Who let the Midgets out? Dickinson rallies in fourth, fifth sets to beat ShanleyMINOT — Throughout the 2012 season, Dickinson High outside hitter Abby Grove has been lights out.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
MINOT — Throughout the 2012 season, Dickinson High outside hitter Abby Grove has been lights out.
Stepping onto the court of the Minot State Dome for the quarterfinals of the Class A state volleyball tournament on Thursday, there was no difference in the 5-foot-11 senior’s game.
Grove supplied 17 kills, 12 digs and two aces to lead Dickinson, the No. 3-seed from the West, past Fargo Shanley, the No. 2 seed from the East, in five sets 25-23, 16-25, 13-25, 25-17, 16-14.
“We knew after the second and third sets we just had to get it going,” Grove said. “We were just able to play with emotion and that’s how we got it.”
The emotional tipping point hit an all-time high, when someone played the song “Who Let the Dogs Out” by the Baha Men over the PA system.
“That’s our song,” Dickinson senior setter Ali Moody said with a laugh. “It was a sign.”
The turning point in the match came in the fourth set where the Midgets (27-10) took a 2-1 lead early and never coughed it up.
Dickinson maintained a 13-11 lead before going on a 12-6 run to close out the set. Grove had five kills in the set.
“That’s exactly what we expected,” Dickinson head coach Jay Schobinger said of the close match. “There are a lot of evenly matched teams here and we expected nothing but that. We were fortune to come out in the end.”
With the added momentum, the Midgets and Deacons went toe-to-toe in the final frame.
Dickinson took a 12-10 lead after a Moody kill. With it, Grove was able to rotate from the back row to the front row. Moody posted 27 assists, 10 kills and 18 digs in the win.
Moody’s kill proved to be every bit important as expected as Grove supplied two of the team’s final four points.
“Abby is our best hitter and I need her in the front,” said Moody, who has verbally committed to play volleyball for North Dakota State. “I setted the last six balls to her.”
Shanley went down fighting though.
The Deacons (22-10) tied up the set at 14 when sophomore middle hitter Alivia Fraase knocked down her 19th and final kill of the game. Fraase also finished with seven digs and three blocks.
“Both teams were swinging and unfortunately one team has to lose the match,” Shanley Curtis Johnson said. “Unfortunately tonight it was us. We played a good Dickinson teams. It wasn’t our night.”
A Grove kill and a Shanley attacking error sealed Dickinson’s win. It game marked the first time since 2006 that Dickinson won an opening match at the state tournament.
They went on to win the state title that year.
“In the end, when we needed it, (Grove) stepped up and go it done,” Schobinger said.
“I just had so much adrenaline,” Grove said.
The second and third sets were full of frustration and Shanley domination. Jessica Anderson added 13 kills and Carolyn Mickelson posted 12.
Now that Dickinson is in the semifinals, there’s no doubt in Schobinger’s mind that tonight’s match against Bismarck Century, the No. 1 seed from the West, will be a great one. The teams are scheduled to play at 7 p.m.
“We’re just looking forward to go out and playing some more volleyball,” Schobinger said. “I expect another good match. We always have them with Century.”
DHS 25 16 13 25 16 — 3
Shanley 23 25 25 17 14 — 2
Kills: D, Abby Grove 17, Ali Moody 10, Rachel Schroeder 5, Taylor Cooper 3. S, Alivia Fraase 19, Jessica Anderson 13, Carolyn Mickelson 12, Haley Brenner 7, Madison Little 5.
Blocks: D, Cooper 3. S, Anderson 4, Fraase 3.
Aces: D, Jess Priebe 2, Abby Grove 2. S, Miranda Allex 2.
Digs: D, Moody 18, Grove 12, Priebe 10, Mackee Hoffmann 8, Madison Schobinger 6, Keely Hutchens 5. S, Mickelson 13, Brenner 10, Somer Bucholz 7, Fraase 7.
Assists: D, Moody 27, Schobinger 7. S, Amy Freeberg 48.