Platte-Geddes falls in S.D. Class A state volleyball tournament quarterfinalsABERDEEN — Platte-Geddes High School volleyball coach Jill Kemnitz did not have a hard time explaining her team’s Class A state quarterfinal loss to Sioux Falls Christian on Thursday.
By: Travis Mester, The Daily Republic
ABERDEEN — Platte-Geddes High School volleyball coach Jill Kemnitz did not have a hard time explaining her team’s Class A state quarterfinal loss to Sioux Falls Christian on Thursday.
She could have talked about her team’s hitting errors in the opening set, or the struggles the back row had on serve-receive throughout the match. But the Chargers’ five-set victory came down to something much less trivial.
“They had too many hitters and we were short a hitter or two,” Kemnitz said.
It really was that simple.
Fourth-seeded Christian trailed in the match on two different occasions, but kept swinging away for a 25-27, 25-19, 18-25, 25-22, 15-12 victory.
Fifth-seeded P-G (25-4) faces Redfield/Doland in a consolation semifinal at noon today, while the Chargers (24-2) play two-time defending Class A champion Wagner in a semifinal at 6 p.m.
Christian had four players with double-figure kills in the match, led by sophomore Kiara Vander Pol with 16. Junior Elizabeth Odens had 14 kills, junior Claire Assam had 12 and senior Kaitlin Hanson recorded 10 for the Chargers.
“We spread the ball around. That’s what we’ve done all season long,” Christian coach Darci Wassenaar said. “We have five really good hitters we can go to.
“We knew most of their balls were going to (Kellee) Griese and (Emily) Johnson so we tried to key on them.”
Wassenaar was right.
Johnson, a 5-foot-10 senior, had 15 kills and two blocks. Griese, a 5-11 junior, had 12 kills and two blocks.
The Black Panthers won a first set despite sloppy play in the back row and a handful of hitting errors. After that, the teams traded blows in the second and third sets before Christian won the fourth and seized control midway through the decisive fifth.
“That Game 1 was a tough one to lose. We had control of it and we let them have it,” Wassenaar said. “We had two game-point chances and didn’t capitalize.
“I’m really happy how the girls turned it around after having the wind taken out of our sails a little bit.”
Hayley McCarron recorded 51 assists for the Chargers, who also got six aces from Laura Hurley in the match. Christian had 19 aces against P-G’s spotty serve-receive.
Chelsea Biehl had six kills and Kalli Kuipers had 34 assists for the Black Panthers, who took third at last year’s Class A state tournament after losing to Wagner in a semifinal.
“We came in as the fifth seed and we’re going to have to prove that we are that good,” Kemnitz said. “There’s still a lot of volleyball to play.”
Christian won the consolation championship at last season’s state tournament.