Rough Riders rally past Huron

PHOTOS BY MIKE CARROLL/PLAINSMAN Above: Huron’s Emily Dale spikes the ball during a match against Sioux Falls Roosevelt on Tuesday at Huron Arena. Below: Huron’s Olivia Rink passes the ball as teammate Reese Rozell looks on during a match against Sioux Falls Roosevelt on Tuesday at Huron Arena.

HURON — The Huron Tigers took the first two sets against the Sioux Falls Roosevelt Rough Riders Tuesday night, including a huge comeback in the second set, but saw the Riders regroup and pound out wins in the final three sets for a 3-2 (15-25, 28-30, 25-20, 25-10, 15-7) win in non-conference volleyball at Huron Arena.

Roosevelt moves to 12-8 on the season, while Huron falls back to .500 on the year, at 8-8.

“We had our chances tonight,” said Huron coach Josh Lien after the match. “We started well, but they did a good job making adjustments and we weren’t ready to address those adjustments in the last three games.”

Huron started well in the match, as a kill by Hamtyn Heinz and an ace from Reese Rozell staked Huron to a quick 4-1 lead. Roosevelt hung close, as Mya Vandrovec and Abby Ward managed to land kills, but kills by Brynn Gose and Heavan Gainey matched them for the Tigers.

Huron built on its lead, with kills by Emily Dale, Gose and Heinz, while Roosevelt was having difficulty keeping the ball inbounds. A Gose ace put Huron up 19-10 and although Roosevelt never folded, a kill by Gainey and two from Dale closed the first set for the Tigers, 25-15.

“Roosevelt was kind of flat coming out in that first set,” Lien said. “I was happy to see us take advantage of their errors and take that first one.”

Huron started well in the second set as well, as three straight kills from Gose, the last one courtesy of an heroic dig by Bryn Huber, put the Tigers up 4-1. Vandrovec and Ward kept Roosevelt in the game as the two seniors consistently took sets and found open floor in the Tiger defense.

A kill by Karsyn Kopfmann knotted the score at 6-6, but Roosvelt then went on a 4-1 run, to take a 10-7 lead.

Huron fought back, as Rozell notched one of her four aces in the match, and a Dale kill made the deficit a single point.

But from 11-10, Roosevelt went on an 8-0 run, keyed again by Vandrovec and Ward, with a couple of aces tossed in by Zoie Husman to stake themselves to a 18-10 lead. The Tigers, however, regrouped themselves, and led by two kills from Gose, a block/kill by Kopfmann and three straight Rider hitting errors, clawed their way back to a four-point deficit, at 22-18.

Gose talllied another kill, Roosevelt had an error and Rozell recorded an ace and suddenly Huron was down by only one point. Husman got a kill for SFR, but Gose countered and when Kopfmann got another block/kill the score was tied at 24 and overtime kicked in. Ward got a kill, but Gose and Gainey went back-to-back to put Huron up 26-25.

Ward collected kills on consecutive attempt to put Roosevelt up by one, prompting a Lien timeout.

Hainey went back-to-back out of the break for a 28-27 Tiger lead, but Ward got another kill to knot the score.

After the thrilling back-and-forth offense, it was somewhat a letdown, when a hitting error by Roosevelt and an ensuing alignment mistake by the Riders gave Huron the 30-28 win.

But that would be the last time in the match that Huron’s side of the scoreboard would be greater than the visitor’s, as Roosevelt leapt out to 4-0 leads in the final three sets, increasing the margin throughout and never allowing the Tigers to build any momentum, as Huron operated out of system for most of the final three sets.

“The adjustments they made had them playing a chess match with our hitters,” Lien said. “We did a defensive switch tonight to try to counter their adjustment and sometimes we executed but sometimes we didn’t. On the plus side, I thought we were much braver tonight and I was proud of our serve game. For the first two sets, our passing game was really working, but that kind of went away when we got behind and started pressing. We passed well early, not as well late.”

Huron is back in action Thursday, traveling to take on Sioux Falls Jefferson, the new school in Sioux Falls.

“We have to find a way to stop getting ourselves in a hole to start each set,” Lien said. “We got beat by a very good volleyball team tonight.”

Dale led Huron with 17 kills, while Gose added 15 and Gainey chipped in eight. Kopfmann ended with five kills.

Ward closed the match with 19 kills, while Husman tallied 17 and Vandrovec added 15 for the Rough Riders.

In lower level action, the Rough Rider JV team took a 25-15, 25-20 sweep from the Tigers, while the Sophomore contest also went to Roosevelt, 25-23 and 25-8.

S.F. Roosevelt 15 28 25 25 15
Huron               25 30 20 10 7

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