The Yankton volleyball team came into this week hoping that the momentum it created a week ago would stick around.
Unfortunately for the Gazelles, it hasn’t.
A night after being swept in Harrisburg, Yankton suffered another sweep, this time to Brandon Valley on Tuesday night at the YHS gym. The visiting Lynx won by scores of 25-11, 25-21, 25-15.
“On the court, we just seem tense,” said Yankton junior Britta Pietila, who led the way with 10 kills to go along with one block.
“We need to take a breath, calm down and play like we can; like we do in practice.”
Those were all things the Gazelles (2-15) were able to accomplish a week ago when they lost a five-setter in Brookings and then won a five-setter in Mitchell.
“Last week we saw that and it paid off,” Pietila added. “I don’t think we carried it with us, though.”
In this week’s two matches so far, however, the Gazelles struggled to develop much of a rhythm — outside of a spurt in set two Tuesday — and couldn’t avoid mistakes, according to head coach Heather Olson.
“We’ve had way too many unforced errors,” she said. “Brandon Valley is a good team and you can tell they’ve gotten better, but we had to take care of our side better. It’s hard to dig out of holes like that.”
Brandon Valley (11-3) controlled the opening set and then did the same in the early stages of the second set. Yankton, though, reeled off seven consecutive points to take a 14-13 lead, but the Lynx later scored five straight points to take back control.
“We started playing together; started focusing on the team and not what everyone was doing,” Pietila said. “We could see that good things can happen.”
The Lynx then got out to a fast start in set three and cruised to the victory.
Freshman Camille McDermott tallied 18 set assist and one ace serve for Yankton, while junior Jordynn Salvatori had one block and led the defense with 13 digs.
Yankton will now head west across the Missouri River for a five-match weekend trip. The Gazelles will play Sturgis and Rapid City Stevens on Friday in Sturgis, and will then face Douglas, Rapid City Central and Spearfish on Saturday in Spearfish.
The goal for the Gazelles?
“We’re looking forward to winning all five,” Pietila said. “If we’re going to travel so far, we might as well make it worth the trip.”
In sub-varsity action Tuesday night against Brandon Valley, the visiting Lynx beat Yankton 25-17, 25-20. The Gazelles got nine set assists and one block from Payton Moser, three kills from Regan Garry and 12 digs from Tatum Hohenthaner.
Brandon Valley won the sophomore match 25-21, 25-14, and the Gazelles got 24 digs from Addison Sedlacek, nine set assists from Allie Taggart and three kills from Taryn Fitzgerald.
In freshman action, Brandon Valley won the ‘A’ match 25-17, 25-15, while Yankton got four set assists from Ava Koller, and three kills and five digs from Emma Herrboldt. Brandon Valley won the freshman ‘B’ match 25-19, 11-25, 15-8, and the Gazelles got 24 digs from Julie Cox, 10 set assists and three ace serves from Isabella Maldonado, and seven kills from Jenilea Oliver.
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