Skylights take down Blue HawksThe story of the Dickinson State volleyball team’s season stayed the same Saturday afternoon at Scott Gymnasium.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
The story of the Dickinson State volleyball team’s season stayed the same Saturday afternoon at Scott Gymnasium.
The Blue Hawks rallied to tie the match with a second-set victory but couldn’t sustain the momentum as Montana State-Northern picked up a 25-17, 24-26, 25-19, 25-10 Frontier Conference victory in the regular-season finale for both teams.
“They definitely played well those first three,” DSU interim head coach Jennifer Hartman said. “The fourth one was kind of one of those snowball effects where one thing went wrong and we couldn’t get back after that. We couldn’t gain our momentum back.”
DSU ended its first season as a member of the Frontier with a 0-14 record in league play. They are 3-23 overall and will face Montana Western on Thursday in a play-in game for the Frontier Conference Tournament at Montana Tech in Butte, Mont.
Montana State-Northern (16-14, 10-6 Frontier) relied on an unlikely source to lead the charge.
Sophomore Dayna Jensen, who isn’t regularly in the team’s starting lineup, had a team-high 16 kills in her first start of the season in place of standout junior Kelsey Williams who missed the game because of school commitments.
“I was proud of Dayna, she stepped up,” Skylights head coach Bill Huebsch said. “It wasn’t just the way she hit the ball. I thought she passed well in serve receive and did some things really well for us on the floor. She was definitely a spark for us today.”
Aside from the final set, DSU played the Skylights tough.
While the Skylights held leads most of the first and third sets, DSU was never far behind.
The Blue Hawks built a 12-5 lead in the second set but had to hold on after a six-point Montana State-Northern run gave it a 14-13 lead. The teams traded leads from that point on until DSU clinched the win on a pair of kill errors.
“We’ll start out strong or we’ll start out slow, but we’ll always come back and fight,” DSU junior Melissa Avila said. “We’ve always been that team to come back and fight.”
The 25-10 defeat in the fourth set tied for the largest margin of defeat the Blue Hawks have suffered in a set this season.
“We played hard, we fought the first three sets,” Avila said. “That last set was kind of a roller-coaster of a ride.”
Avila led the Blue Hawks with 10 kills, 19 assists and 14 digs. Sarah Zeibig added 10 kills and Shaunda Dvorak had seven kills and three blocks.
MSUN 25 24 25 25 — 3
DSU 17 26 19 10 — 1
Kills: MSUN, Dayna Jensen 16, Abby Nicholas 13, Hilary Isleifson 9, Victoria Polo 8, Haley Russell 8, Jony Nagy 2, Holly Cartwright 1. DSU, Melissa Avila 10, Sarah Zeibig 10, Shaunda Dvorak 7, Ebony Sanders 5, Katelyn Christensen 3, Linaya Schroeder 3, Priscilla Frias 2, Rebecca Johnson 1.
Blocks: MSUN, Russell 6, Nicholas 4, Polo 3, Isleifson 2, Jensen 1. DSU, Dvorak 3, Avila 1, P. Frias 1, Sanders 1.
Aces: MSUN, Nagy 1, Jensen 1. DSU, Avila 1, P. Frias 1, Chelsea Seibel 1.
Digs: MSUN, Cartwright 25, Jensen 20, Nicholas 13, Isleifson 12, Nagy 7, Russell 37, Polo 3, Shayna Bly 2. DSU, Seibel 20, Johnson 16, Avila 14, Kelly O’Connor 10, Christensen 9, Dvorak 5, Sanders 4, P. Frias 2, Natalie Frias 1.
Assists: MSUN, Nagy 35, Bly 10, Nicholas 3, Polo 2, Cartwright 1, Jensen 1. DSU, Avila 19, O’Connor 14.
Records: DSU 3-23, 0-14 Frontier; MSUN 16-14, 10-6 Frontier.