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Central falls to Huron in battle of unbeaten squads

Aberdeen Central’s Sydney Evans, left and Anna Malchow, center, set to dig out a serve as teammate Ayrlie Waldo, foreground right, looks on during Saturday’s match against Rapid City Stevens at the Aberdeen Civic Arena. Evans had 41 digs and Malchow 29 in a setback at Huron Thursday night. Photo by John Davis taken 8/27/2022

HURON – Aberdeen Central’s unblemished season came to a tough end Thursday night, as the Huron Tigers claimed a five-set victory in a battle of unbeatens at the Huron Arena.

Huron won the Eastern South Dakota Conference battle by set scores of 25-17, 20-25, 25-21, 25-27 and 15-9.

Despite the overall loss, Central coach Jackie Bindenagel was pleased with the effort her team displayed throughout the match.

“We were way down in set four,” Bindenagel said. “That’s about as tough as our kids have played all year. I was proud of the way we came back.”

That rally, however, proved somewhat costly for the Golden Eagles, as Sydney Evans and Madi Miller collided while going for a ball in the fifth set. Both players left the court and did not return.

That collision, which came in the latter portion of the set, took a bit of the wind out of Central’s rally, and Huron was able to seal off the win.

Bindenagel credited the Golden Eagles’ defense as a key component of the match, noting Evans’ 41 digs on the night leading the way before she left the match. Anna Malchow added 29 digs.

“Our defense was phenomenal tonight,” Bindenagel said.

Grace Kuch led the offense with 18 kills. Leah Gough contributed 13.

Central falls to 3-1 overall. The Golden Eagles will host Pierre in a 3 p.m. match Saturday at Golden Eagles Arena.

“I went in the locker room afterward, and all I could hear was them talking,” Bindenagel said. “I just hear this positive chatter. That meant a lot to hear that after a loss. We have a great group of kids.”

Serving: Aberdeen Central 78-89 3 aces (Anna Malchow 19-20 1 ace, Madison Miller 18-19 1 ace, Sydney Evans 18-19 1 ace).

Hitting: Aberdeen Central 184-215 42 kills (Grace Kuch 67-77 18 kills, Leah Gough 52-61 13 kills).

Setting: Aberdeen Central 188-190 35 assists (Arylie Waldo 180-182 33 assists).

Digs: Aberdeen Central 118 (Evans 41, Malchow 29, Miller 17, Sawyer Bahr 14).

Blocks: Aberdeen Central 2 solo 2 assists (Kuch 1 solo, Ashley Wangler 1 solo, Taryn Nieman 1 assist, Lauryn Burckhard 1 assist).

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