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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Dickinson State could seemingly do no wrong Wednesday night. Every time National American made a mistake, the Blue Hawks were there to capitalize. And there were plenty of errors for DSU to take advantage of. While the ninth-ranked Mavericks made rotation errors and struggled with their serves, DSU played perhaps its best match of the season to claim a 30-19, 32-30, 30-21 NAIA Region III volleyball victory in front of a raucous Halloween crowd on senior night at Scott Gymnasium. "Everything was right," DSU sophomore middle blocker Judith Boel said.
Shaunda Dvorak was on fire from the start Tuesday night. It just took a while for her Dickinson High teammates to catch up. Eventually they did and the Midgets bounced back from a loss in Game 1 to claim a five-game victory over Bismarck Century at the DHS Gymnasium. Dvorak had 20 kills and 10 blocks - nine of the blocks came in Dickinson's three wins - to lead the Midgets to a 22-25, 27-25, 25-21, 21-25, 15-7 West Region win. "That's a pretty darn good night," Dickinson coach Jay Schobinger said.
It's easy to see who holds the upper hand in the volleyball rivalry between Dickinson State and National American, especially this millennium. Since 2000, NAU has a 24-5 edge in the wins column. Three of DSU's victories came during its run to the NAIA national championship in the 2000 season. Another was in 2001. The latest happened Oct. 6 of this year, giving DSU coach Dave Moody hope tonight's crucial match could again fall in the Blue Hawks' favor. DSU hosts the Mavericks at 7 p.m.
As soon as the final buzzer sounded Saturday night at Scott Gymnasium, Mindy Vanderpan found Brittany Mesa and leaped into her arms. Only moments earlier, Vanderpan had driven the lane and kicked the ball to the wide-open Mesa, who hit the game-winning shot from the left wing with 3 seconds left. "Coach (Guy) Fridley told us if the guards drive the lane to float," Mesa said.
It has now been four matches since Dickinson State volleyball All-Americans Nancy Nyongesa and Elizabeth Rodriguez switched positions. The experiment seems to be working just fine so far. Nyongesa had 12 kills and nine blocks while Rodriguez added six kills and five blocks to help the Blue Hawks coast to their 50th consecutive Dakota Athletic Conference victory, a 30-12, 30-19, 30-15 win over Mayville State on Saturday afternoon at Scott Gymnasium.
For about 30 seconds on Friday night, the Dickinson State women's basketball team felt as if it was going to pull off a come-from-behind upset in its season opener. Then Montana Tech stepped up its defense and went on an eight-point run to claim a 75-60 victory at Scott Gymnasium. DSU sophomore guard Mindy Vanderpan hit back-to-back 3-pointers within 40 seconds of each other, the last with 2:30 remaining to cut the Orediggers' lead to 67-60 and forced Montana Tech first-year coach Kerie DePell to take a 30-second timeout. After that, it was all Orediggers.
With junior left tackle Rob Borr and sophomore right guard Tyler LeClaire sidelined, the Blue Hawks had several question marks on the offensive heading into last Saturday's game against Mayville State. Instead, the DSU offensive line turned to a pair of freshmen and a senior in his first year at the position to infuse new life into the offense. What resulted was the line's best performances of the season.
Interception opportunities had come Phil Leck's direction all season. Unfortunately, the Dickinson State strong safety never seemed to seal the deal when fortune called his name. It happened again last week against Mayville State, when Leck overplayed what could have been an interception early in the game. Then, with one play, Leck turned a possible Blue Hawks victory into a sure thing and washed away a season's worth of bad luck for himself. "I don't even think he saw me," Leck said of Comets quarterback Dustin Hagans.
Don't be surprised if the Dickinson State women's basketball team throws up about 1,000 3-pointers this season. And don't be surprised if several of them fall through the hoop. "We have more of a scoring punch," DSU head coach Guy Fridley said. "This year, we might take a little bit more 3s than I really care to, but that's the makeup of team we have." Fresh off a 5-23 season in his first year as head coach, Fridley is hoping for a drastic turnaround.
Just like any other year, the Dickinson Trinity football team is relying on its running game to pave the way to wins. The difference this season, however, is that the Titans are finally in the place they want to be.