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Midgets sweep Mandan for 1st West Region win

Press Photo by Meaghan MacDonald Dickinson High senior Avery Privratsky, left, goes up for a kill against Mandan defenders during a West Region volleyball match on Tuesday at DHS gymnasium.

In the first home match of the season, the Dickinson High volleyball team had a disappointing five-set loss to Minot.

But Tuesday night the Midgets were able to provide their fans with a win, their first at home this season.

The gym was packed and fans cheered as Dickinson defeated Mandan High in straight sets 25-23, 25-20, 25-20. After coming off two tough losses to Jamestown and Bismarck Century, the Midgets worked on all aspects of their game and the team overall was pleased with the change in their performance.

"I thought we picked up a lot of off speed stuff that they hit, typically we've been letting hit the floor so defensively at that end of it we did really well," Dickinson head coach Jay Schobinger said.

Dickinson senior Sierra Rohr added: "We were working on blocks all week and we definitely set our blocks better and talking more and just hitting and wrapping. We struggle with that in the past two games so we definitely got that better tonight."

In all three games, the momentum was definitely on the side of Dickinson. The team was consistent throughout, capitalized on net or lift violations by Mandan and was able to keep point streaks alive, sometimes as long as five or six points.

In the third game, the Midgets went on several point runs and seemed to have the game locked up. But at 18-11, Mandan started to creep back, making point runs as well and eventually came within two at 24-22. But the Braves couldn't keep it alive and the Midgets took all three games.

"We're getting along a little better than we have been as far as our skills-wise and our playing," Mandan head coach Anna Folk said. "We still don't have our own game yet, I think we are letting everybody else kind of dictate the tempo of the game and how fast it was going and I think we need to get into the driver's seat."

For the Braves, junior Sasha Sasha Hopfauf recorded 13 kills, 10 digs and a block. Sara Aune contributed 19 digs and an ace, while Rachelle Harr had five kills and three blocks.

Rohr posted six kills, two aces and two blocks for the Midgets. Seniors Keely Hutchens and Madison Schobinger had good nights as well. Hutchens recorded eight kills, two aces and six digs and Schobinger had 17 assists, 14 digs and an ace.

Rohr said tonight's performance against Mandan was a huge improvement from the Midget's loss against Century, and she could see her team learning to adjust.

Jay Schobinger said he tried playing around with different lineups and moving girls in different spots, which worked out well for the team.

"They are quite a young team so compared to Century they got more jump balls, so we picked up very well on that tonight," Rohr said. "When we go to Century they (play) at a faster pace and we have to get our blocks up faster so we adjusted well."

This weekend the Midgets will host the Dickinson High Invitational, a tournament where teams from all around the state and Montana come to compete.

"We're just going to work hard and see what happens and play hard, just make sure that we get better," Rohr said.

Mandan 23 20 22 -- 0

Dickinson 25 25 25 -- 3

Kills: M, Sasha Hopfauf 13, Rachelle Harr 5, Mackensi Higlin 5. D, Keely Hutchens 8, Marissa Schroeder 7, Sierra Rohr 6.

Blocks: M, Harr 3, Hopfauf 1. D, Rohr 2, Schroeder 2.

Aces: M, Alison Froelich 1, Sara Aune 1. D, Hutchens 2, Rohr 2, Mariah Jorda 1, Madison Schobinger 1.

Digs: M, Aune 19, Hopfauf 10, Froelich 9. D, Mackee Huffman 15, Schobinger 14, Hutchens 6.

Assists: M, Madison Zander 21, Miranda Lowman 5. D, Schobinger 17, Jorda 5.

Records: M 6-9, D 4-6.

Meaghan MacDonald

Meaghan is the sports page designer and copy editor for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.  After graduating from James Madison University (Va.) in May 2013, she moved from New Jersey to North Dakota to start pursuing her career in sports journalism and was a sports reporter for the Dickinson Press and covered Dickinson State athletics. Meaghan has been working for the Forum since June 2015.