Tigers pull out win in five sets against Mitchell
MITCHELL — The Huron Tiger volleyball team pushed its season record to 5-0 Tuesday night, with a see-saw 3-2 win over the Mitchell Kernels at the Mitchell High School Gymnasium. Set scores for the Tigers were 25-20, 22-25, 25-17, 19-25 and 20-18.
The deciding fifth set started off ominously for Huron as Abbie Siemsen got the Kernels rolling with five aces to stake Mitchell to a quick 5-0 lead, prompting a quick timeout from Tiger coach TyAnn Ulmer.
“We were just out there trying too hard,” Ulmer said. “Things didn’t start out going our way and we just told the girls to relax and do their jobs; to let things come to them and not force it.”
Slowly, Huron began to climb back into the game and took its first lead of the set on a Makenzie Siemonsma tip which made it 10-9, and sparked a Mitchell timeout. The Kernels responded with three straight kills by Sawyer Stoebner to take a 12-10 lead, before Siemonsma and DaJai Claggett went back-to-back to knot the score back up again.
With the teams playing to 15 (win by two points) each point became huge down the stretch. Stoebner and Clagget exchanged kills, then Sam Mangmoradeth scored down the middle for a 16-15 lead. The teams would continue to trade punches until a Halle Haring kill knotted the score for the final time at 18-18. Huron handled the serve and Mangmoradeth notched her 13th kill of the night with a tip in the center,. before Aurora Dreyer closed the match out for Huron with a stellar block for the 20-18 clincher.
“Matches like this are good for us,” Ulmer noted. “Everyone always wants to be perfect, but we struggled at times tonight and it is a good learning experience. In the end, we had numerous people who Mitchell needed to stop at the net and we really needed defend two of them.”
The first set looked to be a runaway for Huron, as Hamtyn Heinz staked Huron to a quick 8-0 lead, behind four aces from the senior setter. Heinz would end the night with nine big aces and added six kills and a block kill as well as facilitating the Tiger offense.
Mitchell clawed its way back in the set, getting within two points at the midway point before Huron pulled for the win.
After a first set that was really not in doubt, set two was nip-and-tuck from the opening serve. Mitchell jumped out on top, only to see the Tigers overtake them. Huron took its largest lead of the set, 17-13, on a Siemonsma kill, before the Kernels went on a 5-1 run to knot the score at 18. A timeout by Ulmer didn’t slow down the Mitchell attack, as errors in the end game caused problems for Huron, as Stoebner closed out the 25-22 win for Mitchell.
Huron didn’t win the third set as much as the Kernels lost it. Huron ended up with the 25-17 win, with 14 of Huron’s points coming on Mitchell errors. Despite their ragged play, the Kernels managed to keep the score close through the midway points of the set, before first Aly Davis, the Claggett scored back-to-back kills, which staked Huron to a 20-14 lead and the Tigers closed out the win.
Looking to close out the match, Huron got off to a rough start to the fourth set. Stoebner and Hope Flippin continually found open spots on the floor for kills and a Flippin ace made it 8-4. The Kernel push continued, however, growing to 14-6 before Huron began climbing back.
A Kernel hitting error sparked the Huron rally, as Madison Hershman notched an ace, and Heinz scored on a quick hit. Heinz and Mangmoradeth combined on a block kill, but Mitchell stemmed the bleeding with a kill from Lauren VanOverschelde, which made it 15-12 for the Kernels and from there Stoebner and Tianna Meadows kept Huron at bay and forced the deciding fifth set.
For Huron, now 5-0 on the season, Mangmoradeth had 12 kills, Claggett added 11, Davis was credited with nine kills and Siemonsma chalked up eight. Heinz had seven kills and ended the match with nine aces as well as handing out 36 set assists. Hylton Heinz led the defense with 38 digs in the match.
Stoebner led both teams with 18 kills in the match, but misfired in the closing moments of the fifth set to keep the Tigers on track for the win. Haring had seven kills and Siemsen had five aces in the match.
“We knew that if we just settled back and everyone did her job, that we could win this,” Ulmer said. “Seeing it is a confidence builder for the girls and is a great example of why you aren’t out of it until the last point is scored.”
The Tigers host Aberdeen Central Thursday night at Huron Arena with a 7 p.m. start.
In the preliminary contests, Mitchell’s Sophomores won in three sets, 25-22, 23-25 and 15-13.
The other matches went the Tigers’ way, as the JV team persevered in three sets, 25-22, 24-26, 15-12 and the freshmen closed the deal in two sets, 25-19, 25-23
Score by sets
Huron 25 22 25 19 20
Mitchell 20 25 17 25 18