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Knights extend winning streak to 11 with victory over Waubay-Summit

Aberdeen Christian’s Chloe Bosma, center and Mallory Miller, right, defend the net as Waubay/Summit’s Kailee Berger, left, hits the ball during Tuesday’s match at the Aberdeen Christian School gym. Photo by John Davis taken 9/21/2021

They had every reason for a letdown, but Aberdeen Christian Knights set the tone early and rolled to their 11th straight victory Tuesday night.

Less than than 24 hours after an emotional win over Roncalli and playing their eighth match in eight days, the Knights were never in trouble en route to a 25-10, 25-9, 25-12 non-conference sweep over Waubay-Summit at the Aberdeen Christian Gym.

“I just challenged the girls to muster their energy,” said Christian coach Maggie Jett. “We played 28 sets in a week, so that takes its toll.”

From bombing aces serves to pounding down kills, Christian kept the Mustangs on their heels the entire match.

The Knights served up 16 aces, led by Mary Fites with six and Emily Schwan with four.

“I was much happier with our serving tonight than (Monday) night, although (against Roncalli) the girls were just serving tough. We didn’t get them all to go in,” Jett said. “They were serving tough tonight and got them out of system.”

Kaylee Block continued her strong serving, including back-to-back aces early in the second set to ignite the Knights on a 12-2 surge to take control of the middle set.

“I try to serve as hard as I can. Sometimes it goes out of bounds, but I give it my best,” Block said. “I go early to practice every day to try to get some serves in.”

The senior setter finds herself at the hub of a potent offense, one which racked up 44 kills against Waubay-Summit. Fites and Mallory Miller each finished with 11 kills. Block finished with 22 set assists.

When asked how she decides who to set, Block responded, “Whoever is having a good night, but they’re all great hitters, so I just give it to whoever.”

Christian, rated fourth in this week’s Class B poll, is having its best season in program history. Block pointed out two keys to this year’s success: the addition of 6-foot-4 Mallory Miller and her 6-1 sister Hanna Miller to give the team extra height, and also team chemistry.

“I think we’re just like really a team this year,” Block said. “We have a great connection.”

The Knights, 12-1 on the season, head to Bowdle to take on North Central on Thursday.

While the squad has a double-digit winning streak, Jett tries to just focus on the next foe and not think too far ahead.

“We pretty much talk about the next opponent. We don’t get too far down the line,” Jett said. “We just try and stay focused on getting the job done for the next opponent and that’s it. I’ve never been a big one to talk about long-range goals too early in the season.”

Serving: Waubay-Summit (Liza Purdy 8, Tasha Zirbel 8); Aberdeen Christian 69-70 16 aces (Mary Fites 15-15 6 aces, Emily Schwan 13-14 4 aces).

Hitting: Waubay-Summit 12 kills (Masey Chapin 3, Kailee Berger 3); Aberdeen Christian 80-91 44 kills (Fites 19-20 11 kills, Mallory Miller 17-19 11 kills).

Setting: Waubay-Summit (Zirbel 9 assists); Aberdeen Christian (Kaylee Block 49-56 22 assists, Joy Rohrbach 8-8 2 assists).

Digs: Waubay-Summit 13 (Hollie O’Riley 5, Jorja Whempner 2); Aberdeen Christian 33 (Rohrbach 17).

Blocks: Aberdeen Christian (M. Miller 1 assist, Chloe Bosma 1 assist).

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