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Putting up blocks: Dickinson Trinity seniors Steffan, Weir control middle of the net

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson Trinity senior middle hitter Gretchen Weir, left, goes up for a kill against a pair of Richardton-Taylor defenders during a Region 7 match on Oct. 10 at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

Dickinson Trinity senior middle blockers Allison Steffan and Gretchen Weir work off each other’s strengths and weakness.

Weir is about four inches taller, but Steffan can jump high enough to where her 5-foot-8 height isn’t an issue.

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The Titans have benefitted from using the two interchangeable middle blockers.

“They are totally different middles,” Trinity head coach Rayma Braaten said. “They both do their job, but they do it in their own way. They both give me a lot of height. Even though Allison isn’t as tall as Gretchen, she can jump really high. I feel pretty comfortable with both of my middles.”

Weir added: “Working with Allison is really great, because we each have our different strengths which go to together. Allison is a fabulous jump, because she’s a high jumper in track.”

Braaten, who is in her third year as Trinity’s head coach, said it has been great to see Weir and Steffan mature since they were sophomores.

In the seasons at the varsity level, Steffan and Weir have played in the state tournament, won a Region 7 title and a District 14 title.

“I remember them from then to now and it is crazy to see the difference in their skills,” Braaten said. “They are both very mature. They both have had their games where you look at them and you think to yourself, ‘Oh my goodness, they are great.’ If they come playing like I know they can, it’s going to be really hard for other teams to deal with them.”

Coming into this season, the Titans had high expectations of reaching the state tournament again. Trinity only has one Region 7 loss, which was to Beach on Oct. 29. Steffan said the team has continued to mature.

“We’ve grown together and learned from each other,” she said. “We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we all have each other’s back, which is really nice. When we are all on, our team is awesome.”

The Titans conclude their regular season with a Region 7 match against Killdeer at 7 p.m. today.

Though it’s the final regular season home game of the season, Trinity is hosting the Region 7 Tournament beginning Friday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

“We’ve been working on things that we need lots of practice on,” Weir said. “During (today’s) game, we’re looking forward to working really hard and what we’ve been working on practice is going to help us improve as a team.”

Steffan added: “We just want to end the season well, move onto regionals and do well there too.”