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Valuable asset

Press Photo by Dustin Monke Dickinson High junior setter Ali Moody pushes a kill between Minot High defenders Holly Johnson, left, and Alex Bolinske, right, during a West Region volleyball match Thursday night at the Dickinson High School gymnasium. Moody had 38 assists to go along with nine kills.

Ali Moody is beginning to do more than just set the ball for her teammates.

The Dickinson High junior contributed to 53 of the Midgets' points Thursday night against Minot High -- and about a quarter of those didn't come on plain old assists.

The 5-foot-11 setter had 38 assists, nine kills, five aces and a block to help the Midgets capture a 25-20, 23-25, 25-21, 25-17 West Region victory at the Dickinson High School gymnasium.

"She's very valuable," Dickinson High coach Jay Schobinger said. "She can do a lot of things. Not very often do you get 5-foot-11, 6-foot setters to come through. She's done a really nice job and she's getting better every time we play."

Moody's contributions were huge, but the Midgets (8-3, 4-0 West) got help from just about everybody as they held off the Majettes (6-7, 2-3 West) in the tightly played match.

Senior Madison Deibert had 13 kills and 14 digs, Juniors Rachel Schroeder and Taylor Cooper each had nine kills and Schroder had three blocks.

The Midgets' strong play got them out of sticky situations.

Tied 18-18 in the first set, Diebert had a kill to give Dickinson the lead and followed that up with back-to-back aces to set up the win.

In the third set, the Midgets used an 8-2 run to gain an edge.

Schroeder had a pair of blocks that put Dickinson ahead 17-14 and forced a Minot time out. The junior made a statement with a spike kill off a Minot dig shortly after the 1-minute break.

While Minot cut the Midgets' advantage to 21-20, solid play at the net kept the Midgets from stumbling down the stretch.

"She (Schroeder) kind of got us going there," Schobinger said.

While each set was close, Dickinson broke away late in the fourth after an Abby Grove kill set up a six-point run helped mostly by Minot miscues.

"We just really had some letdowns, where they went four or five points on us and we couldn't close that gap," Minot coach Ellen Jebe said. "We didn't play our best game tonight, but what do you do? Sometimes you have those nights."

Seniors Holly Johnson and Jayd Eggert and junior Alex Bolinske each had seven kills for Minot. Johnson added four aces and four blocks.

The Majettes evened things up in the second set when two of Johnson's aces broke a 19-19 tie and put Minot in the driver's set. A Bolinske kill on the Midgets' serve tied the match.

But, Minot didn't have enough to keep the Midgets team down on their homecoming night.

"Our passing got a lot better and we just did really good. We had good control of the ball," Moody said. "We all came together and decided we can't lose another (set)."

Schobinger said his team understands it is having a successful start to the season. However, he believes they will keep level heads going into a tough match at Bismarck Century at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

"This is a group that kind of ... they get it. They understand how things go," Schobinger said. "We have things we have to work on. It was kind of nice tonight to be challenged, then you can start to focus a little bit more."

Minot 20 25 21 17 -- 1

DHS 25 23 25 25 -- 3

Kills: M, Alex Bolinske 7, Jayd Eggert 7, Holly Johnson 7. D, Madison Deibert 13, Taylor Cooper 9, Ali Moody 9, Rachel Schroeder 9, Leslie Beaudoin 5.

Blocks: M, Johnson 4, Eggert 2. D, Schroeder 3, Moody 1, Cooper 1.

Aces: M, Johnson 4, Ashley Gathman 3, Morgan Milbrath 2. D, Moody 5, Beaudoin 4, Melissa Sipma 2, Deibert 2.

Digs: M, Jessi Kongelf 16, Jamie VanderVorst 13, Milbrath 11. Deibert 14, Sipma 11, Molly Miller 10.

Assists: M, Gathman 15, Emily Bengson 12. D, Moody 38, Morgan Grosulak 8.

Records: Dickinson 8-3, 4-0 West; Minot 6-7, 2-3 West.

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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