RAPID CITY — After a season of ups and downs, including a collection of new faces and a new head coach, the Huron Tigers saw their season end Saturday with a 3-0 to the Sioux Falls Lincoln Patriots in the consolation championship match at the Class “AA” State Volleyball Tournament, on the Summit Court at The Monument.
After defeating fifth-seeded Pierre for the second consecutive time this season, the eighth-seeded Tigers were in search of a consolation title Saturday, but the Patriots seized momentum late in the first set and held it the rest of the match en route to the win. Set scores for Lincoln were 26-24, 25-18 and 25-20.
The Tigers looked to pick up where they left off Friday, holding an early lead that they built as high as six points, 13-7, midgame, behind kills from Brynn Gose and Karsyn Kopfmann and back-to-back service aces by Bryn Huber.
But Lincoln responded with consecutive kills by Brynn Kirsch and Nyareal Kutey to cave into the Tiger lead. Throughout most of the rest of the set, the teams traded points. Lincoln would get the lead down to two points, but Huron would respond with a five-point run to re-establish its cushion.
The Tigers appeared poised to claim set one, as an Emma Ross ace put Huron at set point, 24-21. Four straight successful kills by Lincoln, however put the Patriots up 25-24 and when a Huron kill attempt sailed long, the first set belonged to Sioux Falls.
Lincoln trailed the entire set, taking its first lead at 25-24.
Set two was a complete reversal, as the Patriots got a kill and back-to-back aces from Samantha Zeeck and a kill from Anna Engels to forge a 4-0 lead out of the gate. A Gose kill stopped the early run, but Lincoln scored the next four points to lead 8-1, and while Huron cut the margin to four points on three different occasions, the Tigers were unable to get any closer and Lincoln closed the set on three straight kills from Kirsch.
Huron took the upper hand at the start of set three, as a Gose kill, a Lincoln hitting error and an ace from Hamtyn Heinz put the Tigers up 3-0 early. Huron maintained its lead until back-to-back errors lifted the Patriots into a 10-10 tie. The teams traded points, then four straight points by Lincoln pushed the lead to 15-11 and Huron was unable to get any closer the rest of the way.
Lincoln was led by Bailey Plourde’s 11 kills, while both Engels and Kirsch ended with nine kills. Zeeck had 33 assists for the Patriots and Kirsch led the defense with 15 digs.
The Tigers were led by Emily Dale, as the senior closed her Huron Tiger career with eight kills and a pair of blocks. Gose had seven kills and three blocks, while Kopfmann had three kills in the match. Heinz had 18 set assists in the match and Senior Reese Rozell had nine digs.
Huron finished sixth in the state tournament in its 13th straight trip to the final tournament of the season, after opening the season with only four players – Dale, Rozell, Huber and Heinz, that had more than a handful of varsity experience. In addition, Josh Lien took the head coaching position on the retirement of Shelly Buddenhagen, after serving as an assistant for several seasons. Throughout the year the team morphed into a club that won five of its final six matches to earn a home-court match in the SoDak 16, including a gutsy straight set win over ESD champion Brandon Valley to earn that SoDak 16 match, where they ended the inaugural season for Sioux Falls Jefferson with a 3-2 win that avenged a loss earlier in the season to the Cavaliers, to earn that trip to the state tournament.
Once in the field, Huron faced top-seeded Sioux Falls Washington and took the first set from the once-beaten Warriors before falling in four sets, the got the win over Pierre to earn a shot at the consolation championship hardware.
Huron will see four seniors depart the program – Dale, Rozell, Peyton Schuchhardt and Jazz McGirr, but will see a wealth of talent available for the 2022 season.
Huron finishes the 2021 season with a mark of 15-12, while the Patriots close with a record of 21-12.
Seventh place match
Harrisburg 3, Pierre 0
The sixth-seeded Harrisburg Tigers finished seventh place at the “AA” state tournament with a 3-0 (25-11, 26-24, 25-21) win over the Pierre Governors Saturday morning.
Abby Meister had nine kills to lead the Tigers, who end the season with a record of 20-11, and fourth other Harrisburg players had at lead four kills. Isabel Jones had 15 assists and led the defense with 18 digs.
The Governors got 11 big kills and 11 digs from Ayvrie Kaiser, while Lily Sanchez had 17 assists. Pierre ends the season with a record of 16-8.
Third place match
Sioux Falls Roosevelt 3, Brandon Valley 1
The Sioux Falls Roosevelt Rough Riders powered their way to a third-place finish at the Class “AA” State volleyball tournament Saturday, downing the Brandon Valley Lynx 3-1. Set scores for the 22-10 Rough Riders were 25-23, 25-23, 19-25 and 32-30. The Lynx close with a record of 23-11.
Mya Vandrovec led the Riders with 14 kills, while both Zoie Hussman and Annika Svenningsen added nine. Elizabeth Denevan had 36 assists in the match, while Zusman had 16 digs and Mandy Dierks added 15.
Brandon Valley got 15 kills from Hannah Parliament to lead the way, while Josey Wickersham and Taylor Stemen each notched 11. Liz Kopp had 44 set assists and Brooke Moeller led the defense with 17 digs.
O’Gorman 3, Sioux Falls Washington 2
The O’Gorman Knights got off the mat Saturday night, to come back and defeat the Sioux Falls Washington Warriors in five sets, defending their state title.
The Knights, led by Isabella Steffel’s 16 kills, along with 10 from Macy Matheson, found themselves down 2-0 after the first two sets went to the Warriors by scores of 25-20 and 25-16. But the resilient defending champions posted back-to-back 25-23 wins in the third and fourth sets to take the match to a deciding fifth set. O’Gorman got out in front early in the fifth set and stayed there to earn the 15-10 set win to take the match.
Bergen Reilly had 32 set assists, nine kills and 16 digs to aid the Knights’ cause, while Brooke Harvison added 11 assists and Gabriella Jones had 24 digs in the match.
Shelby Kinzer had 12 kills and Joslyn Richardson added 11 for the Warriors, who end the season 30-2.
Macie Malchow had 38 set assists in the match and Jadyn Schetnan had a whopping 34 digs.
O’Gorman finishes with a record of 23-4
All Tourney team
The South Dakota Volleyball Coaches Association’s all-tourney squad included Bergen Reilly, Gabriella Jones and Macy Matheson of O’Gorman and Joslyn Richardson, Macie Malchow and Jadyn Schetnan of Washington.
Others honored were Elizabeth Denevan and Mya Vandrovec of Sioux Falls Roosevelt, Liz Kopp of Brandon Valley, Brynn Kirsch of Sioux Falls Lincoln, Emily Dale of Huron and Abby Meister of Harrisburg.
Tournament stats show that Richardson ended atop the kill list with 48 in the tournament, with Malchow taking the assists honors with 123. Reilly had 15 aces in three matches and Annika Svenningsen had 13 blocks. Schetnan had 70 digs.