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Five-set match favors Aberdeen Central over Mitchell volleyball

Mitchell drops to 9-9 on the season

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(Republic file photo)

ABERDEEN — The fifth set continued to be unkind to the Mitchell Kernels volleyball team on Tuesday night.

For the third time this season, MHS took an opponent to a fifth set and came up empty in an effort to win the match, as Aberdeen Central earned the 3-2 win over the Kernels in an Eastern South Dakota Conference match. Set scores were 19-25, 25-8, 25-19, 25-27 and 15-11.

“Just two evenly matched teams. And it probably should have gone five sets tonight,” Mitchell coach Deb Thill said. “It basically came down to serve and serve-receive. The team that was passing in system was the one controlling the match and that favored Aberdeen at the end.”

Trailing 2-1, Mitchell (9-9) rallied in the fourth set after being down 19-12 and scored 15 of the next 21 points to win the set and force the decisive set. In the fifth set, the Golden Eagles built a 10-4 lead and the Kernels tried to climb back to even it but never could, resulting in Mitchell’s fifth-straight loss.

“I just liked the way we fought and came back and in that fifth set, it came down to an inch on the sideline and an inch on the end line,” Thill said. “But that’s volleyball.”

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Kaspen Alm had 24 kills for Mitchell on Tuesday, with teammate Lizzie Tyler posting eight kills, 21 assists, 25 digs and three aces. Sarah Sebert had a team-high 30 digs, with Taylor Giblin logging three aces and 10 digs. Sawyer Stoebner had five blocks for the Kernels.

Aberdeen Central was the No. 8 team in Class AA seed-point standings entering Tuesday night, with Mitchell in ninth and places No. 8 to No. 14 were separated by a little more than one point in the standings.

“We’re competing and competing hard and that’s all I can ask for,” Thill said. “It’s a matter of just making the plays to win the match at the key times. We know we’re going to have some big opportunities in front of us and Class AA is a little crazy here at the moment.”

Thill noted the other results from Tuesday’s action in Class AA, with Pierre, third in seed points, falling to No. 12 Huron and No. 6 Harrisburg losing to Class A No. 1 Sioux Falls Christian.

“It’s going to be a tight race all the way to the end,” Thill said.

Mitchell (9-9) will host Rapid City Stevens and Rapid City Central on Friday and Saturday, respectively at the MHS Gym. First serve is at 7 p.m. Friday and 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The remaining three matches include an Oct. 26 trip to Huron, Nov. 2 at Brandon Valley and No. 4 hosting Sioux Falls O’Gorman to close the season.

Aberdeen (11-11), which has answered seven straight losses with six wins in the last eight matches, hosts Watertown on Oct. 26, before closing the season with a Nov. 2 home game with Sioux Falls Roosevelt and a Nov. 4 visit to Sioux Falls Jefferson.

Related Topics: VOLLEYBALL
Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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