Saints sweep past Blue HawksThe crowd was deafening and the energy was there for the Dickinson State volleyball team.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
The crowd was deafening and the energy was there for the Dickinson State volleyball team.
Not to mention Carroll College head coach Moe Boyle said the team was nervous coming in.
“I know they’ve been going through some turmoil,” Boyle said. “We knew they were going to play loose. We were nervous coming in. It’s a long trip here to think about that the whole way.”
Nonetheless, the No. 25-ranked Saints fought off the Blue Hawks for a 25-18, 25-22, 25-21 sweep in a Frontier Conference match on Saturday at Scott Gymnasium.
“The girls gave it all they had and they definitely fought with them,” DSU interim head coach Jennifer Hartman said. “They kept up the positive energy. The crowd and the fans were amazing.”
Hartman, who took over a majority of head coaching responsibilities after former head coach Maura Bonte turned in her letter of resignation last week, said the crowd was unquestionably excited.
“I haven’t seen a crowd like this in a while and it’s nice to know that the team has their whole support system backing them up,” Hartman said. “It’s been a really good experience so far.”
The Blue Hawks (2-11) didn’t back down in any of the three sets. In the first set, DSU and Carroll (14-5) matched point-for-point and were tied 16-16 at the midway point. The Saints turned it into overdrive and went on a 9-2 run to close out the set.
“We are definitely proud of our team,” DSU junior setter Melissa Avila said. “We stepped up tremendously. We’re fighting hard and coming together as a team.”
The second set was no different and the two teams created brief runs. DSU stayed within striking distance, but Carroll didn’t allow its opponent to recover the lead. The Saints used a handful of Calli Prestwood’s kills to take the second set.
Prestwood supplied 10 kills, while Kathleen Mulligan had a match-high 14 kills and five digs.
Passionate team leader Sarah Roshak, who did a fist pump after each kill, added six kills and three digs for the Saints.
“We have emotional leaders that really bring us up,” Boyle said. “Calli did a great job. On the outside, she never says a peep, but Kathleen did a great job as well.”
The Blue Hawks had a golden opportunity in the third set, leading 14-10 after a Sarah Zeibig kill. However, DSU’s real downfall, mental lapses, went into effect. The Saints took advantage of those mental errors and finished off the set with 25-21 win.
“That’s a top 25 team,” said Avila, who had 16 assists, five kills and three digs. “We fought our hearts out and I think it was just eliminating the mental errors. I think we’ll be in every single game the rest of the season.”
Ebony Sanders led the team with nine kills, followed by Linaya Schroeder with six and Shaunda Dvorak with four.
Hartman said the team can’t be disappointed after battling to the bitter end with Carroll, adding the Blue Hawks have to correct the mental errors and look toward the trip to Westminster College of Salt Lake City on Thursday.
“We just made a couple mistakes here and there,” Hartman said. “It was mainly all mental. We just have to work on our mental game and keep pushing hard in practice.”
CC 25 25 25 — 3
DSU 18 22 21 — 0
Kills: CC, Kathleen Mulligan 14, Calli Prestwood 10, Sarah Roshak 6, Elli Graff 5. DSU, Ebony Sanders 9, Linaya Schroeder 6, Sarah Zeibig 6, Melissa Avila 5, Shaunda Dvorak 4.
Blocks: DSU, Dvorak 1.
Aces: CC, Natalie Stewart 1, Graff 1. DSU, Avila 3.
Digs: CC, Catie Hanser 8, Stewart 7, Emma Priddy 5, Emily Burk 5, Mulligan 5, Madeline Laan 5. DSU, Katelyn Christensen 11, Priscilla Frias 5, Chelsea Seibel 4, Kelly O’Connor 4.
Assists: CC, Stewart 15, Burk 14. DSU, Avila 16, O’Connor 10.
Records: CC 14-5, DSU 2-11.