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Knights knock off top-rated Wolsey-Wessington

Aberdeen Christian’s Joy Rohrbach, right, digs out a serve as Hitchcock-Tulare’s Madison Hofer, front left, looks on during Tuesday night’s match at the Aberdeen Christian School gym. Rohrbach had a team-leading 32 digs to help power Christian's defense in a five-set win over top-rated Wolsey-Wessington Thursday night. Photo by John Davis taken 9/14/2021

WOLSEY – Aberdeen Christian came up with one big play after another to topple top-rated Wolsey-Wessington Thursday night.

The Knights produced under pressure to record a 25-22, 25-19, 20-25, 20-25, 15-11 non-conference volleyball victory.

“Biggest win in program history. It feels pretty awesome,” said Christian coach Maggie Jett. “I knew these girls were so capable of playing great volleyball and competing with top teams, and tonight they proved it not only to themselves but to any doubters out there.”

Jett said her players knew the task in front of them Thursday night and reponded to the challenge.

“Wolsey-Wessington is a top team for a reason, because they’re a solid, aggressive, talented team, and we knew coming into tonight we would have to play them big and play them tough, and that’s what we did,” Jett said. “When Wolsey-Wessington would try something new, our girls did a nice job adapting and overcoming those challenges.”

While the Knights were effective at the net, Jett said it was her team’s defense that set the tone for the match, led by Joy Rohrbach who finished with a match-high 32 digs.

“We played outstanding defense the entire night. We didn’t let a lot of balls drop and read the court well tonight,” Jett said. “Joy played her best game yet passing nearly every ball on target and was all over the court on defense. Our passing game tonight was the difference, because we stayed in system most of the night.”

Once the ball did reach the front row, the Knights were aggressive with it.

Mary Fites led the team with 17 kills, Hanna Miller followed with 13 and Mallory Miller added nine.

“Mary came up big for us with big kills when we needed them and finding a way to get the ball around their defense,” Jett said. “Our front line did a nice job having a big presence at the net, forcing their hitters to have to try different things.”

Christian’s service was also solid. Kaylee Block finished the match with three aces to go along with 36 set assists.

And when push came to shove, the Knights were able to respond in the pivotal fifth set after losing a two-set advantage.

“When Wolsey-Wessington pushed back in sets three and four, which we knew they could, we regrouped and came together to fight it out as a team in the fifth,” Jett said. “The girls never stopped believing they could win that game and that was key. I couldn’t be prouder of every one of them. They fought hard for this win.”

The Knights, 6-1 on the season, play in a tournament at Ipswich on Saturday.

Serving: Aberdeen Christian (Kaylee Block 3 aces, Joy Rohrbach 1 ace, Ruth Hulscher 1 ace); Wolsey-Wessington (Leah Williams 14-17 2 aces, Mya Boomsma 14-16, Hailey Clarke 13-15).

Hitting: Aberdeen Christian (Mary Fites 17 kills, Hanna Miller 13 kills, Mallory Miller 9 kills); Wolsey-Wessington (Boomsma 27 kills, Williams 13 kills, Kailynn Dorris 10 kills).

Setting: Aberdeen Christian (Block 36 assists, Rohrbach 5 assists); Wolsey-Wessington (Clarke 18 assists, Taylor Horn 14 assists, Macie Luce 13 assists).

Digs: Aberdeen Christian (Rohrbach 32, Block 14, H. Miller 13); Wolsey-Wessington (Boomsma 25, Lainey Uttecht 21, Williams 18).

Blocks: Aberdeen Christian (M. Miller 2 solos 4 assists, Grace Kaiser 2 assists); Wolsey-Wessington (Dorris 7, Horn 3, Luce 3).

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