Veteran mixture: Quartet of senior returners to lead MidgetsThe Dickinson High volleyball team has grown accustomed to winning in recent years.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson High volleyball team has grown accustomed to winning in recent years.
That mindset and those expectations aren’t changing this year as the Midgets have four senior returning starters taking the floor.
“We have six seniors, who are going to see a lot of playing time,” Dickinson head coach Jay Schobinger said. “They’ve gone out and proven themselves. Four of them played a lot of volleyball last year and are returning starters.”
Dickinson finished last year with a 30-10 overall record and has been the West Region Tournament runner-up the past two seasons to Bismarck High and Bismarck Century, respectively.
The Midgets ultimately finished sixth at last season’s Class A state tournament, losing to West Fargo in the fifth-place match.
“Last year, I think we had really high expectations for our team,” said Dickinson’s Abby Grove, a 5-foot-9 senior outside hitter. “During the state tournament, it went downhill just a little, but we have those high expectations again this year.”
The four returning senior starters are Grove, middle hitter Taylor Cooper (5-10), setter Ali Moody (5-11) and outside hitter Rachel Schroeder (5-8). The four returners have had some solid players to look up to the past two seasons with Jess Herauf and Madison Deibert.
“They’ve been fortunate that they’ve had some good role models above them to kind of emulate,” Schobinger said. “They want to keep it going. We’ve had a pretty good run the last couple of years and they want to be a team that has another 30-win season.”
Schobinger said he’s been impressed with how supportive the team has been through the early stages of the season. Grove has the same feelings on the how well everyone works together to achieve the common goal at the end of the season — to be West Region champions.
“I think we’ll do pretty well,” Grove said. “We’ve been playing together for a while and we have good chemistry.”
Along with the four returning starters, the Midgets will look to seniors Hannah Beaudoin and Jess Priebe for more leadership.
“Hannah Beaudoin is going to see a lot of time on that right side and Jess Priebe has really came into her own as a back row player,” Schobinger said.
Dickinson also has juniors Sydney Gangl and Mackee Hoffman waiting in the wings to get some valuable varsity experience. Schobinger has already said the lineup isn’t completely set and plans on giving younger players an opportunity to show what they can bring to the table.
“We’re going to give some younger kids the opportunity to see what they have,” he said. “We probably won’t come up with a set lineup for a while.”
The Midgets don’t necessarily have a true No. 1 hitter coming into the season, but Moody said the talent is pretty well spread out.
“I don’t think anyone thinks we are going (to be) as good as normal, because we don’t have those big hitters,” Moody said. “But, we have a lot of talent coming up.”
Schobinger said fans should be in for a treat with this team, not just because of their skill but also their hustle.
“It’s been interesting watching this group,” Schobinger said. “The one thing I think you’ll notice with this group is they play hard. They go out and get after it.”
“You don’t really see a lot of balls dropping in practice,” Grove added. “Everyone goes hard.”
Dickinson High Midgets
Head coach: Jay Schobinger (20th season)
Last year: 30-10, runner-up in West Region Tournament and placed sixth at the state tournament.
Returners: Ali Moody, Sr., S; Abby Grove, Sr., OH; Taylor Cooper, Sr., MH; Rachel Schroeder, Sr., MH.
Newcomers: Hannah Beaudoin, Sr., OH; Sydney Gangl, Jr., S; Mackee Hoffmann, Jr., OH; Jess Priebe, Sr., OH.
Losses: Madison Deibert, OH; Leslie Beaudoin, OH; Morgan Grosulak, DS; Molly Miller, DS; Kelsey Lafond, DS; Melissa Sipma, OH.