HURON — By the end of the afternoon on Saturday, the Mitchell High School volleyball team had won four out of its five matches on the schedule. All within a span of about 24 hours.
Not a bad start to the season for the Kernels.
Following a four-set win over Sturgis at home on Friday evening, MHS won three of four matches at the annual Huron Invitational on Saturday. Mitchell won the opening match against Douglas 25-17 and 25-4, followed by a sweep of Watertown, 25-15 and 25-16, and a sweep of Class B foe Chester Area, 27-25 and 25-17. Mitchell dropped the last match of the day against Sioux Falls Lincoln by a score of 25-20 and 32-30.
“I thought we competed really hard all day, and that was great to see,” Kernel coach Deb Thill said. “We really stayed within our system and that helped us have some success. We know we have to serve and pass well to really compete and I thought we really did a good job of that.”
Mitchell finished in a tie for third for the best record at the 12-team event, joining Watertown with 3-1 records. Class A No. 1 Sioux Falls Christian and Sioux Falls Lincoln were both 4-0 in their matches.
Thill said the match against Chester included an opening set that saw Mitchell down 22-18 only to rally and lead the set for the first time at 26-25 and then close out the Flyers. In both sets against Lincoln, Mitchell found themselves down early but continued to battle, including in the 32-30 second set.
“We can scrap with the best of them,” Thill said. “Just seeing that competition from our team and the excitement and supporting each other, and being willing to sacrifice, that was really fun to see.”
In the opening match against Doulgas, Kaspen Alm had six kills, while Taylor Giblin had five. Mitchell had three aces from Sarah Sebert and three total blocks from Sawyer Stoebner and nine assists from Lizzie Tyler.
Against Watertown, Alm had 10 kills, with Tyler adding 12 assists, eight kills and six digs. Sebert had 10 digs and Stoebner had three blocks. Sebert had 12 digs and two aces against Chester Area, with Tyler tacking on 13 assists and nine digs. Kaitlyn Christensen had three blocks and Alm added nine kills.
In the final match with Lincoln, Alm had nine kills, Stoebner had three blocks and Tyler had 10 assists, six kills, eight digs and two aces.
Mitchell (4-1) continues non-conference play on Thursday, Sept. 2, with a match with No. 2 ranked Sioux Falls Washington. Match time is 7 p.m. at the MHS gym.