Huron's Asia King spikes the ball past Watertown's Danielle Gottsleben during a match Saturday in Watertown. In the next photo, Huron's Bailey Rathjen digs a ball during a match against Watertown on Saturday. PHOTOS COURTESY RICH REMMERS/WATERTOWN PUBLIC OPINION
WATERTOWN — Watertown wrapped up its homecoming week with a disappointing 3-0 Eastern South Dakota Conference volleyball loss to Huron on Saturday in the Civic Arena.
After watching the Arrow football team cruise past Aberdeen Central on Friday evening, the Arrow volleyball team struggled to keep pace with the much taller Huron Tigers squad.
Huron breezed to a 25-18 win in the opening game and had to battle back to win the final two games 25-23 and 25-15. With the win, the Tigers improved to 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the ESD. Watertown slipped to 2-2 and 2-1.
“We have struggled in the past here in Watertown on this court and we knew they would be fast and quick in the back row,” said Huron coach Shelly Buddenhagen. “We felt they would have a big advantage in the back row so we knew we had to set the tone at the net as much as we could.”
The Tigers didn’t waste much time utilizing their size advantage over the Arrows. Huron raced to a 15-10 lead behind the strong hitting and blocking of its front-row players.
Watertown trimmed the deficit to 20-18 on a kill by McKenzie Werner but wouldn’t score another point in the game. The Tigers rattled off the final five points — all coming on hitting errors or net violations by the Arrows — to take the early advantage.
“We started off slow and never could find the momentum to get us going throughout the entire match,” said Watertown coach Kim Rohde. “I don’t know what it was. It could have been the long homecoming week or afternoon match but we didn’t play with a lot of energy.”
The Arrows did seem to pick up the intensity a bit in the second game and jumped out to a 16-6 lead at one point before the Tigers would respond.
Watertown fended off a couple of Huron spurts and still led 22-17 but the Tigers weren’t going to be denied. Huron scored six straight points — the last one coming on a kill by 6-foot-1 junior Samantha Zell — to take a 23-22 lead.
The Arrows tied the game on the next point with a kill from Holly Becking but the Tigers scored the final two points on kills by Halee Allerdings and Jacey Hupp to complete the comeback and grab a 2-0 lead in the match.
“We had a lot of errors in the beginning of the second game but we were able to relax and went to some more controlled shots and picked our places on the floor to hit and we got some points that way,” said Buddenhagen. “We just kept plugging away against them and that’s what you have to do against a team like Watertown that plays good defense.”
The Arrows attempted to force a fourth game and extend the match by grabbing a 14-11 lead in the third game but once again couldn’t shut the door on the Tigers.
Huron rattled off eight straight points to gain a 19-14 advantage. The Arrows stopped the skid with a point but didn’t score another the rest of the way. The Tigers scored the final six points of the game with the final three coming on either a block or kill by Allerdings or Asia King.
“Huron is very big and we struggled with hitting,” said Rohde. “We were constantly getting blocked and couldn’t find the right set for our outside hitters to work past their blockers. They did a great job of blocking us and we just couldn’t get out of that rut.”
King pounded 10 kills and had six blocks to pace the Tigers. Allerdings added eight kills and Kelly McCarty went 19-21 serving with five aces and had 25 set assists. Zell chipped in with six blocks and both Hupp and Bailey Rathjen led in digs with nine.
Danielle Duncan smacked six kills on 18-19 hitting and Werner added five kills on 20-23 hitting to lead the Arrows. Sydney Dale went 18-18 serving with an ace, 84-86 setting with 15 assists and 10 digs and Danielle Gottsleben had two blocks.
Megan Pfeifer led Watertown in digs with 18. Macy Denzer and Taylor Waba each contributed 10 digs.
“We have to put this match behind us and work hard in practice to get better,” said Rohde. “We need to find ways to hit around the block and pick ourselves back up now.”
The Arrows are scheduled to host Mitchell on Tuesday in a match starting at 7 p.m. in the Civic Arena.
Huron is slated to host Pierre on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Huron 25 25 25
Watertown 18 23 15
Serving — Huron: Kelly McCarty 19-21, 5 aces; Watertown: Sydney Dale 18-18,
Hitting — Huron: Asia King 10 kills; Halee Allerdings 8 kills; Watertown: Danielle Duncan 18-19, 6 kills; McKenzie Werner 20-23, 5 kills.
Setting — Huron: McCarty 25 assists; Watertown: Dale 84-86, 15 assists.
Blocking — Huron: King 6; Samantha Zell 6; Watertown: Danielle Gottsleben 2.
Digs — Huron: Jacey Hupp 9; Bailey Rathjen 9; Watertown: Medan Pfeifer 18;
Macy Denzer 10; Taylor Waba 10; Dale 10.For the complete article see the 09-15-2013 issue.
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