The Yankton Gazelles bounced back from a slow start, but dropped a 25-15, 25-20, 25-19 decision to Sioux Falls Lincoln in prep volleyball action on Tuesday at the YHS Gym.

For Yankton, Carissa Salvatori led a balanced attack with seven kills, 11 digs and a solo block. Gabby Pietila had six kills, nine digs and two assisted blocks.

“Carissa Salvatori really stepped up her game tonight, as well as Gabby Pietila,” said Yankton head coach Shanna Ibarolle-Koenig. “They are our middles, and the both played all the way around.”

Also for the Gazelles, Britta Pietila finished with five kills. Halle Stephenson posted 11 assists and seven digs, with Alyson Johnson finishing with 10 assists and five digs. Ivy Mines had 18 digs, and Jordynn Salvatori added three ace serves and nine digs for the Gazelles.

The Gazelles adjusted their rotation against Lincoln, in part due to lessons learned from last weekend’s Norfolk Invitational, and in part due to an injury that altered the rotation.

“This past weekend we learned a lot about ourselves as a team,” Koenig said. “We took the weekend at Norfolk to find the best chemistry.”

The Gazelles got off to a slow start in the match, but played better in the final two sets, according to Koenig.

“We definitely saw more success in the last two. We were close to pulling out a win in both of them,” she said. “We have to learn how to finish.”

One aspect Koenig was pleased with on Tuesday was the team’s floor defense.

“We played phenomenal defense,” she said. “I was thrilled to see us have six players on the floor committed to the defense. If we had performed better on offense, we might have had a different outcome.”

The Gazelles, 0-7, have a short turn-around before hosting Harrisburg on Thursday.

“We’re going to get in the gym tomorrow, try some things and go through our rotations,” Koenig said.

Lincoln rallied to a 17-25, 25-21, 15-13 victory in the JV match. For Yankton, Lilly Thoms had eight kills and Chloe McDermott had seven kills to lead the way. Halle Stephenson posted seven assists, with Jillian Schulte posting six assists and two ace serves. Tatum Hohenthaner, Molly Savey and Jaidyn Wishon each had two ace serves. Jordynn Salvatori added five kills and 12 digs in the effort.

The Patriots claimed the sophomore match 26-28, 25-20, 15-12. For the Gazelles, Emily Reinhardt had three kills and nine digs to lead the way. Hohenthaner posted three ace serves and 10 assists. Savey also had three ace serves, as well as eight digs. Wishon added two ace serves and two kills. Lina Bauer added two ace serves.

Lincoln swept the freshmen matches, winning the ‘A’ match 25-9, 22-25, 15-12; and the ‘B’ match 25-23, 25-16. For Yankton, Rachel Hejna had a combined four kills and two ace serves. Tierney Faulk, Alexis Zimmerman and Bauer each had two ace serves. Jenna Vander Tuig posted 13 assists. Allie Taggart added four digs.

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