If the Pierre High School volleyball team had
any concerns about beating Mitchell twice in six
days, it didn’t show Thursday night.
The Lady Govs jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the
first game and never looked back, cruising to a
3-0 victory over the Kernels to remain perfect
at 6-0 overall and 5-0 in the Eastern South
Pierre also beat Mitchell 3-0 last Friday
“They’re good,” Mitchell head coach Deb Thill
said. “You have to give them credit. They don’t
make a lot of errors, they play great defense,
they attack the ball well, and they serve well.
That’s what you have to do to succeed.”
While Pierre did virtually everything well,
Mitchell struggled, especially early, when it
dug a hole from which it couldn’t escape. The
Lady Govs came out with a strong service game,
and the Kernels were slow to respond.
“We needed to cut down on the errors,” Thill
said. “We basically scored their first seven
points for them on our errors. They didn’t even
have to take a swing. All they were doing was
serving it. We just have to be better at taking
care of our side.”
While the Kernels had trouble limiting their
errors, especially in the first two games, which
they dropped 25-10 and 25-12, they started to
turn things around late in the third game.
Unfortunately for the Kernels, it was too
little, too late.
Down 22-13 at one point in the third game,
Mitchell rallied, eventually closing the gap to
24-22 after staving off five match points in the
process. Still, it wasn’t enough to prevent the
team’s fourth consecutive loss.
“Sometimes when we’re in a hole, we tend to
play better and harder,” Mitchell junior setter
Kendra Knight said. “We need to change that
obviously. We just felt the momentum, and we
kept going with it.”
Added junior Ashley Dorale: “The momentum of
the game picked up, and we were ready to play.”
However, if the Kernels wish to be more
competitive in ESD, where they dropped to 1-4
(3-4 overall), they know they have to come out
ready to play earlier in the match than the
“We know we need to play like we did in the
third game,” Knight said. “We need to be that
team all the time, not just some of the time.”
Still, given the team’s sluggish performance
in the first two games, it was encouraging for
Thill to see her team remain focused and come
out strong in the third game, especially against
one of the better teams in the state.
“There are a lot of positives we can take out
of this,” Thill said. “We did a lot of nice
things throughout the match. We just didn’t put
together a string of enough of them.”
Mitchell was led offensively by Taylor
Overweg’s four kills. Kendra Knight had nine
assists, three kills and two aces, and Taylor
Piper had 19 digs. Melissa Muehler finished with
three kills and seven digs.
“I don’t think our kids ever laid down,”
Thill said. “They tried hard. You can’t fault
their effort, and you can’t fault their
attitude. That’s all I ask them to do.”
Mitchell’s junior varsity team fell to the
Lady Govs Thursday, 2-1. The sophomores won 2-0,
and the freshman team won both matches by 2-0
Mitchell returns to action Saturday at
Watertown at 7:30 p.m.