Tigers defeat Raiders in straight sets for sweep of West River teams

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CRAIG WOLLMAN Huron’s Makenzie Siemonsma spikes the ball during a match against Rapid City Stevens on Saturday at Huron Arena.

HURON – The Huron Tiger volleyball team applied the coup de grace to the weekend series with the Rapid City Schools, sweeping the Rapid City Stevens Raiders Saturday afternoon at Huron Arena, 25-17, 25-22, 25-21.

The win pushed Huron over the .500 mark at 11-10, while Stevens falls to 15-11. It also solidifies the Tigers’ hold on the 8th seed in Class AA and an all-important home SoDak 16 game. Huron has six games remaining on its regular season schedule.

Just as it did Friday night in dispatching Rapid City Central, Huron used timely runs of points to open and maintain a lead in the match. And the multi-faceted attack that coach TyAnn Ulmer wishes to see came to be Saturday afternoon.

The teams started slowly in the first set, trading errors to a 4-4 tie. A Hamtyn Heinz kill got Huron started, as her sister Hylton Heinz followed it with an ace and the Tigers were off and running. Aly Davis got a tip to fall and Makenzie Siemonsma connected on back-to-back big swings and Huron suddenly held a 9-4 lead.

Alexa Morin-Baxter got a kill for RCS to slow the flow, but consecutive errors by the Raiders led to a Stevens timeout.

Out of the break, Hamtyn Heinz and Siemonsma combined to block a Raiders attack and Davis connected once again. The teams traded points until a Baxter kill made it 17-11 in Huron’s favor. The Tigers gifted Stevens with a point, but then a Davis kill, another Hylton Heinz ace and a pair of Raider hitting errors opened the gap even further. Down the stretch, Huron’s defense snuffed out any Stevens hope and after a DaJai Claggett kill put the Tigers at set point, Samantha Mangmoradeth connected with the final big swing for the 25-17 win.

RCS came out more focused for the second set, determined to not head home empty handed. The Raiders led a great deal of set two, but never got more than a two-point cushion.

After a Tiger error tied the score at 15-15, Davis and Siemonsma converted consecutive kill attempts to forge Huron a lead it would never relinquish in the set.

Stevens tied the score at 19, 20, 1nd 21, but kills by Hamtyn Heinz, Mangmoradeth and Davis put Huron at set point and while a kill attempt by Lily Humphreys caught the back line for the Raiders, a teammate was leaning on the net and the violation gave the set to the Tigers.

Neither team established a lead in the third set until later in the period. Ava Mitchell got a kill that cut the Huron lead to two points, at 13-11, but a pair of kills by Mangmoradeth, coupled with another Stevens net violation staked the Tigers to a bit of breathing space.

Mitchell, Morin-Baxter and Avery Kraus rallied the Raiders and put them back in front at 16-15. Stevens continued to lead until a Claggett cross-court kill tied the score at 20-20. Two Raider hitting errors, sandwiched around a huge swing by Claggett set the table for the straight-set win, and, as she did in the second set, Mangmoradeth found open floor on the Stevens side of the net for the match winner.

Stats showed Claggett and Mangmoradeth with nine kills each, while by Davis and Hamtyn Heinz added seven. Hylton Heinz had two ace serves and for the second match in a row, Huron’s serve receive and passing game was clicking.

After taking down the west side of the state this past weekend, Huron’s aim will be toward Sioux Falls, as the Roosevelt Rough Riders come to Huron Arena on Tuesday, the Huron takes to the road on Thursday to face Sioux Falls Jefferson.

Tuesday’s game with Roosevelt is set to begin at 7 p.m.

In the lower level games played Saturday, Stevens swept all three matches, winning the JV matchup 2-0, while taking both the Sophomore and Freshman matches 2-1.