Huron’s Halee Allerdings tips the ball over the net as Mitchell’s Taylin Alm sets up for a block during their Eastern South Dakota Conference volleyball match on Saturday at Huron Arena. Next, Huron’s Jacey Hupp volleys the ball during a match Saturday against Mitchell at Huron Arena. And next, Huron’s Bailey Rathjens volleys the ball during Saturday’s match against Mitchell at Huron Arena. PHOTOS BY MIKE CARROLL/PLAINSMAN
HURON — The Huron volleyball team, which put together a 14-match winning streak and was ranked No. 3 in Class AA, was missing in action on Saturday at Huron Arena.
The Mitchell Kernels took advantage of the situation, putting together set scores of 25-21, 25-21, 22-25 and 25-20 to emerge with victory in the Eastern South Dakota Conference matchup.
“The kids were trying to hard,” Huron coach Shelly Buddenhagen said of her team’s uncharacteristic play during Saturday’s match. “With us being so close to winning the ESD title, instead of coming out and playing like we normally do, we were playing a little tight.”
A variety of factors contributed to Huron suffering its first loss in more than a month.
“We missed too many serves and have five hitting errors to go along with five net calls in the first set,” Buddenhagen said. “We simply gave away way to many points.”
In previous matches, the Tigers were able to right the ship and get things headed back in the right direction. That didn’t occurr on Saturday, however.
After posting a 25-21 victory in the opening set, Mitchell repeated the effort in the second set to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
“There was a lot of chaos with the Breast Cancer Awareness Night and we didn’t want to let our fans down,” Buddenhagen said. “Mitchell came out and played loose, they had nothing to lose. They outhustled us and made way less mistakes than we did.
“We got behind, quit running our offense and got into their tipping game,” she said. “Mitchell was very scrappy tonight and was able to dig up a lot of the balls, which we were not used to have happen.”
The Tigers avoided the sweep with a 25-22 win in the third set, but a late rally helped Mitchell put the match away with a 25-20 win in the fourth set.
Despite the disappointment that comes with the loss, Buddenhagen says she saw some positive things throughout the match.
“We held Taylin Alm to 16 kills, so we did some things well,” she said.
Sami Zell helped the Tigers contain the 6-foot, 4-inch Alm, with three solo and an assisted block. Kelly McCarty had a pair of solos and an assisted block.
Halee Allerdings paced Huron with team-high totals of 17 kills and 11 digs. Asia King had 12 kills, while McCarty and Lizzy Katz each had 10 digs.
McCarty also had four of the team’s 11 aces and 39 assists. King and Katz finished with three and two aces, respectively, while Allerdings and Bailey Rathjen each had an ace.
Emma Schmidt and Sidney Negebauer each had 19 digs for Mitchell. Schmidt also had 28 assists and two aces, while Shelly Iburg had seven blocks.
Huron, which is now 15-3 overall and 13-2 in the ESD, will have another chance to clinch at least a share of the conference title, when it faces fourth-ranked Aberdeen Central to close the regular season at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Huron Arena.
“We’re not going to panic,” Buddenhagen said. “The last time we lost we learned from it and came back a better team. There’s still four weeks left in the season, so there’s a long ways to go and good teams find ways to get better after a loss.”
Mitchell, which is now 9-10 overall and 7-8 in the ESD, will host Brookings on Tuesday.
Huron recorded wins against Mitchell in all three of the sub-varsity matches on Saturday.
For the complete article see the 10-27-2013 issue.
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