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Mandan volleyball sweeps Midgets

Dickinson High senior middle hitter Mariah Mortensen contributed five kills against Mandan Thursday night at the DHS gymnasium. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

The Dickinson High volleyball team improved its score in each set Thursday, but it was not enough to top the visiting Mandan Braves.

Mandan controlled the pace and swept the Midgets with set wins of 25-12, 25-14, 25-16 at DHS gymnasium.

The Braves made quick work of the home team in the opening set, building a slow lead that stretched to 19-9. The Midgets added one every three or so serves throughout the set, but Mandan soon won 25-12.

"I thought this was a team we could beat and we would play with a lot of fire," Dickinson head coach Jay Schobinger said. "And for some reason we were flat. Mandan took the momentum and ran with it."

Braves head coach Anna Folk said that was exactly what she hoped her team would do.

"The whole season we've talked about controlling the tempo no matter what team we're playing," Folk said. "Our passing and our serving is probably our best asset. If we can do that, we can control the pace."

Braves junior setter Kennedy Harris ended the night with 22 assists. Junior middle hitter Megan Zander led the team with 10 kills and two blocks and also contributed two service aces.

Dickinson seniors Mariah Mortensen, Morgan Kainz and junior Lauren Jorda led the Midgets attack with five kills each.

"This weekend we had a lot of energy," sophomore Peyton Selle said. "We played really good as a team. That's probably the best few matches we had. We had some pretty good practices the last couple of days, so I thought we were going to come out real nice tonight."

Selle led the team defensively with 15 digs, followed by Kendryn Bullinger who attributed nine and Marley McChesney who added six.

Dickinson earned the first two points of the second set, but Mandan soon turned it around to lead by 10, at 18-8. The Midgets went on a five-point tear, closing the gap to 18-13, but only scored one more before the Braves won 25-14.

"We told them early, you can't tip to this team," Schobinger said. "We keep tipping and they pick it up and come right back at us so they were in system all night and we weren't."

The Midgets didn't need a run to keep up in the beginning of the final set. They led the Braves by no more than four points until the visitors tied the match at 10.

"It was our regular rotation so the girls kind of know how to work together good," Selle said.

The Braves notched five in a row soon after tying it and held an 16-11 lead that the Midgets wouldn't be able to overcome, eventually losing the set 25-16.

"I feel like we had some pretty good runs," Selle said. "Once we get our energy up we have so much potential as a team. Once we get our energy up it clearly shows. We just need to get through the rough patches."

Mandan 3, Dickinson High 0

M 25 25 25 — 3

D 12 14 16 — 0

Kills: D, Mariah Mortensen 5, Morgan Kainz 5, Lauren Jorda 5. M, Megan Zander 10, Courtney Olson 9, Emily Tweten 6.

Blocks: D, Kainz 2, Mortensen 1. M, Zander 2.

Aces: D, Marley McChesney 1, Mortensen 1. M, Olivia Moe 2, Zander 2, Kennedy Harris 1, Sydney Walters 1.

Digs: D, Peyton Selle 15, Kendryn Bullinger 9, McChesney 6. M, Lizi Leingang 19, Moe 14, Herris 9, Walters 8.

Assists: D, Jorda 13. M, Harris 22, Katie Weiand 8.