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Christian wins Ipswich Invitational

Aberdeen Christian’s Mallory Miller, right, watches the ball after blocking the hit of Iroquois/Doland’s Lily Blue, center, during a match at the Aberdeen Christian School gym. Looking on at left for the Knights is Ruth Hulscher. Miller led the Knights with 10 kills in the championship match of the Ipswich Invitational on Saturday. Photo by John Davis taken 9/2/2021

IPSWICH – Aberdeen Christian continued its memorable volleyball week by capturing the championship of the Ipswich Invitational on Saturday.

The Knights, fresh off a win over top-rated Wolsey-Wessington, won four more matches, sweeping past Kimball-White Lake 25-11, 25-21 in the title match, rallying from a 16-11 deficit.

“I told the girls it was important we come out strong and continue to push forward today coming off a big win on Thursday,” said Christian coach Maggie Jett. “They kept the momentum and didn’t drop a set all day. They really played clean, solid and aggressive volleyball all day.”

The Knights defeated Herreid-Selby Area 25-22, 25-13, Lemmon 25-4, 25-11, and Langford Area 25-12, 25-9 on the way to the championship match.

As it did against Wolsey-Wessington, Christian’s defense played a key role in the march to the title.

“Our back row players worked really hard on defense today and I think that kept us on top for each of the games,” Jett said. “There’s no denying our hitters and blockers can do some damage at the net and they got some big swings and big blocks.”

At the hub of that offense is senior setter Kaylee Block. She had another big day on Saturday.

“Kaylee Block had a great day delivering the ball to our hitters and being more aggressive with running our offense,” Jett said. “Mallory (Miller) is really finding her niche in the middle for us and is making an impact offensively and defensively.”

Jett also pointed out the play of Ruth Hulscher, Mary Fites and Hanna Miller.

“Grace Kaiser was solid from the serving line all day and did a nice job of being active at the net,” Jett said.

Rohrbach and Fites were named to the all-tournament team along with Ryann Nielsen and Madison Heath of Kimball-White Lake, Ashley Cadwell of Langford Area, Hallie Schulte of Milbank Area, Katie Bierman and Madison Geditz of Ipswich, Kendell Sawinsky of Herreid-Selby Area, and Allie Kohn of Lemmon.

Langford Area defeated Milbank Area for third, Ipswich defeated Herreid-Selby Area for fifth, and Lemmon defeated Leola-Frederick for seventh.

“Overall, it was another solid team effort, and these girls are starting to really find their groove on the court,” Jett said. “I’m so proud of their efforts.”

Christian, 10-1, hosts Aberdeen Roncalli Monday night in the first ever varsity volleyball meeting between the two schools.

Aberdeen Christian 25-25, Kimball-White Lake 11-22

Serving: Kimball-White Lake (Ryann Nielsen 2 aces); Aberdeen Christian 49-50 3 aces (Ruth Hulscher 9-10 3 aces, Grace Kaiser 13-13).

Hitting: Kimball-White Lake (Nielsen 8 kills); Aberdeen Christian 56-68 28 kills (Mallory Miller 17-18 10 kills, Mary Fites 16-20 7 kills, Hanna Miller 6-11 5 kills).

Setting: Kimball-White Lake (Madison Meier 4 assists); Aberdeen Christian 67-68 20 assists (Kaylee Block 58-58 19 assists).

Digs: Kimball-White Lake (Madison Heath 8, Cami Comfort 7); Aberdeen Christian 36 (Joy Rohrbach 12, Hulscher 8).

Blocks: Aberdeen Christian 3 solos 4 assists (M. Miller 2 solos 1 assist, Block 1 solo 1 assist).

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