DSU volleyball drops hard-fought home opener
After four consecutive losses on the road in Montana, the Dickinson State volleyball team wanted a win. The Blue Hawks hoped it would come during their home opener against Presentation College on Tuesday at Scott Gymnasium, but the Saints served the Blue Hawks their fifth straight loss, winning the night in three sets.
Dickinson and Presentation (S.D) battled past the typical match-ending score of 25 in their first two sets. In the first, they tied at 25, then exchanged points until the Saints tallied two in a row to win 32-30.
The second set also went long, as the Blue Hawks and the Saints battled until Presentation won again, this time 29-27. The Saints ended the contest with a 25-19 win in the finale.
Head coach Jennifer Hartman said experience gave Presentation the edge.
"That group has been playing together for a really long time and we're playing three true freshmen right now and a lot of sophomores," Hartman said. "Our young athletes are showing through in situations like that but overall they just got the calls at the right time."
Freshmen Sage Collins and Sarah Dobitz appeared in all three sets for the Blue Hawks. They finished the evening with three kills and 11 assists between the two of them. Freshmen Jade Derby and Alyssa Wisher appeared in one set each. They each had one assist on the evening.
Dickinson State (2-7, 0-1 NSAA) established an early 8-4 lead in the second set, but Presentation fought back to take a 17-16 edge. Dickinson earned two points in a row and later held a 24-22 lead, one point away from evening the match. The Saints (10-3, 1-0 NSAA) earned the next point, though, and later the win.
"We just struggled reading their hitters and where they were going to go," Hartman said. "We just need to make sure that we're crisp on defense for the next game."
Presentation took control in the final set, establishing a seven-point lead, the largest of the night. After the Saints went up 17-10, the Blue Hawks made a small comeback, bringing the score to 18-16 before Presentation took off again.
Olivia Stet was a standout for the Saints, putting up 24 assists, 14 kills and six digs. Kayla Wolfe also tallied a team-leading 28 assists as well as 10 kills and three digs.
"Offensively we were able to be effective," Presentation head coach Chelsey Albrecht said. "We really had to be creative because they were scrappy at times. We had to find our shot selection and really keep working hard."
Dickinson State junior outside hitter Kylie Hadley collected 19 kills and 12 digs.
Senior outside hitter Shelby Gustafson had 10 kills.
"Hadley, Gustafson, they both swung really well," Hartman said. "I think it was an offensive game. For whatever reason their offense got hot at the right time and ours didn't."
Presentation (S.D.) 3, Dickinson 0
DSU 30 27 19 — 0
P 32 29 25 — 3
Kills: DSU, Kylie Hadley 19, Shelby Gustafson 10, Ellie Hanser 9, Shyanne Gilcrist 7, Kennedy Hildebrand 5. P, Olivia Stet 14, Jordyn Dekker 10, Kayla Wolfe 10.
Blocks: DSU, Hildebrand 2, Gustafson 1, Alyssa Wisher 1. P, Stet 1, Dekker 1, LaMour Binger 1.
Aces: DSU, Alli Hert 2. P, Maddie Goetz 3, Abigail Wahl 1, Morgan Moelter 1.
Digs: DSU, Shaylee Singleton 13, Hadley 12, Keera Stookey 7, Makenzie Digesualdo 5. P, Mallori Rabengerg 11, Joely Roe 10, Stet 6.
Assists: DSU, Stookey 27, Makenzie Digesualdo 22.
Records: DSU 2-7, P 10-3