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DHS sweeps Williston: Hutchens supplies 10 kills as Midgets use complete game against Coyotes

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson High senior middle hitter Sierra Rohr, left, hits against a Williston defender during a West Region match on Tuesday at the DHS gymnasium. Rohr finished seven kills against the Coyotes.

Dickinson High head volleyball coach Jay Schobinger said it was the most complete game the team has played all season.

He wasn't joking.

The Midgets pounced on runs in all three sets to take a 25-17, 25-20, 25-18 sweep of Williston in a West Region match on Thursday at DHS gymnasium.

"I thought we played really well in all three facets of the game tonight," Schobinger said. "Our girls had good ball control. We made good choices. We got middles involved offensively right away. We still have a couple things to get better at, but as far as a complete match that's the closest that we've come all year."

After losing their first four West Region matches, the Midgets have now won back-to-back conference matches.

In turn, Dickinson is gaining more confidence each time its steps onto the court. Marissa Schroeder, a junior middle hitter, said the Midgets finally see their potential.

"It is a lot more fun coming in and playing really well," said Schroeder, who had eight kills and three blocks. "We are playing more as a team than we ever had before and we are all starting to realize that's the key that we need to win."

The Midgets didn't take long to get going in the opening set jumping a 19-11 lead after a Madison Schobinger ace. The senior setter had 26 assists and three aces.

Dickinson finished off Williston with back-to-back kills from senior middle hitter Sierra Rohr. Rohr posted seven kills in the match. Schroeder said once the team gained momentum after the opening set the Midgets had a full head of steam going into the next two matches.

"Everything clicked really well for us," Schroeder said. "Our passes were on key. We preached all week about ball control and it really helped us out a lot. We had a lot of energy after that first set, it just got our spirits up and we got on a roll."

However, the Coyotes didn't go away without a fight. Williston and Dickinson were neck-in-neck during the second set. At one time, the Coyotes took a 10-5 lead.

Yet, Dickinson's serving and ball control helped lead the comeback. Mackee Hoffmann, who had a 15 digs, ripped back-to-back aces to bring the Midgets within one, 13-12. From then on, Dickinson rolled up an 11-4 run to take a 23-17 lead. The Midgets scored its final two points of the second set on a pair of Williston serving errors.

In the final set, the Midgets and Coyotes were battling for position and it was the hometown team coming out victorious once again. Dickinson used back-to-back kills from Meryl Kovacs and Schroeder to get to match point, 24-18. The Coyotes had one final shot which sailed out of bounds to give the Midgets a sweep.

Keely Hutchens led the Midgets with 10 kills and 14 digs, while Sydney Gangl, who had sat out the beginning of the season with an ankle injury, supplied two blocks.

Katie Nice, a sophomore outside hitter, had a game-high 14 kills and 14 digs to lead the Coyotes. Williston head coach Josh Wastvedt said, of Nice, it's exciting to have a young, talent player who still has room to grow.

"She's really come into her own this year," he said. "She's really improved on her timing and staying behind the ball, so she can get a lot of power."

The Midgets travel to Bismarck High for a West Region game at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Jay Schobinger said it's going to be a good test for the team.

"It's a big one," he said. "That's a good volleyball team. They have a lot of experience and it is going to be a good test for us. We'll find out where we are at."

Williston 17 20 18 -- 0

Dickinson 25 25 25 -- 3

Kills: W, Katie Nice 14, Shelby Njos 6, Emily Lysne 4. D, Keely Hutchens 10, Marissa Schroeder 8, Sierra Rohr 7.

Blocks: W, Njos 1, Keyanna Enget 1, Emily Lyons 1. D, Schroeder 3, Sydney Gangl 2.

Aces: W, Kyleigh Cotton, Katie Njos 1, Nice 1, Shelby Njos 1, Hannah Kitzan 1, Lysne 1. D, Madison Schobinger 3, Mackee Hoffmann 2.

Digs: W, Nice 14, Cayli Slette 12, Shelby Njos 11. D, Hoffmann 15, Hutchens 14, Schobinger 9.

Assists: W, Slette 27. D, Schobinger 26.