The old adage is that a team needs to be playing its best at the end of the season. The Lady Tigers stayed true to that old saw, playing their best match of the year in beating Stanley County 3-0 in the first round of the Region 6A Tournament at Mobridge-Pollock High School Gymnasium on Tuesday.
The Lady Tigers beat the Lady Buffaloes 25-18, 25-10, 25-22.
Coach Rose Henderson said the girls’ overpowering night came because they excelled at all phases of the game.
“Our passing was incredible and that let us push our fast offense and that led to good things happening,” said Henderson. “Our defense had some letdowns late, but overall they did what we wanted them to do.”
The Lady Tigers took control of momentum early and kept it on their side of the net most of the night. They used a 6-0 run in set one to open a 12-4 lead and seized the court until they had won set one 25-18 and set two 25-10.
The visiting Lady Buffaloes kept set three close until the end. Stanley County had the Lady Tigers tied a 21-21 before Mobridge-Pollock ended things with a 4-1 run to put the Lady Buffaloes away.
The offense was three-pronged with Megan Zahn and Hayley Borah knocking down 10 kills each and Landyn Henderson adding six kills.
“Hayley was swinging,” said Henderson. “Megan was swinging. That’s what we need.”
With the back-row defense sending accurate shots to setter Caitlyn Claymore all night, Claymore was perfect on 66 sets with 28 assists.
Jadin Monsen and Emily Wientjes were really good in the back row,” said Henderson. “Caitlyn knew we had to attack from the middle more than we have been and she got the job done.”
On the defensive side, Henderson had two of the team’s five blocks, while Monsen and Haley Brockel had five digs each and Wientjes had four.
After getting off to a slow start, the servers heated up and served eight aces. Claymore led with three. Monsen and Brockel had two each.
The Lady Tigers’ reward for the region win is a trip to Miller on Thursday to square off against the number one team in state. The Rustlers are 26-2 on the season and have won 21 straight matches.
“It’s going to be a tough game, but it’s going to be a great opportunity,” said Henderson. “We have nothing to lose. We just have to go out and play.”
The Lady Tigers and Rustlers are playing for the 27th time and the ninth time in the postseason. The teams are tied at 13-13 all-time. The Lady Tigers lead 5-3 in postseason play, including a 3-0 win in the 2015 region.
Stanley County (6-17) 18 10 22
Mobridge-Pollock (9-18) 25 25 25
Stanley County: Serving 3 aces (Natalie Schoffelman 2, Mady Titze); Hitting 19 kills (Ally McQuistion 7, Karley Leafgreen 6).
Mobridge-Pollock: Serving 66-73, 8 aces (Caitlyn Claymore 13-14-3, Jadin Monsen 14-16-2, Haley Brockel 7-8-2); Setting (Claymore 66-66, 28 assists); Hitting 78-86, 33 kills (Megan Zahn 19-23-10, Hayley Borah 19-19-10, Landyn Henderson 14-15-6); Blocks 5 (Landyn Henderson 2, Zahn 1.5, Channing Wientjes 1.5); Digs 16 (Monsen 5, Brockel 5, Emily Wientjes 4).