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Bulldogs sweep Dickinson State, end Blue Hawks season at conference tourney

GREAT FALLS, Mont., — The Dickinson State volleyball team’s season ended as it began, on a loss.

The Blue a fell to Western Montana 25-20, 27-25, 25-13 Thursday night in the play-in match of the Frontier Conference Volleyball Tournament.

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Although the team ended its season on a loss, head coach Jon Stenman said he is proud of his team’s performance and the fact they didn’t back down from the challenge.

DSU played strong in the first two sets, especially in the second. The team had its best game of the year hitting .515 as well as recording 17 kills and no hitting errors. But the team couldn’t hang on to the momentum and had just six kills and five errors, while the Bulldogs finished with 13 kills and had a hitting percentage of .345.

Emily Erickson led the Bulldogs with a match-high 16 kills, while Breane Kelley added 13. Rachelle Chamberlain posted a team-high 42 assists, 15 digs and two aces.

Stenman said he was most impressed with freshman outside hitter Aly Schieno’s performance, who hit her collegiate-high 10 kills on the night and also had a .471 hitting percentage, the highest on the team.

Senior outside hitter led the Blue Hawks with 11 kills and had an ace and eight digs while senior setter Kelly O’Connor recorded team-high 11 digs and contributed four kills, an ace and 28 assists.

DSU finished its season with a 4-27 overall record while Montana State improved to 10-22 and will face the No. 1 seed Montana State-Northern in the quarterfinal round 12 p.m. Friday afternoon.

DSU is already looking forward to next season as they switch from the Frontier Conference to the North Star Athletic Association. With all four wins this season coming off North Star teams, the transition and fresh start may be exactly what the Blue Hawks need.

DSU 20 27 13 — 1

MW 25 25 25 — 2

Kills: DSU, Melissa Avila 11, Aly Schieno 10, Maggie Rauser 4, Kelly O’Connor 4, Kate Golding 2, Natasha Malana 1, Linaya Schroeder 1. MW, Emily Erickson 16, Breane Kelley 13, Brea Mitchell 7, Charelle Minor 5, Bailey Branson 4, Bailey Wilson 3.

Blocks: DSU, Schieno 1, Schroeder 1. MW, Erickson 1.

Aces: DSU, Rauser 2, Morgan Lutz 1, O’Connor 1, Avila 1. MW, Kendra Mendicino 4, Rachelle Chamberlain 2, Bailey Benson 1.

Digs: DSU, O’Connor 11, Malana 9, Justine Braunagel 8, Avila 8, Lutz 3, Schroeder 2, Schieno 1, Rauser 1. MW, Chamberlain 15, Medicino 14, Erickson 11, Kelley 10, Branson 5, Mitchell 2, Olivia Nagler 1.

Assists: DSU, O’Connor 28, Malana 1, Lutz 1. MW, Chamberlain 42, Erickson 3, Medicino 2, Wilson 1.

Records: DSU 4-27, MW 10-22

The Press Staff