BROOKINGS – Paiton Burckhard helped lead Aberdeen Central to a 25-20, 25-12, 25-20 defeat of the Bobcats during Eastern South Dakota Conference volleyball action Tuesday night at the BHS Auxiliary Gymnasium.
The 6-foot senior recorded a match-high 21 kills and also tallied three of her team’s 10 service aces.
“She is a fabulous athlete,” said Brookings coach Jodi Melius. “There’s a reason she’s a Division I college recruit, and she showed her athleticism tonight.”
The Golden Eagles (7-3, 4-3) scored the first three points of the match and never trailed in the first set, with their lead twice reaching six points – the latter occurrence came at 11-5.
The Bobcats hung around and eventually pulled within two at 18-16. An Annika Johnson kill made it 19-17 and Michaela Jewett added a kill to leave the score at 20-18. However, Aberdeen Central outscored Brookings 5-2 down the stretch to take the set.
The Golden Eagles raced out to a 5-0 lead in Set 2 and never looked back in grabbing a 2-0 lead in the match.
Grace Eggebrecht’s kill highlighted a 4-0 Bobcat run that made it 11-5 in the third set.
Another 4-0 run – which included kills from Johanna Miller and Kailee Bartels, and a block by Jewett and Bartels – put Brookings up 17-11.
Burckhard took care of business down the stretch as the Golden Eagles closed the match on a 14-3 run.
“I thought we played really well to close out Set 1 and I thought we played really well to start Set 3,” Melius noted. “Those runs just didn’t last long enough to give us enough points to win.”
Mara Mounga paced the Aberdeen Central offense with 24 set assists and Sydney Wirebaugh added seven, while Laura Babcock finished with 20 digs.
Mounga also contributed three aces and a pair of blocks. Cassidy Gough netted seven kills.
“I thought tonight was a match of serve receive,” Melius added. “We struggled. Aberdeen is, in my opinion, the best serving team we’ve faced so far this year. But we struggled to get the ball to our setter, which means struggled to get our hitters in a rhythm; and that showed.”
Johnson totaled 11 kills and Eggebrecht eight. Jewett dished out 24 set assists and came up with 16 digs.
Bartels notched three blocks and Miranda Ysbrand had 12 digs.
Brookings (2-6, 2-4) plays at Pierre on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Junior varsity – AC won 25-15, 20-25, 15-6
Sophomore – BHS won 25-19, 25-17
Freshmen A – AC won 25-22, 25-23
Freshmen B – AC won 18-25, 25-18, 15-5