HURON -- The Mitchell Kernel volleyball team ran into an orange-tinted buzzsaw Tuesday night.
Huron earned a three-set sweep over the Kernels at the Huron Arena in a Eastern South Dakota Conference match. Set scores were 25-23, 25-10 and 25-18.
“Huron played really well,” Mitchell coach Deb Thill said. “You have to give them credit. We were able to play with them in that first set and they made a few plays to put it away. And then in those last two sets, they played better than us.”
The opening set was the one Mitchell had the best chance to steal, leading at 12-9, before Huron rallied with 11 of the next 14 points. Mitchell trailed by five points on two occasions late and pulled to tie the set at 23 before Brynn Gose earned a pair of kills to put the first set away at 25-23.
The second set went haywire early for Mitchell, falling behind 16-7 and seeing Huron win the set by 15 points. The third set saw Huron (12-9) lead after an 8-all tie, scoring seven of the next nine points and once Mitchell got within three points at 15-12, Huron went on an 8-1 run to essentially put the match away.
“It seemed that Huron got everything to go their way in that (second) set and we just could not get anything going there,” Thill said. “We were out of system way too much all night. … We played hard but we didn’t necessarily execute and as players and coaches, we’ve got to stress that execution is important.”
Lizzie Tyler had five kills, two aces and 12 digs. Kaspen Alm had six kills and two blocks and Sawyer Stoebner had three kills and two blocks. Jurzee Gregg had six assists and Sarah Sebert had 14 digs. As a team, Mitchell had 22 kills and 16 hitting errors.
Huron, which was No. 8 in Class AA seed points entering the night, was led by 15 kills from Gose, with seven kills from Emily Dale. Karsyn Kopfmann and Reese Rozell each had six kills.
Mitchell (11-10) was slotted No. 10 in Class AA seed points prior to Tuesday night and the loss likely hurts Mitchell’s chances for a home SoDak 16 game, unless Mitchell can defeat No. 3 Brandon Valley on Nov. 2 in Brandon or No. 2-ranked O’Gorman at home on Nov. 9.
In subvarsity matches, Mitchell’s junior varsity team lost in three sets, while the sophomores won in a two-set sweep and both freshmen teams lost their matches with the Tigers.