The Lady Tigers raised their record to 19-2 and their home record to 8-0 with a 3-0 win over Groton Area at Mobridge-Pollock High School Gymnasium on Tuesday.
The Orange and Black Lady Tigers defeated the Gold and Black Lady Tigers 25-22, 25-18, 25-18, although with Mobridge-Pollock promoting breast cancer awareness on the night, pink was the dominant color.
“The girls came out and took care of business tonight, staying calm and collected throughout the match,” said coach Rose Henderson. “We will use this game as a springboard going into the most challenging part of our season. I feel we served aggressively, keeping their middle hitter out of the offense. We got a lot of touches on the block, which was a big part of our scrappy defense. Proud of the girls for staying focused after the start of homecoming with coronation being held Monday night.”
Groton Area did make the Lady Tigers earn the win. Groton Area jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the first set. The Lady Tigers turned things around with a 15-3 run to take a 20-13 lead, but Groton Area fought back and got as close at 24-22 before the Lady Tigers put them away. Set two was tied at 16-16 before the Lady Tigers put the set away with a 9-2 run. Set three was more one-sided. The Lady Tigers held a dominant lead most of the set, setting up new-elected homecoming queen, Emily Hatzenbuhler, who put down a kill for the final point of the night.
The Lady Tigers pounded out 37 kills led by Charley Henderson with nine, Hatzenbuhler with eight, Ryli Thompson with seven and Emma Keller with six. Keller dished 20 assists while Katy Kemnitz dished eight. Reagan Weisbeck led the defense with 23 digs. Raelyn Aberle had 12 with Keller adding eight and Kemnitz seven. Hatzenbuhler and Henderson had two blocks each to lead the net defense.
Sydney Leicht led Groton Area with a match-leading 12 kills. Aspen Johnson had seven and Lydia Meier six. Liz Fliehs worked the ball around with 27 assists. Anna Guthmiller led the Groton Area defense with 16 digs.
The Lady Tigers and Winner Warriors had a knock-down-drag-out affair on Saturday afternoon at Mobridge-Pollock High School Gymnasium. When the dust settled, the Lady Tigers escaped with a 3-2 win after rallying to win the fifth set 18-16.
The battle to get to set five went back and forth. Winner won set one 25-20 and set three 25-22. The Lady Tigers won set two 25-21, and after falling behind 2-1, dominated set four for a 25-11 win.
Things looked dire for the Lady Tigers when they fell behind 12-8 in the rubber set, but kills by Ryli Thompson, Mariah Goehring, Sophia Overland and Charley Henderson helped the Lady Tigers take a 13-12 lead. Winner battled back to take a 14-13 lead when an Emma Keller kill tied the set at 14-all. Two straight Winner points put the Lady Tigers in jeopardy again when Grace Overland tied the set with a kill, a Winner mistake gave the Lady Tigers the lead and the Goehring finished the Warriors off with a tip-kill that found a weak spot in the defense.
“The girls did a great job being resilient and kept fighting to get this win,” said coach Rose Henderson. “This was a great team effort, and I am proud of the girls for not giving up when we got down. This was a good win for us heading into the tougher part of our season.”
Keller had a huge match for the Lady Tigers with a 15-kill, 23-assist, 17-dig triple double. The Lady Tigers had 57 kills with Henderson scoring 12, Thompson 10 and Goehring seven. Katy Kemnitz matched Keller setting with 23 assists. Reagan Weisbeck led the defensive effort with 19 digs. Raelyn Aberle added 12 digs. Gretchen Olson led serving with four aces and added eight digs.
Keelie Kuil had nine kills and Preslie Petersek eight to lead the Warriors. Aleya Miller had four aces and Karlee Brozik had four blocks.
“Winner came ready to play,” said Henderson. “They were a scrappy team that was better than their record shows.”
The Lady Tigers play back-to-back matches this week, playing at Ipswich on Monday and hosting Aberdeen Roncalli on Tuesday.
“We will work on staying focused and playing cleaner volleyball the next couple of days, getting us ready for a busy next week.”
The Lady Tigers and Ipswich are playing for the 30th time and the second time this season. The Lady Tigers defeated Ipswich 25-15, 25-15 in the semifinals of the Mobridge-Pollock Invitational. It was the second straight win over Ipswich, raising their record to 20-9 in the all-time series.
The Lady Tigers and Aberdeen Roncalli are playing for the 38th time in a series the Lady Tigers lead 20-17. Last season, the Lady Tigers defeated Roncalli 3-2 to stop a four-match win streak by the Cavaliers.
Groton Area (7-9) 22 18 18
MPHS (19-2) 25 25 25
Groton Area: Serving 3 aces (Liz Fliehs 1, Jerica Locke 1, Lydia Meyer 1); Setting 28 assists (Fliehs 27, Carly Guthmiller 1); Hitting 28 kills (Sydney Leicht 12, Aspen Johnson 7, Lydia Meier 6, Fjeldheim 5); Blocks 2 (Johnson 2); Digs 79 (Guthmiller 16, Locke 13).
Mobridge-Pollock: Serving 3 aces (Emma Keller 1, Gretchen Olson 1, Katy Kemnitz 1); Setting 30 assists (Keller 20, Kemnitz 8, Reagan Weisbeck 1); Hitting 37 (Charley Henderson 9, Emily Hatzenbuhler 8, Ryli Thompson 7, Keller 6, Raelyn Aberle 4, Mariah Goehring 1, Grace Overland 1, Weisbeck 1); Blocks 4 (Henderson 2, Hatzenbuhler 2); Digs 73 (Weisbeck 23, Aberle 12, Keller 8, Kemnitz 7).
JV Match: Split MP 25-16, GA 25-19. C Match: Groton Area 26-24, 28-26.
Winner (5-12) 25 21 25 11 16
MPHS (18-2) 20 25 22 25 18
Winner: Serving 9 aces (Aleya Miller 4); Hitting 38 kills (Keelie Kuil 9, Preslie Petersek 8); Blocks 8 (Karlee Brozik 4)
Mobridge-Pollock: Serving 10 aces (Gretchen Olson 4, Charley Henderson 3, Emma Keller 1, Reagan Weisbeck 1, Katy Kemnitz 1); Setting 54 assists (Keller 23, Kemnitz 23, Weisbeck 3, Sophia Overland 2, Olson 2, Henderson 1, Aubrey Ziegler 1); Hitting 57 kills (Keller 15, Henderson 12, Ryli Thompson 10, Mariah Goehring 7, Emily Hatzenbuhler 5, Raelyn Aberle 2, Grace Overland 2, S. Overland 2, Olson 1, Kemnitz 1); Blocks 3 (Henderson 1, Keller .5, G. Overland .5, Hatzenbuhler .5, Goehring .5); Digs 85 (Weisbeck 19, Keller 17, Aberle 12, Olson 8, Goehring 7, Kemnitz 5, Henderson 4, Thompson 4, S. Overland 3, Ziegler 3, Hatzenbuhler 2, G. Overland 1).