Great Falls tops Blue Hawks in volleyballThe Dickinson State volleyball team controlled the first set. Unfortunately, that seemed to wake up University of Great Falls (Mont.) hitters Kelsey Van Uden, Gabby Bienkowski and Alyssa McEwan.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson State volleyball team controlled the first set.
Unfortunately, that seemed to wake up University of Great Falls (Mont.) hitters Kelsey Van Uden, Gabby Bienkowski and Alyssa McEwan.
The offensive trio had a combined 43 kills to lead the Argos past the Blue Hawks 21-25, 25-13, 25-19, 25-22 on Friday at Scott Gymnasium.
“We had a couple players that I thought really stepped up,” Great Falls head coach Arunas Duda said. “Van Uden in set four had seven straight kills for us, which is what we needed.”
The match marked the first time this season DSU won the opening set against any Frontier Conference opponent.
“Our girls came out and really made them work for it,” DSU interim head coach Jennifer Hartman said. “We got a couple things we still have to fix, but that’s all confidence issues. If we can get past that, keep believing in ourselves and keep battling through this, we’re going to start doing some pretty amazing things.”
Hartman and the rest of the Blue Hawks (3-22, 0-12 Frontier) believe the first set is an indication on how well the team can play.
“It goes to show that we can win,” said DSU senior outside hitter Ebony Sanders, who had six kills. “We just have to follow through and finish. We just have to take that confidence and bring it through the rest of the game.”
In the first set, DSU took a 9-8 lead on a Melissa Avila kill. The Blue Hawks didn’t give up the lead from there. Avila had team highs of 12 kills and 17 assists while adding 13 digs.
As the marker of senior night, DSU’s three seniors — Sanders, Sarah Zeibig and Shaunda Dvorak — all made their contributions.
Zeibig came away with a kill to send the first set into match-point and Dvorak ended the set with a block. Zeibed had seven kills while Dvorak added four.
“All of our seniors did an amazing job tonight,” Hartman said. “They’re fortunate enough that this isn’t their last game. I think they’ll come out even harder tomorrow.”
Any semblance of momentum DSU had after the first set was tarnished in the first 10 points of the second set. Great Falls ripped open a 9-1 lead and maintained the advantage throughout the set. The Argos didn’t want to recreate the 10 hitting errors mishaps of the first set.
“When you have 10 hitting errors, it’s hard to win a set,” Duda said. “It was how Dickinson set up their blockers. It took us a long time to us, but I’m glad we did.”
Great Falls (19-10, 10-5 Frontier) breezed through the third set, but the Blue Hawks fought in the fourth set. DSU had a 17-12 lead, but that’s when Van Uden knocked down five kills in a span of six points. Van Uden finished with a game-high 17 kills.
The Argos trailed by one, 18-17, and Zeibig and Dvorak added to DSU’s lead with a kill and a block.
After back-to-back kills by McEwan, Great Falls lead 22-21 and didn’t back down. The Argos finished out the set on a Kila Adams ace, Tianna Harland kill and a DSU attacking error.
McEwan posted 12 kills, while Adams added 26 assists and three aces and Harland supplied seven kills. Bienkowski posted 14 kills and four digs.
“(Adams) has a great jump serve,” Duda said. “It’s kind of an offensive tool for us. We start every time, so she can serve first for us.”
The Blue Hawks have their final home match of the season against Northern State University (S.D.) starting at 2 p.m. today.
“We definitely are going to try to go in and go hard,” Sanders said. “We have to stay consistent.”
UGF 21 25 25 25 — 3
DSU 25 13 19 22 — 1
Kills: UGF, Kelsey Van Uden 17, Gabby Bienkowski 14, Alyssa McEwan 12, Tianna Harland 7, Krystal Robinson 5. DSU, Melissa Avila 12, Sarah Zeibig 7, Ebony Sanders 6, Natalie Frias 3, Priscilla Frias 3, Shaundra Dvorak 3, Kelly O’Connor 2.
Blocks: UGF, Van Uden 1, Rebecca Kershner 1. DSU, N. Frias 1, Sanders 1.
Aces: UGF, Kila Adams 3, Demi Roady 1. DSU, P. Frias 2, Avila 1.
Digs: UGF, Jenna Prescott 27, Roady 8, Averi Pasma 8, Van Uden 7. DSU, Chelsea Seibel 31, Avila 13, Katelyn Christensen 7, Rebecca Johnson 6.
Assists: UGF, Adams 26, Pasma 23. DSU, Avila 17, O’Connor 16.
Records: UGF 19-10, 10-5 Frontier. DSU 3-22, 0-13 Frontier.