HURON — In a night when neither team really had a clean game, it was the fifth-ranked Pierre Governors that held on for a 3-0 win over the Huron Tigers in Eastern South Dakota Conference volleyball Thursday night at Huron Arena. Set scores for the Govs, who improve to 11-3 with the win, were 25-20, 25-19 and 25-23. Huron falls to 8-7 with the loss.
“We played out of system for much of the game tonight,” said Huron coach Josh Lien after the match. “We had way too many errors tonight on offense and our service game that was so bold Tuesday night at Watertown was not tonight. In the end, we committed too many errors to get a win against a team as good as Pierre.
It was errors by the Governors that propelled Huron to an early lead in the first set, as Pierre committed six errors to stake the Tigers to an 8-6 lead. Huron dialed up the offense, as Reese Rozell tallied an ace and Brynn Gose got her second kill of the opening set for a 10-8 Tiger lead. Mixed in the offense, however, were a pair of errors, which kept Pierre in the hunt.
After the Govs cut the margin to one, Huron went on a 5-1 run, keyed by kills from Gose and Karsyn Kopfmann and three errors by Pierre to take a 15-10 lead, before beginning to claw their way back.
From being down five points at the midway point, Pierre ended the first set on a 15-5 run, as hitting and serving errors began to plague Huron, while Pierre’s formidable front row began to find the range.
Pierre took its first lead, at 18-17, on an ace by Ayvrie Kaiser. The lead increased to two points, at 22-20, as Huron intermixed good scoring hits with three straight service errors. Kills by Kaiser, Lily Sanchez and MaKenna Schlekeway closed the first set out for the Governors.
Kills by Emily Dale and Rozell lifted Huron to a quick 4-1 lead in the second set, before two errors and a kills by Kaiser knotted the score at 4-4. The game remained close through the early part of the set, but a pair of Huron errors, and a Pierre ace serve pushed the Governor lead to four, at 12-8. Huron again clawed its way back into contention, getting two kills from Dale and three from Gose with a Hamtyn Heinz ace got Huron to within one point.
Three straight errors by the Governors put the Tigers back in the lead, at 19-18, but a hitting error and a service error pushed Pierre back to a three-point lead, after a Schlekeway block/kill, 22-19. Back-to-back kills by Sanchez closed the set, 25-19.
Of Pierre’s 25 points, 10 of them came on either a hitting error or a service error by the Tigers.
“We knew they were going to put up a good block on us, “ Lien said. “Like most teams, we had a significant height disadvantage, but we knew what we had to do to be successful. Some of our hitting attempts missed by a narrow margin, and a couple points here and there could really have changed the course of that set.”
Huron started the third set strong again and the two teams remained close to the midway point in the set, when back-to-back Gose kills put Huron up 10-9. Out of a Pierre timeout, however, Remington Price laced an ace and Sanchez found some open space in the middle of the Tiger defense to forge an 11-11 tie.
Huron re-took the lead, on back-to-back kills by Heavan Gainey, then Heinz caught the back corner with a quick-set kill and Huron led 16-14.
But two Tiger errors, sandwiched around a Dale kill and a Kopfmann block/kill, and followed by a kill by Price knotted the score at 18-all. The teams traded errors and kills - Dale for Huron and Kaiser for the Govs, before a kill by Kaiser, who ended with 11 on the night, put Pierre at match point. Jenna Bush closed the night for the Governors with an ace, 25-23.
Sanchez had seven kills and Terwilliger added five for the Govs. Gose led all hitters with 12 kills in the match, while Dale added seven and Kopfmann chipped in five.
“We struggled and it was frustrating tonight,” Lien said. “We had some serve problems and just played out of system for much of the night. I was glad to see how we fought back in the third set against them. That showed we had some fight left in us.”
Huron is back in action on Tuesday, when the Tigers host Sioux Falls Roosevelt at Huron Arena.
Preliminary action found Pierre taking the Sophomore match, 25-18, 22-25 and 18-16, while Huron came out on top in the JV match, 25-22, 19-25 and 18-16.
Pierre 25 25 25
Huron 20 19 23