The Mitchell volleyball team claimed a four-set Kernel Bowl victory over Huron on Saturday afternoon. Set scores were 25-22, 25-21, 23-25 and 29-27.
After taking a back-and-forth first set, Mitchell led nearly wire-to-wire in the second set, but it wasn’t without its drama. Trailing 17-11, Huron went on a Five-point run to draw back within one, but the Kernels composed themselves out of a timeout and closed out the set.
“The way we came out in sets one and two, it looked like they had the confidence and knew we could play,” said Mitchell coach Deb Thill.
The Tigers jumped out to a 6-2 lead early in the third set, but Mitchell responded by slowly chipping away and briefly taking a 14-12 lead. But it would be Huron that would make the frame’s deciding run, storming back to a 20-16 lead and narrowly holding off the Kernels to extend the match.
Roles from the third set were reversed to start the fourth set. It was Mitchell that led 5-1 early, but the Tigers steadily pulled themselves back into it. Huron held a late lead of 24-22 and was in position to force a deciding fifth set, but the Kernels fought off set point after set point to extend the set. With Huron leading 27-26, Mitchell strung together three points in a row to claim the set and match.
“Huron was playing really scrappy,” Thill said. “It affected our kids a little bit, but I liked how we responded to similar situations all day.”
Kaspen Alm paced the Kernels with 19 kills. Lizzie Tyler chipped in for a 25-assist, 10-dig double-double to go with nine kills.
Saturday’s win over Huron (4-3) comes at a good time, according to Thill, as the Kernels (5-4) were on a four-match skid following a 4-0 start to the season, though each of the losses was against top competition.
“You have to play aggressive and play to win and I felt like maybe we got over that a bit today,” Thill said. “It was much better than Thursday.”
Mitchell travels to Spearfish for a triangular with Spearfish and Douglas on Sept. 18.