Bloody nose and all Grove helps Midgets place 3rd at stateMINOT — Dickinson High senior outside hitter Abby Grove wasn’t going to let a spike to nose by West Fargo’s Courtney Suppa ruin her final high school volleyball match.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
MINOT — Dickinson High senior outside hitter Abby Grove wasn’t going to let a spike to nose by West Fargo’s Courtney Suppa ruin her final high school volleyball match.
Instead, the 5-foot-11 senior plugged up each nostril with tissue and stepped back onto a re-energized court in the third set.
Grove lead the resurgent Midgets to a win over West Fargo 13-25, 25-22, 29-27, 25-17 during the third-place match in the Class A state volleyball tournament on Saturday afternoon at the Minot State Dome.
“I knew that I had to sit out, but I hurried up to get back in,” Grove said with a smile. “I got all cleaned up and I wanted to play right away. I don’t like sitting out. I want to play.”
Dickinson head coach Jay Schobinger knew Grove was going to be back, but maybe not as fast as she did. She stayed out less than 10 total points and didn’t suffer a broken nose. Grove said it was just a little sore.
“I didn’t think that she would be back so soon,” Schobinger said. “I figured it was going to take a little longer.”
The Midgets were down 19-14 in the third set, but used an 8-2 run to take a 22-21 lead after a Grove kill. She finished with 19 kills and four digs.
“I knew Abby was going to come back, but I got a little nervous,” Dickinson senior middle hitter Taylor Cooper said. “Lillie (Meduna) stepped in and did a great job. We played when she was out, everyone stepped up and we did what we needed to do.”
The two teams continued to battle back and forth until Dickinson took a timeout after falling behind 27-26 on Andrea King’s lone kill of the game.
After the break, Dickinson seniors Ali Moody, Grove and Cooper knocked down consecutive kills to win the set.
“We had people that stepped up and got things done when Abby was out,” Dickinson senior middle hitter Rachel Schroeder said. “Abby came back with a lot of energy, the energy that she had went around and got to everybody else. Energy is contagious.”
Schroeder and Cooper combined for 13 kills, while Cooper added a team-high three blocks. Moody, who is verbally committed to play volleyball for North Dakota State, supplied 30 assists, seven kills and five digs.
Schroeder made her presence known down the stretch in the fourth set, picking up two of the team’s final five points. The Midgets clung to a 15-11 lead and never faltered.
Dickinson finished the first set with a 10-6 run.
“(Schroeder and Cooper) are kind of the unsung heroes,” Schobinger said. “They are kind of like the offensive linemen in football. Middle blockers, sometimes, don’t get a lot of credit. What they do on the floor is huge and important. It was nice to see both of them get noticed.”
Dickinson and West Fargo went toe-to-toe in the second set. That was until a pair of Jess Priebe aces gave the Midgets a 20-16 lead. Dickinson grinded out the set and Grove finished off West Fargo with a match-winning kill.
“The second, third and fourth sets kind of summarized our season,” Schobinger said. “This group has fought through adversity. They’ve had to deal with a lot of different things. They rallied together and rallied around each other to stay in the match. That was probably more impressive than anything else.”
In the first set, however, the Packers were dominant and Dickinson could do little to stop them. West Fargo head coach Paula Pierson said their serve-receive was working to a tee.
“We passed the ball pretty well,” Pierson said. “It kept us in system, so we could run our faster offense.”
Christina Bruenjes, who had a match-high 20 kills, Amanda Levin and Suppa were lethal from the floor. Levin added 11 kills and three blocks, while Suppa had 11 kills and nine digs. Andrea Klug dished out 46 assists.
The Midgets had six seniors Priebe, Moody, Grove, Cooper, Schroeder and Hanna Beaudoin. Grove it was a nice way to end their senior journey.
“It was always nice ending with a win,” Grove said. “We all played hard and we all wanted it.”
Dickinson 13 25 29 25 — 3
WF 25 22 27 17 — 1
Kills: D, Abby Grove 19, Rachel Schroeder 7, Ali Moody 7, Keely Hutchens 6, Taylor Cooper 5, Sydney Gangl 3. WF, Christina Bruenjes 20, Courtney Suppa 11, Amanda Levin 11, Shelby Gustafson 5.
Blocks: D, Cooper 3, Hutchens 1, Moody 1. WF, Levin 3, Bruenjes 1, Suppa 1, Kennedi Sand 1, Gustafson 1.
Aces: D, Moody 2, Jess Priebe 2, Mackee Hoffmann 1. WF, Suppa 3, Levin 2, Katelyn Jipson 2.
Digs: D, Priebe 11, Hutchens 7, Moody 5, Hoffmann 5, Grove 4. WF, Jolene Woodbury 14, Gustafson 13, Suppa 9, Andrea Klug 9, Jipson 5, Levin 4.
Assists: D, Moody 30, Madison Schobinger 9. WF, Klug 46.