Tigers fall in five sets against Governors

Curt Nettinga of the Plainsman
Posted 10/18/23

Huron falls on road in Pierre

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Tigers fall in five sets against Governors

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PIERRE — The Huron Tigers dropped a see-saw three-sets to two match with the Pierre Governors Tuesday night in the Pierre High School gymnasium. The back-and-forth match saw Huron win the first set 25-19, drop sets two and three 25-18 and 25-12, rebound to win the fourth set 25-14, but fade in the fifth set, 15-6, to give the win to the Governors.

Huron falls to 12-12 with the loss while Pierre improves to 9-7 on the season.

“This a tough place to play, with the student section right on top of you and they are loud,” said Huron coach TyAnn Ulmer after the tough loss. Volleyball is a game of momentum and they had it when they needed it tonight.”

Huron looked to pick up right where it left off when the Tigers took a 3-0 win over the Governors at Huron Arena on Oct. 3, as they led throughout the majority of the first set. Back-to-back kills from Aurora Dreyer and Aly Davis staked Huron to an early 6-4 lead, and while Pierre did manage to tie the score on two occasions, the Tigers never gave up the lead.

Hylton Heinz got an ace mid-set that touched off a short Tiger rally, as Makenzie Siemonsma got a pair of big swings and Davis added another kill, to turn a 14-13 Huron lead into a more comfortable 18-14 cushion.

The teams traded points until a kill from DaJai Claggett, a hitting error by the Governors, an ace from Hamtyn Heinz and a kill from Dreyer closed out the 25-19 win.

Set two found the shots that had been falling for the Tigers sailing just long or wide, as Pierre used a kill from Campbell Cronin and three Huron errors to jump out to a 4-0 lead. A Davis kill got the margin down to two points mid-set and back-to-back Pierre errors pulled Huron within a point, but Pierre used kills by Abigail Kropp and Campbell Boddicker to pushed the lead back to three points and while Huron never stopped fighting, Pierre never let the score get closer than two points and closed out the set with a kill from Boddicker and two more from Kropp for the 25-18 Governor win.

Huron’s third set started out more promising, trailing by only two points in the early going. But three kills from Reese Terwilliger, sandwiched around a Kropp ace pushed the lead to 10 points and prompted an Ulmer timeout.

Dreyer scored out of the break, but back-to-back hitting errors on the Tigers and another Boddicker kill pushed the lead to eight points, and Huron was never able to get closer, as Pierre took the convincing 25-12 win.

“I think momentum starts with something simple like missing a serve or the like,” Ulmer said. “We needed to get on a roll to turn the tide in that third set and just couldn’t stop the bleeding. We were late on our blocks and we had absolutely no answer for them at the net. We also went away from our scouting report tonight in that third set.”

Somehow, during the break between the third and fourth sets, Ulmer and her coaching staff got the Tigers refocused. Claggett clocked her second ace of the match, then Davis connected, Dreyer connected twice and Davis scored again as Huron jumped out 7-4. Siemonsma got in on the hitting barrage as well and another Claggett kill made it 10-6 for Huron.

An ace from Ava Swenson cut the lead to 14-11 mid-set for the Governors, but she put the next one into the net and it ignited a Tiger rally. Siemonsma got a kill, Pierre hit a kill attempt wide, before Dreyer and Hamtyn Heinz got kills and Davis notched two more to cap a 7-0 Huron run that put the game out of reach.

Hamtyn Heinz got another kill, and Claggett went back-to-back to close out the remarkable 25-14 Tiger win.

But the momentum for Huron ended there, as Pierre raced to a quick 6-1 lead as Terwilliger began to pound home kills. The 5-foot, 11-inch senior had four of the Governor’s first nine points of the fifth set, while teammate Makayla Sherwood added two more. Timeouts by Ulmer to stem the rallies were not successful and although Davis, Siemonsma and Claggett strung together three straight points for Huron, it only cut into the large Pierre lead the the Governors closed out the 15-6 win, ending on a 5-0 run.

Terwilliger ended the match with 18 kills, while Kropp added 13. Both Cronin and Boddicker chipped in 11 and Sherwood notched eight big swings.

The Tigers were led by Davis’ 13 kills, while Dreyer added nine and Claggett scored eight and a pair of aces.

Huron will enjoy a week off before hosting Mitchell in the Breast Cancer Awareness game fundraiser on Oct. 24 at Huron Arena. Those attending the game are encouraged to wear pink to the game and everyone is reminded of the silent auction that will take place online next week, with all funds going to Huron Regional Medical Center’s Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation.

Lower level matches saw Pierre take a 27-25, 25-21 win over Huron in the JV contest, and hold off the Huron Sophomores 25-20, 25-21.