Huron’s Kelly McCarty plays a volley as teammate Bailey Rathjen looks on during a match against Yankton on Thursday at Huron Arena. PHOTO BY MIKE CARROLL/PLAINSMAN
HURON — The Huron Tiger girls’ volleyball team extended their winning streak to six matches and looked like a team on a mission with an impressive 25-22, 25-19 and 25-17 victory over the Yankton Gazelles Thursday night at Huron Arena.
Their mission Thursday night, and those who chose to accept it, was to deal with
Yankton’s formidable senior hitting duo of 5-foot-10 Mikala Hora and 6-foot Kelsey Fitzgerald.
“Hora and Fitzgerald are two of the better hitters in the state,” said Tiger head coach Shelly Buddenhagen.
“What our kids did tonight was not easy.”
While the pair did their share of damage during the match, combining for 32 kills, Huron was equal to the challenge as senior Katelyn Allerdings and junior Jacey Hupp had 33 kills and had just four errors in 58 attempts.
Midway through the first set, the Tigers were still trying to measure the Gazelles’ vertical speed at the net.
“We just wanted to make sure we were getting used to their attack routes and their speed: that is one thing we hadn’t faced a lot this year.”
However, Buddenhagen knew that as the Tigers became familiar with the Gazelles, they would eventually get a payoff and make a run.
Down five points, 18-13, the Tigers opened the floodgates following a kill by Katelyn Allerdings to force a sideout.
Junior Kelly McCarty would step to the service line, and much as she had done during the past two matches, built a tidal wave of momentum off of her bullet serves.
For the match, she was perfect on all 17 serves that she had, including a pair of aces.
The Tigers pulled within two points after a kill by Asia King and a devious set by senior MaKayla Goergen which the Gazelles couldn’t react to quick enough.
That forced Yankton Head Coach Leasa Woodward to call a timeout to try and stop the run.
But the Tiger points kept coming. Behind McCarty’s serve the Tigers rattled off four more points, beginning with a kill by Goergen, two Yankton miscues and an ace by McCarty.
Woodward again took a timeout, hoping to snap the scoring string and this time her team responded as a kill by Goergen was just wide down the line.
Still the Tigers had regained the lead 20-19 and gotten back into the match.
Yankton tied the match a handful of points later and forced a Tiger timeout as Buddenhagen regrouped with her troops.
After the timeout, Hupp had an attack that a Yankton block couldn’t handle, forcing a sideout as the Tigers took a 23-22 lead.
A kill by Hupp that caught part of the net and left Yankton scrambling unsuccessfully made it 24-22 and the Gazelles struggled with an attack by Katelyn Allerdings on match point to give the Tigers a 25-22 victory.
“We don’t get to hit like we did tonight if we have a solid back row making passes and making great digs keeping the ball alive,” said Buddenhagen. “Not only did we dig tonight but a lot of those digs kept us in (our offensive) system so we could have good swings.”
Huron took control in the second in a similar fashion, making a five-point run to break a 12-12 tie. The Gazelles left a serve in the net to force a sideout then Goergen stepped to line service line for the first of four serves.
Katelyn Allerdings had the first kill and a pair of attacks left in the net by Yankton pushed the lead to 16-12.
Goergen added an ace on the next serve to make it 17-12 and force Yankton into a timeout.
Later, the Gazelles fought back to within three after a block kill by Fitzgerald and a Tiger miscue, but Hupp answered with an attack that couldn’t be handled by Yankton to make it 23-19.
Junior Megan Kopfmann served up the next two points ,which led to a block by freshman Sarah Carr and Goergen to pull within match point and then a kill by Hupp ended the second set 25-19.
In the third set the Tigers jumped out to a modest 9-4 lead as Katelyn Allerdings had five kills during that span.
The Tigers’ next run came after another net serve by Yankton which forced a sideout.
The Tigers then went on another five-point lead to take a 17-8 advantage that included back-to-back kills by Hupp and three straight kills by Katelyn Allerdings.
The backbreaker came in the first kill by Katelyn Allerdings, which made it 15-8.
Hora had a pair of powerful attacks that Tiger freshman Bailey Rathjen squared up and handled, with the second leading to a set by Goergen and a kill by Katelyn Allerdings.
“She just muscled up twice on Mikala Hora,” said Buddenhagen and, like they had done before, it led right to a Tiger score.
Yankton never got closer than seven points from there on out and Katelyn Allerdings picked up her 20th kill on the final point of the match.
Besides the 20 kills, her hitting percentage (kill minus errors, divided by attempts) was a robust .563. Hupp finished with 13 and a hitting percentage of .385.
Setting up the attack, Goergen handled most of the sets and finished with 36 assists as the Tigers used a 5-1 attack, basically to fortify their defense.
Defensively, up front, King had three block assists and Sarah Carr had a pair while Hupp had a solo block.
In the back row, senior libero Taylar Rotert had 22 digs, McCarty had 13 and Rathjen 12.
From the service line McCarty was perfect on 17 serves with two aces and Hupp was perfect on seven with a pair of aces.
The Tigers (8-5) will next play Tuesday when they host Mitchell (8-4) who lost to Yankton Thursday night, 25-22, 25-13, 22-25, 25-21.
For the complete article see the 10-05-2012 issue.
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