HURON — The Huron Tigers rebounded from a poor performance Tuesday night at S.F. O'Gorman with perhaps its best performance of the season on Saturday, as they defeated the two-time defending champion Harrisburg Tigers 3-1 at Huron Arena.
Set scores for Huron were 25-22, 25-12, 23-25 and 25-22.
"After the loss at O'Gorman on Tuesday, it was a long week of us waiting to get back on the court," said Huron mentor Shelly Buddenhagen. "I was worried that we would be stunned and that our confidence had been shaken."
She added that when the team got back to practice, it focused on the things that it knew needed improvement, starting with passing and blocking.
"I thought we did much better as a team in those areas," Buddenhagen said.
Holly Niehus tallied a match-high 19 kills in the four-set win to top the Huron stat sheet. Havyn Heinz had 38 digs to key the defense and setter Tenley Buddenhagen had a personal-best 39 set assists in the game, and also contributed 17 digs. Libby Rounds added eight kills and three block kills to the effort.
"We're playing lots of younger kids and sometimes we pay too much attention to the scoreboard," Coach Buddenhagen observed. "Sometimes we have the mindset that we need to be beating teams by a lot."
So at practice this week, Buddenhagen focused on re-committing the team to the 'two points better' principle that aided the team last season.
"Each practice and match we are committed to improving by two points," she said, or the difference in points needed to win a match. "It was like one mistake turned into two which moves into four. So instead of attacking one point at a time and carrying the mindset of weathering the storm."
Huron, which improved to 6-2 with the win, will host Brookings at Huron Arena on Thursday night.
"We're working on knowing our jobs and performing those to the best of our ability at any given time and making good decisions at the right time, and spent time talking about Progress not Perfection."
PHOTO BY ANGELINA DELLA ROCCO/PLAINSMAN
Huron Tiger front row defenders Libby Rounds (22) and Hollee Niehus go high above the net to stop a kill attempt by Harrisburg's Hallie Mertz Saturday night at Huron Arena.