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Kimball hosts Potter-Dix and Mitchell in Thursday triangular

KIMBALL, Neb. - The Kimball Lady Longhorns (1-2, C2-12) returned home Thursday afternoon after securing their first win of the season on Tuesday evening against Garden County, 2-1 (25-13, 25-27, 25-13). Joining Kimball at ‘The Arena’ were the Mitchell Lady Tigers (1-1, C1-12) fresh off a loss to Class B Sidney, 0-3 (14-25, 22-25, 15-25), and the Potter-Dix Lady Coyotes (D2-12) who were beginning their 2017 season.

The first match of the afternoon featured Kimball against Mitchell. The Lady Tigers ended a three-match losing streak to the Lady Longhorns last season with a 2-0 sweep in the Potter-Dix triangular and were looking to start a streak of their own against Kimball.

In the first set, Mitchell jumped out to an early 12-7 lead before the Lady Longhorns went on a 5-0 run to tie it up at 12. Out of a timeout from head coach Michele Peters, the Lady Tigers went on a 12-6 run to take set one, 25-18. They then carried the momentum they established at the end of the first set into the second and went on to cruise to a 25-13 set score and a 2-0 sweep. Mitchell senior Jori Peters led the team with six kills and seven assists, unofficially, while Kimball’s Justine Heeg earned player of the game honors recording five assists.

The second game of the triangular saw the Potter-Dix Lady Coyotes take the court against Mitchell. After securing a 31-2 record and a state tournament appearance last season, the Lady Coyotes opened their 2017 season looking to replace three all-state selections and their head coach as Brad Hicks is now the head man.

Mitchell took advantage of their experience with already having three games under their belt, and came away with only the second sweep in the series between these two since 2011. The Lady Tigers won set one 25-15 and followed that up with a dominating set two, 25-10. Potter-Dix was led by senior Trinity Langley who earned player of the game honors with a match-high nine kills, unofficially. Payge Hoffman also stepped into the setter role and had seven assists.

The third, and final, match was between Kimball and Potter-Dix, a team the Lady Coyotes swept twice last season. Now with the first match jitters gone, Potter-Dix jumped out to an early 12-6 lead, but the Lady Longhorns answered with a 6-0 run to tie it at 12. The Lady Coyotes answered right back with a 4-0 run of their own and went on to win a close first set, 25-23. Set two was much of the same, back-and-forth between both squads, neither able to jump out to more than a three point lead. Kimball was able to pull away near the end, thanks to serve reception errors from Potter-Dix, and force a deciding set three with a 25-21 set two victory.

In the third set both teams once again looked to be evenly matched with the lead changing hands several times. But, the Lady Coyotes seemed to finally find a rhythm offensively, and coupled with some errors on the Lady Longhorns side of the net, went on a 9-1 run to end the set winning 25-17 and taking the match 2-1 for their first victory of the year.

Langley once again led Potter-Dix with 15 kills, while fellow senior Audrey Juelfs reached the double digit kill mark as well with 12 of her own. Hannah Biesecker of Kimball also joined the double digit club with ten kills. Hoffman earned player of the game for the Lady Coyotes as she recorded 13 assists on top of playing great defense, and Carli Wurdeman had seven assists for the Lady Longhorns on her way to earning player of the game as well.

Looking ahead for all three teams, Kimball and Potter-Dix will play this Saturday in the Sheridan County Invitational along with Bridgeport. Mitchell returns home next Tuesday to host Bayard.

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