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Wagner's Gina Soukup passes the ball as Delaynie Dickerson (9) looks on during the third set of the consolation semifinals against Sioux Valley Friday at the Class A state tournament in Aberdeen. (Aaron Saunders/Republic)

Wagner tops Sioux Valley 3-1 to reach consolation championship

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ABERDEEN — Every time Wagner needed a spark Friday, head coach Amy Tyler called on Gina Soukup, Kim Koupal and Emily Brunsing.

The trio pulled through and led the No. 5 Red Raiders to a 25-22, 25-22, 19-25, 25-15 win over No. 8 Sioux Valley to advance to the consolation championship for the second straight year.

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“It feels really good because Thursday we didn't quite get what we wanted,” said Brunsing, who had nine kills in the match. “It all starts with the pass, so we have to give credit to our passers like Kayla (Deurmier), who sets the ball where it needs to be, and we just put it down for our team.”

The Red Raiders face No. 7 Sisseton at 1:45 p.m. Saturday in the fifth-place match at Aberdeen Central High School.

Soukup had nine kills and 15 digs, while Koupal recorded a double-double with 10 kills and 13 digs. Brooklyn Tolliver had 20 digs, Delaynie Dickerson added 20 digs and Deurmier had 32 assists, three kills and 10 digs for a double-double.

Behind good defense, Wagner (27-7) jumped out to a two-set lead over the Cossacks. During that span, the Red Raiders used strong serve receive to overtake Sioux Valley (16-13). Both sets were a back-and-forth affair, but when the Red Raiders needed a kill, their top hitters came through.

Defensively, Wagner finished with 86 digs and four blocks.

In the opening set, Wagner clung to a 23-22 lead but got a pair of kills from Brunsing and Soukup to take the set. The Red Raiders also staved off a late run from Sioux Valley in the second set with help from Koupal, who recorded the last two points of the set with a block and a kill.

“We played pretty well overall,” Tyler said. “Sioux Valley was attacking at positions and our block was a little bit slow, but they picked up the momentum.

“I think when we get Gina up to the front row, she is consistent for us. But one of the shots that sticks out is Kim hitting that line shot for us that she was trying to get all night.”

Sioux Valley picked things up in the third set with intensity and a balanced attack. Led by Mariah VanderWal, Carley Peterson and Tiffany Bjorkland, the Cossacks battled their way to a 25-19 set win.

VanderWal finished the match with 10 kills, while Peterson had eight kills, 13 assists and four digs. Bjorkland added six kills and 21 digs for Sioux Valley.

“I thought my team really came together and played pretty well,” Sioux Valley head volleyball coach Jill Vincent said.

“In set three, our front row was really ready to play, they were swinging hard at the ball and my setters were putting it where the hitters needed it.”

Sioux Valley will face No. 6 Pine Ridge for seventh place at noon today at Aberdeen Central High School.

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