Tied at 1-1, the Lady Tigers needed someone to step up and become a leader. They got that from junior hitter Channing Wientjes and went on to defeat North Central 3-1 at Mobridge-Pollock High School Gymnasium on Tuesday.
The Lady Tigers were outplayed much of the time by North Central during the first two sets but managed to win set one 25-23 before dropping set two 26-24.
With set three tied at 13-13, the Lady Tigers went on a 3-0 run powered by back-to-back Wientjes kills that turned momentum to their favor.
“We needed a leader to step up and Channing filled that void in the third and fourth sets,” said coach Rose Henderson.
The rest of the team got in the act to finish set three. And Ellie Fried kills and a Haley Brockel ace made the score 19-15. Megan Zahn, who delivered an ace right before the two Wientjes kills, got a kill of her own, setting up three Landyn Henderson kills. Henderson’s third landed in the deep left corner and gave the Lady Tigers a 25-17 win.
The Lady Tigers took control of the fourth set early. With a 12-6 lead, Wientjes had four kills as part of a run that took the score to 20-11. Leading 23-17, the Lady Tigers put the finishing touches on the win with a point generated by a Leah Overland hit, followed by Emma Keller’s ace for the win.
Henderson said that the win was a big one, but it was just a step in the process the Lady Tigers are going through as they learn to gel as a team. She said the Lady Tigers need time together on the court to improve their communication and trust.
“Simple mistakes are letting us down,” said Henderson. “They want it so bad they are overplaying.”
Undefeated Potter County swept the Lady Tigers 3-0 in Gettysburg on Thursday.
The Lady Battlers defeated the Lady Tigers 25-18, 25-18, 25-16.
Potter County used stretches of points midway through each of the sets. In set one, the Battlers held a 13-12 lead before a 6-2 run put a gap in the score. The Lady Tigers led set two 12-11 when the Battlers scored four straight points and never looked back. Set three was a 13-11 in favor of the home team when a 5-2 run put distance between the teams.
Megan Zahn led the Lady Tigers with eight kills. Regan Stoick played all over the court with three kills, three aces and six digs. Emily Wientjes had a strong defensive game with a match-leading 12 digs. Callie Weisbeck led setting with nine assists.
Jenna Robbennolt led Potter County with a match-high 12 kills. MaKaivry Schatz led all servers with five aces. Kirstie Lake was the night’s top setter with 11 assists. KiTu LeBeau led the Potter County defense with nine digs.
The Lady Tigers will keep Mobridge-Pollock High School Gymnasium busy during homecoming week. Mobridge-Pollock hosts Leola/Frederick on Thursday before eight teams converge Saturday for the 27th edition of the Mobridge-Pollock Invitational Volleyball Tournament. The tournament has run every year since its inception in 1989, except for 1996 when it was cancelled by weather (volleyball was a winter sport back then).
Mobridge-Pollock and Leola/Frederick are meeting for the 21st time. The Lady Tigers won 3-2 last year and have won 14 of the last 15 to hold a 16-5 lead in the series.
The Lady Tigers did not have a great day at last year’s home tournament. Injuries and two players gone for a wedding set up a sixth-place finish. But the Lady Tigers have won their home tournament 11 times, including seven titles as Mobridge-Pollock.
Playing here Saturday, starting at 10 a.m., are Cheyenne-Eagle Butte, North Central, Ipswich, Leola/Frederick, McIntosh, Timber Lake and McLaughlin.
“This should be a good weekend for us,” said Henderson. The unofficial first round looks like #1 Ipswich vs. #8 McLaughlin; #4 Leola/Frederick vs. #5 Cheyenne-Eagle Butte; #3 Mobridge-Pollock vs. #6 North Central; and #2 Timber Lake vs. #7 McIntosh.
On Tuesday, the Lady Tigers play at Groton Area.
While the Lady Tigers hold a 23-12 lead in the all-time series, Groton Area has won the last three matches, including a 3-0 in the Bridge City last fall.
North Central (4-4) 23 26 17 17
Mobridge-Pollock (2-2) 25 24 25 25
North Central: Serving 70-79, 8 aces (Sam Lux 2, Grace Walz 2, Jessie Lux 2); Hitting 28 kills (Maia Crawford 8, Walz 7, Krystal Geier 6); Blocks 2 (Geier 2); Digs (J. Lux 21, Walz 21).
Mobridge-Pollock: Serving 89-96, 12 aces (Haley Brockel 15-15-4, Regan Stoick 14-16-3, Emma Keller 17-17-1); Setting 76-76, 25 assists (Callie Weisbeck 33-33-14, Keller 43-43-11); Hitting 99-113, 37 kills (Channing Wientjes 31-34-12, Megan Zahn 24-28-11, Landyn Henderson 20-23-8); Blocks 7 (Henderson 4, Zahn 2); Digs 38 (Emily Wientjes 12, Stoick 9).
Mobridge-Pollock (1-2) 18 18 16
Potter County (5-0) 25 25 25
Mobridge-Pollock: Serving 43-52, 7 aces (Regan Stoick 12-13-3, Callie Weisbeck 10-12-1, Emma Keller 9-10-1, Haley Brockel 6-7-1); Setting 74-77, 15 assists (Weisbeck 47-50-9, Keller 25-25-6); Hitting 61-83, 17 kills (Megan Zahn 18-23-8, Regan Stoick 12-16-3, Landyn Henderson 12-17-2, Channing Wientjes 10-11-2); Blocks 4 (Henderson 2); Digs 35 (Emily Wientjes 12, Stoick 6, Brockel 5).
Potter County: Serving 68-74, 12 aces (MaKaivry Schatz 18-18-5, Autumn Pitlick 15-16-4, Kirstie Lake 16-16-1); Setting 65-65, 21 assists (Lake 29-29-11, Cassidy Goebel 24-24-7); Hitting 60-75, 23 kills (Jenna Robbennolt 20-22-12, Schatz 11-15-3, Pitlick 10-16-3); Blocks 4; Digs 37 (KiTu LeBeau 9, Pitlick 8, Schatz 5).
JV Match: Potter County 25-23, 25-17. C Match: Potter County 25-14, 25-16.