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Central drops regular-season finale to Jefferson

Aberdeen Central’s Ayrlie Waldo bumps the ball during a recent match against Watertown at the Golden Eagles Arena. Waldo had an ace, eight digs, and 11 set assists in a setback at Sioux Falls Jefferson Thursday night. Photo by John Davis taken 10/24/2023

SIOUX FALLS – Third-rated Sioux Falls Jefferson held Aberdeen Central firmly at arm’s length in Thursday night’s regular-season finale, sweeping the Golden Eagles 25-16, 25-9 and 25-13 in a non-conference volleyball match.

Despite an aggressive approach from the service line, the Golden Eagles had trouble finding a rhythm offensively, as Central managed just 11 kills on the night.

“Jefferson is really good,” said Central coach Jackie Bindenagel. “Our kids hung with them early on in sets one and three, and then they would make a big run and pull away.”

Sawyer Bahr and Madison Miller led the way for Central’s defensive and serving units. Miller notched two of the Golden Eagles’ five aces, while putting up eight digs. Bahr had 17 digs and an ace, while Ayrlie Waldo finished with another eight digs, an ace and all 11 of Central’s assists.

Offensively, Central got six kills from Lauryn Burckhard.

“I thought we served really aggressively and got a fair amount of touches at the net,” Bindenagel said.

The loss slid the Golden Eagles down to eighth in the Class AA standings, meaning Central will still host a SoDak 16 contest next Thursday. That match-up appears to be a third faceoff against Pierre, and Bindinagel said that match is the team’s sole focus now.

“All we are focused on now is next Thursday and getting back to that (state) tournament,” she said.

Serving: Aberdeen Central 34-38 5 aces (Madison Miller 11-11 2 aces); SFJ 8 aces (Emory Brosnahan 3).

Hitting: Aberdeen Central 75-96 11 kills (Lauryn Burckhard 23-26 6 kills); SFJ 95-104 37 kills (Brosnahan 27-28 9 kills, Ella Kvernmo 17-19 9 kills).

Setting: Aberdeen Central 94-94 11 assists (Ayrlie Waldo 84-84 11 assists); SFJ 33 assists (Presly Pastian 29).

Digs: Aberdeen Central 52 (Sawyer Bahr 17, Waldo 8, Miller 8); SFJ 81 (Cora Hokenstad 23, Kervnmo 16, Pastian 15).

Blocks: Aberdeen Central 2 solo 2 assists (Taryn Nieman 2 solo); SFJ 5 (Isabel Simmons 2).

Records: Aberdeen Central 13-11; Sioux Falls Jefferson 21-2.

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