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Trinity beats Beulah in 5 sets for Region 7 championship

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson Trinity volleyball players, from left, Alyson Schieno, Gretchen Weir, Katelyn Rummel, Kennedy Keator, Katelyn Grinsteinner and Katie Dockter celebrate as the rest of their team rushes the Killdeer High School gymnasium floor on Thursday night after Schieno's final kill gave the Titans a five-set victory over Beulah in the Region 7 championship match.

KILLDEER -- The past two years, the Dickinson Trinity volleyball team hasn't defeated Beulah during the regular season or the postseason.

That was until Thursday night at the Killdeer High School gymnasium, when Dickinson Trinity senior outside hitter Alyson Schieno went up for the final point and punched the Titans' ticket to the Class B state tournament with a 25-20, 16-25, 20-25, 25-12, 15-13 victory over the Miners in the Region 7 Tournament championship match.

"I knew it was going down and I was just hoping that they didn't get it," Schieno said. "They didn't and now we are going to state. I'm so excited."

Her teammates knew the match was theirs too.

"I knew that was it," Trinity junior Gretchen Weir said. "I saw exactly where she was placing it and I knew that was it."

Schieno had 25 kills and 32 digs to lead the Titans, who will face Linton-HMB at 11 a.m. next Thursday in the Class B state quarterfinals at the Minot State Dome.

"We knew we were going to have to fight throughout the whole game," Schieno said. "It was going to be a fight to the end. You could never give up."

The Titans fell behind 2-1 after back-to-back solid sets by Beulah senior Kelsie Schmidt and sophomore Jaime Murschel.

Schmidt posted 14 kills, four aces and 13 digs. Murschel added 17 kills, two aces and nine digs.

"Trinity has been playing very well," said Beulah head coach Kevin Peterson, who was named Region 7 Coach of the Year. "From what we saw on Tuesday, they have the ability to constantly come after you and not back down. That's something different then from the middle of the season and even in the district tournament. They were a little bit passive, but not tonight. There wasn't a passive bone in their body."

Trinity didn't go away quietly though as junior middle blocker Gretchen Weir and freshman setter Brianna Soehren put up a series of game-changing blocks. Weir led the team with eight, while Soehren had seven. Allison Steffan also had seven blocks.

"I think the fourth set what helped us to win," Trinity head coach Rayma Braaten said. "The fourth set boosted our confidence. I know I looked at all the girls and said, 'We are going to win this. This game is ours.' I guess I just had a feeling."

The Titans fell behind 4-1 in the fourth set, but Weir, Soehren and Katelyn Grinsteinner powered the Titans' offense. After that point, Beulah's points were few and far between as Trinity struck up a 24 of the next 32 points.

"We just got outplayed," Peterson said. "They put us in a big mud hole and sent us packing to the fifth set."

Then came the fifth set.

Like in the first three sets, each team jockeyed for position and Beulah opened up a 3-1 lead before Trinity battled back. The set was tied on five different occasions.

The most important, however, was after a Weir kill tied the set at 13-13. Then Schieno came to the rescue. The Trinity senior knocked down back-to-back kills, sending the Titans to the state tournament and the Trinity student section onto the floor in celebration.

"That is best crowd we've ever had for a region volleyball game," Weir said. "They did a phenomenal job."

Weir had nine kills, while Grinnsteinner posted 14 kills and 10 digs. Sophomore setter Katie Dockter supplied 30 assists.

"Everybody did their part," Braaten said.

Lakin Kessler dished out 38 assists. Nicole Schramm posted 15 kills and Delaney Johansen added six.

"We got a little bit hesitant to move the ball away from where we were being successful," Peterson said. "They camped out their blocks really well. Credit Trinity, we did everything we could."

The Titans have a week to recover and tune up before the state volleyball tournament begins.

But they couldn't be more excited about the opportunity. Trinity hasn't been to state since 2008 -- this year's senior class were eighth-graders then -- when it lost to Langdon in five sets in the state championship match.

