Aberdeen beats Kernels in four sets at Class AA state volleyball tournamentYANKTON — If the Mitchell High School volleyball team could bottle Friday’s third set against Aberdeen, the Kernels may have ended up on the winning side.
By: Chris Aarhus, The Daily Republic
YANKTON — If the Mitchell High School volleyball team could bottle Friday’s third set against Aberdeen, the Kernels may have ended up on the winning side.
For the fourth time in as many matches, Aberdeen downed Mitchell in four sets, winning 25-18, 25-23, 11-25, 25-13 in consolation action of the Class AA state tournament at the Summit Center.
The Kernels dominated the third set after a slow start, but couldn’t sustain it the rest of the match.
“That’s how we played (Thursday) and lost,” said Mitchell coach Deb Thill, whose team fell in a quarterfinal match in four to Huron. “We put that effort on the floor in a two-hour match at 8 p.m. (Thursday). Then, in not very many hours later, asking the kids to play like that again — it’s hard, especially for high school kids.”
Mitchell (14-11) plays Rapid City Stevens (19-5) for seventh place at noon today.
“Hopefully, we can regroup,” Thill said. “We want to end our season on a good note.”
Aberdeen (20-5) meets Watertown (13-12) at about 1:45 p.m.
Aberdeen coach Dennis Northrup said he saw marked improvement over Thursday’s performance when the Golden Eagles were upset by a Sioux Falls Lincoln sweep.
“We passed the ball a lot better,” Northrup said. “We played a lot more relaxed. We didn’t play our game (on Thursday). We played a little tight.”
Aberdeen took advantage of costly Mitchell errors right away, laying claim to a 9-3 start in the first set and never letting the Kernels find any rhythm.
However, Mitchell fired back with an improved performance in the second set, and the two teams engaged in a seesaw battle. Aberdeen took a 23-22 lead on a kill from sophomore Lauren McCafferty. Mitchell tied it when Kerri Young answered with a kill, but McCafferty struck again to give Aberdeen a 24-23 advantage. A costly hitting error clinched the second set for Aberdeen on the next play.
McCafferty finished with a match-high 12 kills and Kelcy Schaunaman had six blocks.
Early on in the third set, it looked like Aberdeen was going to make the match a clean sweep. The Golden Eagles started with a 4-1 run. But Mitchell put together a dominant run, scoring 24 of the next 31 points to send it to a fourth set.
“We played extremely well in the third set, which is how I expected them to play,” Thill said.
Aberdeen put the loss in the rearview mirror and cruised from there, closing out the match with a 10-3 run in the fourth set.
Northrup said his team’s blocking has been up and down, but that it showed up against the Kernels.
“It’s hit and miss,” Northrup said. “It still seems like it should be a little bit better at this stage of the game.”
The Kernels were led by Lexie Weier’s 11 kills and 17 digs.
“She played very well,” Thill said. “Very well offensively, very well defensively — she had a great match.”
Taylin Alm finished with seven kills and Dana Misiaszek and Kerri Young each had six. Charlee Nelson added 29 assists, six kills and three blocks.