Midgets overcome: With Abby Grove out, Dickinson relies on strong communication to sweep WillistonThe Dickinson High volleyball team was without its top hitter.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson High volleyball team was without its top hitter.
However, the Abby Grove-less Midgets rallied together to sweep West Region opponent Williston 25-15, 25-22, 25-15 on Wednesday at the DHS gymnasium.
“We went in without Abby Grove and Mackee Hoffman and that’s half of our regular serve-reception,” Dickinson head coach Jay Schobinger said. “We thought it was a good time to run a 6-2 and I thought they did a good job with it.”
In the meantime, the Midgets snapped a three-game losing streak to West Region opponents. Dickinson senior middle hitter Rachel Schroeder said it’s good to get back on the right path.
“After you lose a couple times, you start to doubt yourself,” Schroeder said. “Tonight showed that we can still step out on the floor and do what we are capable of doing.”
With Grove out due to flu-like symptoms, the Midgets inserted sophomore Lillie Meduna at setter and moved Ali Moody to outside hitter. Dickinson didn’t miss a beat.
“Since Abby was gone, we knew we had to communicate a lot,” Schroeder said. “We had Lillie Meduna step out on the court and do an awesome job. Everybody has faith in everybody.”
The Midgets (22-8, 8-3 West) used a solid start in the first set to take a 16-11 lead. Dickinson built that lead up to 23-15 and finished off the first set with a Moody kill and a Jess Priebe ace. Moody finished with 13 kills, 11 assists, 13 digs and two aces.
Williston (4-18, 1-11 West) wasn’t going down without a fight though. In the second and the start of the third, the Coyotes made that apparent.
“We’ve gotten two looks at Dickinson this year and they’re obviously one of the top teams in the state,” Williston head coach Josh Wastvedt said. “This week we really emphasized defense and we did a good job digging tonight.”
The teams went toe-to-toe in the second set. Sam Monteau, the Coyotes’ senior outside hitter, knocked down back-to-back aces to bring Williston within one, 17-16. But the Midgets never coughed up the lead.
“Sam is one of the most coachable girls I’ve ever met,” Wastvedt said. “She works so hard at her jump serve every day.”
Schroeder said the Midgets’ biggest key at the end of the second set was communicating again.
Dickinson had a host of players rally on Taylor Cooper, Moody and Keely Hutchens kills. Cooper finished with seven aces and four blocks, while Hutchens added seven kills and three aces.
“We stopped communicating and that’s always a bad deal for us,” Schroeder said. “When we stop talking, other teams go on big runs, but once we start opening our mouths things go back to normal. We just have to remember to talk.”
The start of the third set was a battle as well, but after Williston’s Emily Lysne struck down an ace, the Midgets shot into full gear. Dickinson went on a 10-2 run to close out the sweep.
Katie Nice led Williston with eight kills, while Monteau added seven kills and three aces.
“Katie Nice was a freshman outside hitter tonight and she’s swung all across the net for us this year,” Wastvedt said. “She and Sam Monteau connected really well with our setters. I have to give credit to our servers today.”
The Midgets play their final home match of the season against Bismarck St. Mary’s next Thursday. It will be the team’s senior night.
“We said, after the loss (on Tuesday) to Jamestown, the goal is to start a winning streak now,” Schobinger said. “We want to try to stay hot going into the West Region tournament.”
Williston 15 22 15 — 0
Dickinson 25 25 25 — 3
Kills: W, Katie Nice 8, Sam Monteau 7, Amanda Slade 4, Emily Lysne 2, Amanda Nelson 2. D, Ali Moody 13, Keely Hutchens 7, Rachel Schroeder 5.
Blocks: W, Lysne 2, Monteau 1. D, Taylor Cooper 4, Schroeder 3.
Aces: W, Monteau 3, Lysne 1. D, Cooper 7, Keely Hutchens 3, Moody 2, Mariah Jorda 2.
Digs: W, Jordan Hill14, Cayli Slette 13, Lysne 7, Shelby Njos 6. D, Moody 13, Jess Priebe 10, Jorda 8.
Assists: W, Kyleigh Cotton 11, Keyanna Enget 10. D, Llle Meduna 17, Moody 11.
Records: W 4-18, 1-11 West. D 22-8, 8-3 West.