"I'm beyond jacked," Weir said. "It doesn't feel real."

Trinity 25 16 20 25 15 -- 3

Beulah 20 25 25 12 13 -- 2

Kills: T, Alyson Schieno 25, Katelyn Grinsteinner 14, Gretchen Weir 9. B, Jaime Murschel 17, Nicole Schramm 15, Kelsie Schmidt 14, Delaney Johansen 6.

Blocks: T, Weir 8, Brianna Soehren 7, Allison Steffan 7. B, Schramm 2, Schmidt 1, Murschel 1.

Aces: T, Kennedy Keator 2, Schieno 2, Katie Dockter 1, Ashley Kerkman 1, Ali Kovash 1. B, Schmidt 4, Lakin Kessler 3, Murschel 2.

Digs: T, Schieno 32, Jillian Stockert 13, Grinsteinner 10. B, Kessler 15, Johansen 14, Schmidt 13, Murschel 9.

Assists: T, Dockter 30, Soehren 2, Keator 1. B, Kessler 38.

Third-place match

Beach 3, Richardton-Taylor 1

The Beach volleyball team needed four sets, but Allison Skari said it was nice ending to her chapter as the Buccaneers' head coach.

"We didn't really have a game plan for tonight," Skari said. "We just wanted to come out and have a fun time. That was the most important thing for them. We wanted to either win or having fun and we did both tonight."

Junior Hailee Farstveet led Beach with nine kills and three blocks en route to a 25-18, 24-26, 25-11, 25-18 win over Richardton-Taylor in the third-place match.

Bailey Waldal added seven kills, while Channa Clarin supplied six and four blocks for the Buccaneers.

Cyndi Stedman had four kills and four aces, while Chantel Fulton tallied 13 assists and six digs.

Skari's main objective was to get everyone playing time. She was able to achieve that goal of getting all 13 players a chance on the court.

"I think for the players that graduating this year it is bittersweet to watch the younger girls get some playing time," Skari said. "I think for the younger girls, even a little bit of time at the regional tournament is going to benefit them in the long run."

Halle Olson and Sami Steiner each had eight kills to lead the Raiders. Logan Olson and Ashley Gullickson each supplied five kills. Junior outside hitter Haley Butterfield had five aces and 10 digs, while Hannah Rummel posted 26 assists and eight digs.

RT 18 26 11 18 -- 1

Beach 25 24 25 25 -- 3

Kills: RT, Halle Olson 8, Sami Steiner 8, Logan Olson 5, Ashley Gullickson 5. B, Hailee Farstveet 9, Bailey Waldal 7, Channa Clarin 6, Cydni Stedman 4, Steph Steele 2.

Blocks: RT, none. B, Clarin 4, Farstveet 3.

Aces: RT, Haley Butterfield 5, Steiner 2. B, Stedman 4, Kari Schmeling 3, Chantel Fulton 3.

Digs: RT, Maggie Zentner 12, Butterfield 10, Steiner 9, Hannah Rummel 8. B, Katrina Shumway 7, Fulton 6, Stedman 5, Waldal 4.

Assists: RT, Rummel 26. B, Fulton 13, Ashlynn Dietz 9, Schmeling 3.

All-Region 7 Team

Hailee Farstveet, Beach; Shanea Haughtvedt, Heart River; Rachael Hansana, Hazen; Abby Honeyman, Mott-Regent; Lakin Kessler, Beulah; Jaime Murschel, Beulah; Becca Oase, Hettinger-Scranton; Halle Olson, Richardton-Taylor; Bryanna Rasch, New England; Alyson Schieno, Dickinson Trinity; Kelsie Schmidt, Beulah; Nicole Schramm, Beulah.

Senior Athlete of the Year: Rachael Hansana, Hazen.

Coach of the Year: Kevin Peterson, Beulah