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Eagles complete home weekend sweep in win over Sturgis

Aberdeen Central’s Karly Wellman, right, reaches to hit the ball as Sturgis’ Joellen Cano, left, defends the net during Saturday’s match at the Golden Eagles Arena. Wellman led the Golden Eagles with 12 kills. Photo by John Davis taken 9/11/2021

The Aberdeen Central volleyball team defeated Sturgis to complete a home weekend sweep of West River foes at the Golden Eagles Arena. Central improved to 5-2 on the season with a 25-12, 20-25, 25-16, 25-14 victory.

The Golden Eagles started strong, showing no fatigue from Friday night’s win over Spearfish in the early Saturday afternoon contest. Central jumped out to a 10-3 lead before claiming the opening set 25-12.

“This was a good weekend for our kids,” said Eagles coach Jackie Bindenagel. “We had a new lineup in this weekend so it was nice to be at home to try some things out with that.”

Sturgis showed resilience in the second set, forcing a Central timeout as the Scoopers held a 12-9 lead. Sturgis went on to steal the second set 25-10, tying the match at 1-1.

The Eagles found their winning formula in the third set as they defended their service on several occasions. “We were pretty sluggish in the second set,” Bindenagel said. “We just talked about defending our serve. We didn’t have any serving runs in that second set.”

With the score at 23-16, Anna Malchow provided the play of the afternoon with a one-handed reaching dig to keep the play alive and draw all the momentum back on the side of the home team and their fans. Aberdeen sealed the four-set victory with a comfortable 25-14 win in the fourth.

The Eagles recorded 39 kills on the afternoon, led by senior Karly Wellman with 12 on 35 attacks. Grace Kuch followed with 11 kills.

Abby Berry accounted for 24 of Central’s 30 total assists while also providing two aces.

Aberdeen Central will be put to the test this coming week as it faces two of the top teams in Class AA, Sioux Falls Lincoln (6-1) and Sioux Falls Washington (4-0), beginning with a trip to Lincoln Thursday evening.

“We’re going to have to put up something at the net to slow down their hitters,” said Bindenagel on the keys to success on the road against the Patriots. “They have a good offense and we’ll have to go back at them to take some pressure off.”

Serving: Aberdeen Central 8 aces (Arylie Waldo 3, Abby Berry 2, Sydney Evans 2, Meghan Mork 1).

Hitting: Aberdeen Central 39 kills (Karly Wellman 12, Grace Kuch 11, Berry 6, Kiana Mounga 4).

Setting: Aberdeen Central 30 assists (Berry 24).

Digs: Aberdeen Central 66 (Evans 24, Waldo 8, Malchow 14, Mork 9).

Blocks: Aberdeen Central 10 solos 4 assists (Kuch 4 solos 1 assist, Mounga 3 solos 2 assist).

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