How can you simplify things while at the same learn things that may be complicated?

That’s the position the Yankton volleyball team finds itself in, as the Gazelles continue to work on implementing practice techniques into a match situation.

“We’ll practice certain strategies and try to be mindful of where we are on the floor and how to get ourselves in a position to run certain things,” head coach Shanna Koenig said after Thursday night’s 25-17, 25-11, 25-19 loss to Harrisburg at the YHS gym.

As the Gazelles (0-8) approach the end of the first third of their season, they’re learning more and more about systems and strategy during the course of a match.

They’re learning, their coach said, how to use certain combinations on the floor to execute what they’re trying to run.

“We’re focused on encouragement, unity and defense, and we’re starting to do those things more consistently,” Koenig added.

Harrisburg (1-2), which had played a fourth of the number of matches Yankton had, didn’t trail at any point until the third set.

Ultimately, the Tigers’ aggressive serving caused Yankton problems, according to Koenig.

“We can’t win sets if we miss nine serves,” she said. “First contacts are absolutely crucial, and we have some things to clean up and get mentally tough.”

It’s crucial to be able to shake off mistakes, Koenig added.

“We’re seeing maturity and growth in that way,” she said.

Senior Gabby Pietila led Yankton with 11 kills, while senior Carissa Salvatori added nine kills and 13 digs. Sophomore Jordynn Salvatori chipped in with seven kills and 14 digs, while senior Ivy Mines also recorded 13 digs.

Senior Alyson Johnson keyed the offense with 13 set assists and junior Halle Stephenson had 12 set assists.

Yankton returns to action next Tuesday when it hosts Sioux Falls Washington.

In sub-varsity action Thursday, Harrisburg won the JV match 25-18, 25-18. Yankton got four kills from Jordynn Salvatori, five set assists from Halle Stephenson, and six digs apiece from Salvatori and Britta Pietila.

Harrisburg won the sophomore match 25-18, 25-14. For Yankton, Regan Garry had three kills and five digs, Tatum Hohenthaner had six set assists and five digs, and Emily Reinhardt led the defense with nine digs.

Harrisburg won the freshman ‘A’ match 25-10, 25-4, and the freshman ‘B’ match 25-7, 25-6.

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