Lady Tigers thump Crow Creek in 6A opener
By Jay Davis
The Lady Tigers never trailed in defeating Crow Creek 3-0 in the opening round of the Region 6A Tournament at Mobridge-Pollock High School Gymnasium on Tuesday.
The Lady Tigers got off to starts of 6-0, 11-1 and 9-1 in defeating the Lady Chieftains 25-8, 25-10, 25-10.
“We talked to the girls about this being the playoffs and having to be ready from point one,” said coach Keri Bolduan. “The girls concentrated and played hard. Staying in focus can be difficult when you have a big lead.”
Becca Martin had a four-ace run to get the Lady Tigers started in the first set. With the lead at 7-2, Aundrea Kramer served four more aces during a 5-0 run. The lead was 23-5 before Crow Creek scored a few points late.
Martin and Kramer stayed hot from the service line, combining for six aces as the Lady Tigers jumped out 11-1 in set two. Ellie Rabenberg and Alexis Frey combined for five kills to up the lead to 22-7.
Kayleigh Henderson got the third set started with back-to-back kills. That led to Kramer smacking four more aces and an early 9-1 lead for the Lady Tigers. With the lead at 18-8, Maranda Wagner took her turn from the service line and popped three aces, which Henderson followed with a pair of kills, pushing the score to 23-8.
The Lady Tigers finished with 26 aces. Kramer was 17 of 19 with 12 aces. Martin finished with six and Wagner had four.
Wagner had just nine digs on the evening, but the ninth one was a milestone for the junior. On her last dig of the match, Wagner recorded the 1,000th of her career.
The Lady Tigers needed just 21 kills. Henderson had six and Rabenberg had five.
Cassi Heumiller and Martin spread the ball around with seven assists each.
Jamie Starks led Crow Creek with five kills. Tori His Law had three aces.
This was just the second meeting between the two clubs. The Lady Tigers defeated the Lady Chieftains 2-0 during the 1992-93 season.
The Lady Tigers advance to the semifinals in Miller on Thursday.
The Lady Tigers will have to step their game up a notch if they are going to upend the Rustlers on their home court. Miller is 2-0 against Mobridge-Pollock this season. The Rustlers defeated the Lady Tigers 25-17, 25-18 at the Big Dakota Conference Tournament and 25-14, 25-22 at the Central South Dakota Conference Tournament.
“We didn’t play well against them,” said Bolduan. We weren’t moving well and we made mental mistakes.”
Bolduan believes things could be different this time around.
“We have some veteran players who have been through this. They know what it will take,” said Bolduan. “Where we are at right now, I think we’ll give them a run and maybe pull this off.”
The Lady Tigers are 12-9 in the all-time series with the Rustlers, including wins in the 2012, 2011 and 20-10 region championship matches.
Crow Creek (7-13) 8 10 10
Mobridge-Pollock (19-9) 25 25 25
Crow Creek: Serving 6 aces (Tori His Law 3, Megan Howe 2, Cheyenne Red Water); Hitting 8 kills (Jamie Starks 5, His Law 2, Howe).
Mobridge-Pollock: Serving 67-75, 26 aces (Aundrea Kramer 17-19-12, Becca Martin 12-15-6, Maranda Wagner 14-14-4); Setting 53-55, 20 assists (Cassi Heumiller 25-25-7, Martin 18-20-7); Hitting 47-52, 21 kills (Kayleigh Henderson 10-12-6, Ellie Rabenberg 9-10-5, Kylee Wagner 6-8-2); Digs 13 (Maranda Wagner 9, Chelsy Hoffman 3).