No. 2 Aberdeen tops MHS in three sets
By Ryan Deal
ABERDEEN -- The Golden Eagles swept the Kernels 25-9, 25-22 and 25-15 on Tuesday night in an Eastern South Dakota Conference volleyball match at Golden Eagles Arena.
The second-ranked Golden Eagles improved to 5-0 on the season.
"(Aberdeen) is a great serving team and we are not a great passing team at this time," Mitchell coach Deb Thill said. "They totally took advantage of that."
Aberdeen finished with 14 aces and had three serving errors out of 72 attempts.
"We are aggressive servers," Aberdeen coach Dennis Northrup said. "We work a lot on it. I have got kids that have really bought into serving low and hard and we are going to make that one of our main weapons."
The Golden Eagles set the tone early with their serving, jumping out to a 13-5 lead in the first set and later stretched their lead to 18-7. Maddie Goetz then had four straight aces to put Aberdeen up 22-7. Aberdeen had eight total aces in the first set.
The second set was closer as there were eight ties and four lead changes. The last tie occurred at 17-all, but Aberdeen went on a 3-0 run to get some breathing room. The Golden Eagles held on for the win and a 2-0 lead in the match.
Aberdeen bolted out to another comfortable lead in the third set en route to its fourth sweep of the season.
Mitchell was its own worse enemy at times as it had several hitting and serving errors.
"They were in-system a lot more than we were," Thill said.
One of Aberdeen's main concerns coming into the match was 6-foot-4 Taylin Alm. The Golden Eagles were able to limit the Division I Pepperdine University recruit to a certain extent, but she still recorded 12 kills.
Brianna Kusler led Aberdeen and finished with 14 kills, two aces and one block.
"(Kusler) was just solid tonight," Northrup said. "She is very athletic and makes a lot of smart choices."
Mitchell (3-2) plays at Yankton on Saturday in an ESD match.
Serving: Mitchell (Taylin Alm 2 aces); Aberdeen 69-72 14 aces (Maddie Goetz 6 aces, Meggie Hanson 2 aces, Tara Rook 2 aces, Brianna Kusler 2 aces).
Hitting: Mitchell (Alm 12 kills, Alison Murphy 4 kills, Rachel Bucholz 4 kills); Aberdeen 68-74 33 kills (Kusler 14 kills, Sam Scepaniak 6 kills, Megan Kingsriter 5 aces, Bridget White 5 aces).
Setting: Mitchell (Emma Schmidt 23 assists); Aberdeen 19 assists (Goetz 18 assists).
Digs: Mitchell (Sidney Neugebauer 12); Aberdeen 31 (Hanson 8, Rook 8, Goetz 5).
Blocks: Mitchell (Bucholz 4); Aberdeen 7 block assists (Goetz 2 block assists, Kingsriter 2 block assists).
Records: Mitchell 3-2; Aberdeen 5-0.