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Titans best Bulldogs: Dickinson Trinity uses a trio of hitters to defeat Bowman County

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson Trinity sophomore Alanna Sickler, left, senior Allison Steffan, middle, and sophomore Kennedy Keator goes up for a block against Bowman County's Kendra Swanson during a Region 7 volleyball match on Thursday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center. The Titans defeated the Bulldogs in four sets.

Dickinson Trinity junior setter Katie Dockter is comfortable putting the ball anywhere on the court.

It's for a good season too.

Trinity used a trio of hitters -- each putting up double-digit kills -- to defeat Bowman County in four sets 25-17, 23-25, 25-16, 25-21 on Thursday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

"I know wherever I set the ball they are going to be smart with it," said Dockter, who had 20 assists, seven kills and four digs. "Every time it isn't going to be a kill, but I know wherever I go with the ball it's in good hands."

Rayma Braaten, the Titans' head coach, was pleased with the way the team was able to play throughout the entire match. She said the areas in which her team focused on during practice this week paid off.

"I feel that overall we did OK," Braaten said. "We worked on specific things this week and I feel like we really did those things well. If we just keep targeting two or three things for week then we can perfect them, I'm satisfied."

Trinity sophomore Kennedy Keator, seniors Gretchen Weir and Katelyn Grinsteinner combined for 41 kills. Keator, whose main job last year as a freshman was serving, led the team with 16 kills. Weir followed with 13 and Grinsteinner added 12.

Though many teams haven't seen Keator play as an outside hitter, she garnered many blockers' attention after the first set.

"Kennedy is solid," Braaten said. "She is one of those players which people are going to get to know really fast."

The Titans didn't have any trouble coming away with an opening set win going on an 11-1 run to take a 18-7 lead. The Bulldogs attempted to make a comeback, but Keator ripped back-to-back kills to win the first set.

"We got off to a really start," said Trinity senior Allison Steffan, who had five kills and two blocks. "We just tried to keep our energy up and tried to continue doing the little things right."

Bowman County responded with a second set win. The Bulldogs and Titans were clawing for momentum until a trio of Trinity errors handed the set over to Bowman County.

Trinity came back to win the third and fourth sets and their second Region 7 win of the season. The Titans are currently 5-3 overall and 2-0 in Region 7.

Despite taking a loss, Bowman County's head coach Anne Hanson can see bright potential, but it just hasn't come altogether yet.

The Bulldogs lineup is mostly senior dominated with Morgan Woodley, Macy Smyle, Kaitlyn Dix, Brittany Hansey and Sierra Irons.

"There are flashes of brilliance," Hanson said. "Once they finally accept that confidence that they are good enough -- we took a game off of Trinity tonight and we haven't done that in forever -- we will be able to get bigger wins. Hopefully, we can peak at the right time."

Woodley led the Bulldogs with 10 kills, while Smyle had six and Hansey added four. Woodley also supplied four aces and Irons had three. Smyle racked up 10 blocks and Dix had three. Irons had a team-high 20 digs, while Hansey followed with 18 and Dix with 16.

Trinity continues its season traveling to Glen Ullin-Hebron at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Braaten hopes the win set a good tone for the rest of the week's practice.

"It's good to get the win at home and we can keep going with this good, positive attitude," Braaten said.

BC 17 25 16 21 -- 1

Trinity 25 23 25 25 -- 3

Kills: BC, Woodley 10, Macy Smyle 6, Brittany Hansey 4. T, Kennedy Keator 16, Gretchen Weir 13, Katelyn Grinsteinner 12, Katie Dockter 7, Allison Steffan 5.

Blocks: BC, Smyle 10, Kaitlyn Dix 3. T, Grinsteinner 4, Steffan 2.

Aces: BC, Woodley 4, Sierra Irons 3. T, Dockter 2, Madison Jahner 2.

Digs: BC, Irons 20, Hansey 18, Dix 16. T, Jillian Stockert 17, Keator 11, Katelyn Rummel 8, Grinsteinner 5.

Assists: BC, Karly Palczewski 10, Woodley 9. T, Dockter 20, Soehren 2.