"We started out a little slow and played catch up until late in the game those first two games," Pierre head coach Kacy Kienholz said.
The Lady Govs battled back from a narrow deficit early on in games one and two to take the lead near the end and secure the win. The Lady Tigers enjoyed a narrow lead in Game 2, until Polly Gill served up two aces on one possession. But Huron responded with five consecutive points, to take a 12-9 lead.
Steph Paluch found a way around the blockers and ended the Lady Tigers’ run with a kill. A kill from Samantha Flynn brought the Lady Govs back within one.
"Later on, we just sort of figured out that we’re the same team on the same court," Kienholz said. "We just had to get used to the new surroundings and go out there and play to get the job done."
Bethany Goeden put up a kill to give the Lady Govs an 18-17 lead late in Game 2. Hoping to regain some of the momentum, the Lady Tigers took a timeout, but Goeden responded with two more kills. Gill served up two more aces and the Lady Govs took a 22-18 lead.
"Polly had a great game for us," Kienholz said. "She did well serving, but she also dominated at the net with 16 kills. Bethany Goeden had a couple crucial kills for us as well. Once we were on, we played very well."
Pierre setter Amanda Stout surprised the Lady Tigers’ defense with a hit of her own, tipping the ball over herself instead of setting to one of her hitters. The Lady Tigers then expelled their last timeout of the game, but to no avail, as a Paluch kill set up game point.
A lift call against Huron ended the game when the Lady Tigers attempted to return another Paluch kill.
"It was really important for us to take control there at the end," Kienholz said. "Winning Game 2 gave us the upper hand going into that third game."
The Lady Govs maintained control from there on out, as the Lady Tigers fell apart in the third game. The Lady Tigers didn’t give themselves much of a chance in the third game, making numerous mistakes early on.
The Lady Tigers hit the ball into the net four times to give Pierre an 8-3 lead in Game 3. Ali Burchill set the ball to Gill for a kill and Goeden tacked another one on to give the Lady Govs an 11-3 lead.
The rest of the game was much of the same. Huron caught a break when the Lady Tigers found an open spot on the floor, but it didn’t last long as Paluch put up another kill to maintain a 19-6 lead. Paluch again set up game point, this time with an ace serve. The Lady Tigers hit the ball out of bounds on Paluch’s next serve to give the Lady Govs the win.
"Our defense was a little soft today.
We let a couple of balls drop that maybe shouldn’t have,
so we’ll have to work on that before our match against
Roosevelt," Kienholz said.
The Lady Govs face off against No. 5 Sioux Falls Roosevelt at 6 p.m. today at the Sioux Falls Arena. Roosevelt knocked off No. 4 Aberdeen Central to advance into the semifinal round against Pierre.