Schieno stands outThen Dickinson Trinity’s newly appointed head volleyball coach, Rayma Braaten was in awe when she saw Alyson Schieno practice for the first time last fall.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Then Dickinson Trinity’s newly appointed head volleyball coach, Rayma Braaten was in awe when she saw Aly Schieno practice for the first time last fall.
Schieno, who saw limited playing time as a sophomore, got her coach’s attention as a junior. As a senior she’s one of the most feared hitters in Region 7 with 1,151 career kills.
“I was very surprised,” Braaten said. “When I saw her level of play, I didn’t know there were people around here that could play at that level. I was impressed. I was also very impressed with her work ethic.”
The biggest test for Scheino and the rest of the Titans starts at 7:30 p.m. Monday against Heart River at the Killdeer High School gymnasium in the quarterfinals of the Region 7 Tournament. The Titans are the No. 2 seed from District 14 and Heart River is the No. 3 seed from District 13.
“We’re going to play our absolute best,” Schieno said. “We want to play strong as a team. Win or lose, if we all play our hardest I think that’s what’s going to matter.”
The 5-foot-8 senior outside hitter garners so much attention from opposing teams it leaves juniors Allison Steffan, Gretchen Weir and Katelyn Grinsteinner open for one-on-one blocks.
“The other team is always with Schieno, because they know how good she is,” Steffan said with a smile. “When we trick them, she’s got an open net and she’s pretty much unstoppable then.”
Not only has Schieno’s game molded her into a points leader for Trinity, she also has formed into a role model for the 10 underclassmen — all one has to do is ask her teammates.
“She’s definitely a leader,” Steffan said. “She knows where to put the ball so well and she has so much power that she’s teaching us all how to play better.”
Braaten knows Schieno is the catalyst to keep the offense going. When Schieno is at the top of her game everyone else follows.
“If she has a bad game, we have a bad game,” Braaten said. “When she has a great, we have a great game. We depend a lot on her.”
Coming into Schieno’s senior season, the Titans lost eight players due to graduation. She was going to be looked as a leader on the court with a group of fresh varsity players. Schieno, however, said her teammates picked up their play pretty quickly.
“They got it together right away,” Schieno said. “They really didn’t know the tournament part of it, but I think they got it together right after our first tournament.”
Schieno said Trinity’s season has been one of ups and downs, but at the District 14 Tournament all the pieces aligned to help it reach the championship match against Beulah.
“Throughout the season, we were a roller coaster,” Schieno said. “We’d have very up games and next game we would have a down game. When it came to districts we pull it together as a team and came out strong.”
Though the Titans fell to Beulah in five sets, Schieno had career highs in kills (26) and digs (52).
“I believe my sophomore year I had a match-high of 25 kills against Beach,” Schieno said. “I did get the highest digs of my whole career.”
Schieno said she couldn’t have been prouder of how the team played in the championship match.
“I wasn’t upset at all that we lost,” she said. “I was very proud of my team and how we came through in that fourth set being down 16-9. We came back and won.”
Last year when Schieno entered the Region 7 Tournament, she was dealing with a sprained ankle. A year later she is heading into this region tournament healthy and ready to go.
“It is huge,” Braaten added. “We need her healthy. I’m happy she is and hopefully she’ll be able to play at her full potential.”
As for plans after high school for Schieno, she will play volleyball at Dawson Community College in Glendive, Mont.
“I was born in Glendive and mom (Heather) also went to school there,” Schieno said. “She played basketball there. I decided it’s not too far away from home.”