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Press Photo by Royal McGregor 
Dickinson Trinity sophomore Kennedy Keator, right, goes up a kill against Hazen's Ashton Carter, left, and Autumn Johnson, middle, during a Region 7 volleyball match on Tuesday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center. Trinity won in five sets.
Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson Trinity sophomore Kennedy Keator, right, goes up a kill against Hazen's Ashton Carter, left, and Autumn Johnson, middle, during a Region 7 volleyball match on Tuesday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center. Trinity won in five sets.

A Titan of a thriller: Weir supplies 15 kills as Dickinson Trinity takes 5-set win over Hazen

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No lead was safe.

The Dickinson Trinity and Hazen volleyball teams proved it on Tuesday night.

The Titans came back multiple times in multiple sets to take a 25-22, 23-25, 25-15, 18-25, 16-14 win over Hazen in a Region 7 match at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

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"I felt that we worked our hardest," Trinity senior middle hitter Gretchen Weir said. "We had some downs and we got in some gaps, but I felt that we really came together and hard to get back."

Hazen head coach Linette Irwin added: "We would play really good and they wouldn't play very good. Finding some consistency is what the season has been about."

Trinity's head coach Rayma Braaten wasn't surprised about the fortitude her team showed. Though she did add with a smile, climbing out of a hole is tougher.

"It's seems like it the story of our season," Braaten said about rallying back. "We have been getting used to it, because it happens to us a lot. We let them get ahead and we had to work twice as hard to come back."

The Titans strength of rallying back showed up in the opening set. With the Bison taking a 21-14 lead after an Autumn Johnson kill, Trinity clawed back out of the seven-point deficit thanks to a trio of kills from Weir. On Weir's third kill in the 8-1 run, the Titans tied up the set 22-22.

Trinity rode the wave of momentum of climbing back to take the final three points and an opening set win.

"It helped us get our heads together and get going," said Weir, who finished with a team-high 15 kills.

Hazen and Trinity's battle was far from over.

The Bison (2-3 in Region 7) came out and won the second set on a three straight Madison Leintz aces. The junior server finished with six aces in the match. Irwin said Leintz thrives in those types of conditions.

"She is pretty clutch," Irwin said with a smile. "She's really a smart player and makes really good decisions. We really want her to have the ball in those situations."

Trinity returned the favor and won the third set on a Katie Dockter kill. Though Dockter is the team's setter, the junior is able to catch teams off balance with the quick set over the net for a kill. Dockter finished with 34 assists and five kills.

The Bison answered with a fourth set win on a Trinity lift violation. Hazen sophomore outside hitter Stephanie Ziegler supplied a pair of kills on the team's final five points. Ziegler finished with a match-high 16 kills.

"She can get up so high, she is so smart and rarely makes a hitting error," Irwin said. "She hit in the three or four hundreds tonight, which is huge."

However in the final set, the Titans resorted to defense mode after going down 12-10 on a Krista Slaubaugh kill. Trinity responded with a pair of points including a Kennedy Keator ace to tie up the set. Keator ended the match with 13 kills and 12 digs.

However, the Titans managed to win three of the next five points to take a 15-14 on a Dockter kill. Trinity senior outside Katelyn Grinsteinner, who had been steady throughout the entire match, came down with the match-winning kill. Grinsteinner supplied 11 kills and 16 digs.

"It is a good feeling know that we don't have to go to just one player, but we can rely on everybody," Weir said.

Though the Bison have been on the winning and losing side of five-set matches, Irwin said the team can only benefit from being in these types of games.

"They are figuring out that if you lose a set, it isn't over," she said "We've had that problem in the past. The experience is going to be beneficial for us in the end."

For the Titans, Braaten hopes the team can learn to continue its consistent play and continue to get better as the season goes along. The Titans are set to play in the Dickinson High Invitational beginning on Friday.

"This will be good for us," Braaten said about the win. "There are quite a few good teams in this region and Hazen is one of them, so beating them is good for us."

Hazen 22 25 15 25 14 -- 2

Trinity 25 23 25 18 16 -- 3

Kills: H, Stephanie Ziegler 16, Krista Slaubaugh 7, Ashton Carter 6, Sadie Bolton 6, Hannah Zimmerman 6, Autumn Johnson 6. T, Gretchen Weir 15, Kennedy Keator 13, Katelyn Grinsteinner 11, Katie Dockter 5, Allison Steffan 4.

Blocks: H, Johnson 4. T, Brianna Soehren 1, Steffan 1.

Aces: H, Madison Leintz 6, Bolton 3, Dakota Wood 3, Slaubaugh 2. T, Madison Jahner 3.

Digs: H, Wood 13, Ziegler 5, Slaubaugh 5, Leintz 5, Zimmerman 5, Bolton 4. T, Jillian Stockert 27, Grinsteinner 16, Keator 12, Katelyn Rummel 10.

Assists: H, Bolton 33, Leintz 4, Wood 4. T, Dockter 34, Rummel 3, Soehren 2.

Records: H 2-3 Region 7, T 4-0 Region 7.

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