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Wagner beats Sisseton to take fifth in Class A

Wagner's Brooklyn Tolliver records a dig during the first set of a fifth-place match against Sisseton Saturday at the Class A state volleyball tournament in Aberdeen. (Aaron Saunders/Republic)

ABERDEEN — For the second straight season, the Wagner Red Raiders end the season as the fifth-best team at the Class A state volleyball tournament.

The Red Raiders defeated No. 7 Sisseton 25-21, 25-22, 25-23 Saturday.

“I like anytime you can leave the state tournament with a winning record, I think that is everyone's goal,” said Wagner head volleyball coach Amy Tyler, whose team beat Aberdeen Roncalli in last year’s fifth-place match. “We had one fault in the weekend, but it is coming back from those losses and playing well is what I like to see.”

The Red Raiders’ lone loss of the tournament came to No. 4 Winner in the first round.

For much of the season, Tyler said her team counted on the consistent play of senior outside hitter Kim Koupal. Saturday, Koupal was up to her usual antics as she recorded her second double-double of the tournament.

Koupal, who said she just wanted to finish her career strong, came out and recorded eight kills in the first set to help Wagner (29-7) take the set 25-21.

“It feels great to go out with a win, but it is a little bitter sweet,” Koupal said. “We usually have a goal sheet that we have to write out and on that I said I just wanted to go out with a bang. Sisseton has some tall girls, but I just found a way to put the kills down.”

Koupal went on to finish with 17 kills and 18 digs. Senior outside hitter Gina Soukup added 11 kills and 18 digs to record a double-double, junior defensive specialist Brooklyn Tolliver chipped in with 24 digs and senior setter Kayla Deurmier added 43 assists.

“We passed very well. It was by far our best game,” Tyler said. “I thought Brooklyn had a great passing game, and I was also very pleased with the net play.”

Tyler added the defense played its best game of the tournament against the Redmen. The Red Raiders finished with 80 digs and two blocks.

The Redmen were led by senior outside hitters Macy Toelle and Kelli Reinart. Toelle finished with 10 kills and eight digs, while Reinart had 11 kills and three digs. Senior setter Mariah Medenwald added 17 assists.

“We played hard we just have quite enough to get over the hump,” Sisseton head volleyball coach Cory Grimsrud said. “Wagner is a good team and got down too early and just didn't get enough kills to win.”