Mandy Schmidt sets the ball as teammate Carly Haring moves in for the kill against Rapid City Stevens on Saturday at the MHS Gym. (Ryan Deal / Republic)

The Mitchell High School volleyball team couldn’t slow down No. 2 Rapid City Stevens on Saturday. The Kernels fell to the powerhouse Raiders 25-17, 25-14 and 25-15 at the MHS Gym.

“Obviously, in system they are really good,” Mitchell coach Deb Thill said about the Raiders. “They have a lot of different options and a lot of different power.”

The Kernels (12-6) had no answer for Stevens (22-1) and its power hitting attack, which was led by outside hitter Elizabeth Schaeffer and 6-foot-3 middle hitter Phebie Rossi.

“They kind of got us off guard a little bit right away because of their tipping that they were doing so much,” Thill said. “So we adjusted our defense and I thought we did a much better job after that. We had too many errors. We had too many hitting errors and you can’t do that against a team like them.”

In each of the three sets, the Kernels traded points early on.

“We had our moments,” Thill said. “I thought we had some really good defensive moments today. There was just some things. We were trying not to hit into the block. Well, we got blocked too many times and they were just better than us today.”

Chelsea Brewster paced the Kernels with 12 kills and nine digs. Carly Haring added eight kills. Mackenzie Miller and Payton Morgan both put down five kills apiece. Mandy Schmidt had 28 assists and 12 digs.

The Kernels, who have five matches left in the season, will play at Harrisburg on Tuesday.

“We just have to keep working to get better because we want to be playing our best at the end, not right now,” Thill said.

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