Press & Dakotan: Pierre over Yankton



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Pierre Battles Past Gazelles To Remain Perfect On Season

By: Scott Morrison
The Pierre T.F. Riggs Lady Governors remained undefeated after outplaying the Yankton Gazelles volleyball team Saturday on Seniors' Night at the Summit Center.

Visiting Pierre (18-0, 14-0 ESD) continued their dominant play by defeating Yankton 22-25, 25-16, 25-15, 25-19 in the Gazelles last home match of the regular season.

Game one began well for the Gazelles who got off to an early lead after putting together a ten point run midway through the game.

During the run, senior Hannah Youngberg posted nine service points with three ace serves. Senior Abby Burbach and junior Emily Struck both posted two kills in the run.

The Gazelles (11-6, 9-5 ESD) won the first game 25-22, Struck posted six out of her team leading 11 kills in the game.

"We knew that we had to come out focused and aggressive in order to play well in the first game," Gazelles coach Leasa Woodward said.

The Governors rebounded quickly in the second game by jumping out to a 9-4 run. They added to their lead with a number of small runs that helped to secure the 25-16 victory.

"We were able to improve on our serve/receive game and that helped us to disrupt Yankton and keep their offense out of a rhythm," Governor coach Kacy Kienholz said.

The Gazelles had a difficult time dismantling the Pierre runs and were unable to come with in striking distance in the game.

"You have to give Pierre credit. They are undefeated for a reason," Woodward said. "They played good around the net and they are very solid on defense."

Pierre was able to carry their momentum throughout the third game and into the fourth game. They won the third game 25-15 and jumped to a 13-1 lead into the fourth game.

However, the Gazelles would not go down without a fight as they battled back to within three points at the end of the game.

During their comeback attempt, the Gazelles had a run started from both Youngberg and senior Kylie Gross.

During Youngberg's run, the Gazelles scored six points including an ace serve from Youngberg and two kills from junior Gina Althoff.

Gross's run, which accounted for five points, helped the Gazelles close the gap to 22-19. They were unable to even the game up from this point.

"After we were down 13-1, I called a time out and we talked about playing for pride," Woodward said. "I told them they needed to leave it all out on the floor and they did that."

Struck led the Gazelles with 11 kills, one solo block and one dig. Youngberg had nine kills and led the team with six ace serves.

Abby Burbach added seven kills and one solo block. Kylie Gross posted four kills, two ace serves, and five digs.

"We don't take any loss well, but anytime that you have Seniors' Night you hope that the seniors can come out and do well," Woodward said.

The Gazelles will graduate nine seniors at the end of the season. Until then they will continue battling towards the postseason.

The Gazelles will participate in their final regular season game in Sioux Falls against Sioux Falls O'Gorman on Thursday at 8:15 p.m.

The Lady Governors host Aberdeen Central on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.