Midgets start strong, fall to Sabers
The Dickinson High volleyball team went toe-to-toe during the early moments of every set against Bismarck Legacy.
As every tussle wore on, the Sabers went on a small surge, creating a bit distance before claiming the set. With a 2-0 lead, Bismarck Legacy's surges turned into a powerful roundhouse, closing out the Midgets in the process.
Dickinson fell in three sets, 25-18, 25-20 and 25-12, dropping to 0-3 in West Region play.
"Other than the last portion of set three, I have zero complaints," Dickinson head coach Jay Schobinger said. "I thought the kids went out and battled. We played a really good volleyball team and they made some things happen; we gave them some opportunities, but other than the end of set three, they just played a little better than we did. I thought our kids came out, played hard and played with some fire."
The Midgets (2-8, 0-3 West Region) began the third set up 5-1 thanks to an ace from junior libero Kendryn Bullinger and kills from junior hitters Peyton Selle and Audrey Rodakowski. Bismarck Legacy (9-2, 3-1 West Region) quickly erased its deficit with five straight points. The two teams traded points until a net violation gave the Sabers an 8-7 advantage. They would not trail again. The visitor ripped off 11 of the final 12 points of the third set, earning the triumph thanks to a kill from senior hitter Kaitlyn Emma.
"I think at the end there, we started playing some pretty tough defense. We were finally able to get some blocks to go down," Bismarck Legacy head coach Jennifer Astle said. "We've touched the ball a lot, but Dickinson was so good in that transition and their coverage, they were able to pick a lot of that up. I guess we finally got a little momentum there."
In the opening set, Dickinson held an 8-7 lead after a kill from senior setter Lauren Jorda, who returned to the court after sitting on the sidelines the first two weeks due to injury.
Jorda finished with 19 assists, nine digs, two aces and a block in her first game back.
"Just being back was a great feeling," Jorda said. "I've been out for two weeks and it's really hard sitting out, but the team did great. We had really high energy and never really stopped trying hard."
Following Jorda's kill, the Sabers rattled off a 9-2 run when senior hitter Becca Nitsch earn one of the team's 11 aces on the day. She closed out the first set with an ace after Dickinson left a hole at the front of the net.
In the second set, the Midgets jumped out to a 8-5 advantage, before Bismarck Legacy scored nine of the next 10 points. Trailing 18-11, Dickinson closed to within 23-20 after a kill from junior hitter Taylor Nelson, but the rally stalled.
"They control the ball," Schobinger said of the Sabers. "Their setter does a nice job of spreading it around and when they are in system, they come at you with pretty good pace; that makes it tough to defend. They're well-coached and do a lot of things well, it isn't just one thing."
Bismarck Legacy 3, Dickinson High 0
BL 25 25 25 — 3
D 18 20 12 — 0
Kills: BL: Becca Nitsch 11, Kaitlyn Emmil 8, Taryn Allmaras 8, Ashley Hulm 5, Mikayla Fast 2, Eva Abfalter 1, Emma Fricke 1. D: Peyton Selle 7, Madi Lindley 6, Taylor Nelson 2.
Blocks: BL: Hulm 2.5, Emmil 1, Allmaras 0.5. D: Nelson 2, Audrey Rodakowski 1, Lauren Jorda 1.
Aces: BL: Fricke 5, Nitsch 3, Allmaras 2, Fast 1. D: Bullinger 3, Selle 2, Jorda 2.
Digs: BL: Nitsch 10, Fast 10, Allmaras 9, Fricke 8, Emmil 6, Abfalter 4, Hulm 1. D: Kendryn Bullinger 18, Jorda 9, Taya Hopfauf 9, Madi Eckelberg 5.
Assists: BL: Fricke 28, Emmil 2, Fast 2, Nitsch 1. D: Jorda 19.
Records: BL: 9-2 (West Region 3-1). D: 2-8 (West Region 0-3).