HURON — The top ranked Watertown Arrows remain undefeated after taking a 3-1 victory over the Huron Tigers in girls’ volleyball action, after some intense competition Thursday night at Huron Arena.
An improved record of 7-0 is carried by the Arrows after the win, with set scores of 25-12, 21-25, 25-23 and 25-17 to end the match.
Huron, now 5-2 on the season, hosted the Arrows for the first time this season after their last meeting where the Tigers lost their chance for a spot in the state tournament to Watertown with a 3-2 match score. But this time the match was over in four sets.
Brooke Schiltz led the kills for Huron with 11, while Libby Rounds hit nine throughout the match in efforts for the Tigers. Leading Watertown was Maggie Heesch also with 11 kills, while 10 each were made by Meghan Heggelund and Mckenzie Buisker.
Watertown took off with an early 5-0 lead and a pair of aces from the hands of Delaney Heller, before the first kill for the Tigers by Alana Dale and a pair of aces from Tenley Buddenhagen to tie at 9-9.
Watertown broke away for a 15-9 lead on a 7-0 run in the first to send Huron into a time out. But Huron’s Libby Rounds broke the 9-0 Arrows run with a block kill as Huron trailed 17-10, but the Tigers were unable to recover in the first after a pair of Meghan Heggelund kills ended the set at a 25-12 Watertown lead.
“In that first set we knew were going to try to figure out their speed and power, we didn’t know how it would go but knew we would learn,” said Huron coach Shelly Buddenhagen. “We made some adjustments in the second set and figured out if we tried to run quick we were able to open up things in the middle. I really like the way our kids fight.”
Huron took an early lead in the second and stayed ahead until the score tied at 8-8 after a couple errors. Back to back aces by Heesch gave the Arrows a two point advantage, but the Tigers built up the momentum after the team rallied for a 5-0 run to 18-15. Huron continued to push for the win and pulled away to finish the second at a 25-21 lead.
“We talk about in practice how one kill can change a set and we were happy in that second set,” Buddenhagen explained. “In the third we had some opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of, these kids will come to practice and try to fix those mistakes. There’s a lot of room to grow.”
The competition was intense going into the third as each team held a set win and kept the competition fierce from both sides of the net. Huron’s Emily Dale opened up the third with a pair of kills and tied up the score at 5-5, then again at 9-9 with winning hits by Schiltz.
“Brooke made some huge plays in the third set and that back row is going to keep getting better and better, even with their height I thought we retaliated well. We are still trying to find the tempo and rhythm right now, were playing fast and we’ll keep playing faster,” noted Buddenhagen. “We are going to keep getting stronger and tweak those errors we are able to fix. We are happy with our effort, but not satisfied.”
Huron held a strong fight in the third, passing the lead back and forth and worked their way to a 23-22 lead. But Watertown won the race to 25 with a shot by Alex Bayles for a 25-23 set score.
The fourth set began with a 2-1 Watertown advantange. Mckenzie Buisker opened up the scoring in the final set with a kill, before points from Tenley Buddenhagen and Schiltz kept Huron trailing close behind.
Emily Dale pulled back within two points with a couple successful block kills midway through the fourth, and Huron had another close shot for the lead with a Schiltz ace to trail by one at 15-14. But Watertown pulled away at 22-16 and held the lead throughout the fourth to end the set at 25-17.
Watertown 25 21 25 25
Huron 12 25 23 17