Aberdeen Central blanks Tigers volleyball

Curt Nettinga of the Plainsman
Posted 9/20/23

Huron struggles on road against Aberdeen Central

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Aberdeen Central blanks Tigers volleyball


ABERDEEN — The Huron Tiger volleyball team struggled Tuesday night, as they dropped a 3-0 loss to the Aberdeen Central Golden Eagles at the Aberdeen High School Gymnasium. Set scores for the Golden Eagles were 26-24, 25-15, 25-20.

Huron falls to 6-4 with the loss, its fourth straight since downing the Golden Eagles at Huron Arena on Aug. 31, in a five-set marathon. In that match, Huron streaked to a 2-0 lead, saw Aberdeen come back, but then rebounded to take the win. Since that loss, Aberdeen had won three of four matches on their home court, and improves to 7-3 with the win.

Although Aberdeen earned the three-set victory, all three sets were back-and-forth affairs. Huron took early leads in all three sets, but each time the Golden Eagles responded and took a lead by the middle of the set.

In the first set, a 6-2 Huron start brought on an early Aberdeen timeout, and although the Golden Eagles gathered themselves, Huron got a pair of kills from Aly Davis, one from DaJai Claggett and an ace from Hamtyn Heinz to take a 14-10 lead into the mid-game.

A service error by the Golden Eagles set the score at 15-12, Huron, but from that point, Aberdeen went on a 7-1 roll, keyed by a pair of kills from Kenadi Withers and two from Grace Kuch and suddenly held a 19-16 lead.

Huron rallied, as Davis scored an a tip in the middle, but the Golden Eagles had the momentum. Kuch got back-to-back aces, countered by aces from Heinz and Kelsey Schuchhardt, with got Huron within a point, at 23-22. A hitting error on Aberdeen knotted the score at 23 all and after an exchange of kills by Heinz and Lauryn Burckhard, the game moved into overtime, tied at 24.

But the wobbly comeback from the Tigers ended there, as Burckhard scored on a big swing and the next Huron return sailed wide, giving Aberdeen the 26-24 set win.

“We came out confident in the first set,” said Huron coach TyAnn Ulmer. “But as we continued to play, Aberdeen took our confidence and we never were able to get it back.”

The second set started promising for Huron, as a Heinz kill, followed by another ace for the Huron setter staked the Tigers to a 4-0 lead.

But the momentum that sustained the Golden Eagles throughout the last half of the first set, returned in force, as Aberdeen went on a 15-2 roll, led by Withers and Kuch, and Huron was never able to get closer than six points the rest of the set, as the Golden Eagles took the set, 25-15.

The Tiger offense that had sputtered through the first two sets began to hit more regularly in set three. Huron again took a lead, on kills by Claggett and Sam Mangmoradeth, only to see Burckhard and Kuch push the Golden Eagles back in front.

Davis connected for Huron, as did Kenzie Siemonsma and an ace from Hylton Heinz gave huron a 7-6 lead.

With the score tied at 10, Huron went on a mini roll, as back-to-back aces from Madison Jurgens and a quick-set kill by Hamtyn Heinz pushed the Tigers to a 13-10 advantage. A short time later, a Siemonsma kill, combined with back-to-back scores by Hamtyn Heinz gave Huron it’s largest lead of the set, at 16-11.

The Golden Eagles, however, rebounded, as Burckhard connected off the Tiger block, then Withers got three straight kills to put Aberdeen back in the lead.

Down the stretch, Burckhard and Kuch got kills and Huron had no response, falling 25-20.

“We really need to have more involvement from more hitters,” Ulmer pointed out. “We need at leastthree hitters we can set. If we don’t we become more predictable and make it much easier for other teams to defend us.”

Hamtyn Heinz had seven kills and three aces to pace the Huron attack, while Davis addd six kills. Both Claggett and Mangmoradeth had three kills, as did Siemonsma, totals that are below what all three players normally produce. Jurgens had three aces for Huron.

Kuch had nine kills and four aces to pace the Golden Eagles, while Withers led the kill department with 11 and Ashley Wangler added nine and Burckhard chipped in eight.

Huron returns to action Thursday, when the Tigers travel to Brookings to take on the Bobcats.

Lower level games saw the team split, with Aberdeen taking the JV match in straight sets (25-14, 25-6) and the Freshman match as well, 2-0 although set scores were not available.

Huron’s Sophomores persevered for the win, 16-25, 25-23 and 15-13.

Score by sets
Huron         24 15 20
Aberdeen     26 25 25