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Beulah's head volleyball coach Kevin Peterson knew the Region 7 championship match was going to be loud. He just had the wrong crowd in mind. The Miners used a powerful first set to sweep past Dickinson Trinity 25-13, 25-20, 25-23 in the Region 7 championship on Thursday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center. "I saw blue on the end and I said 'Holy cow there was a lot people that made the trip,'" Peterson said. "To me it felt like it was almost a home match. We just had an unbelievable crowd." Though Beulah started off quick, Trinity wasn't going to go easily.
You can't always get what you want, but you get what you need. That line couldn't be more true hunting deer this season. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department released less than 110,000 deer licenses this season and for good reason. "That's the lowest number of licenses in over a decade," said Randy Kreil, North Dakota Game and Fish Wildlife Division chief. "The reason for that is our deer population is the lowest its been in over a decade." Deer licenses may be at their lowest number in more than a decade, but the first lottery of 99,000 applicants was the highest in recent years.
The consensus around the Dickinson High volleyball team is to not take anyone lightly. Dickinson opens the West Region tournament against Williston at 5 p.m. today in Minot. "Number one, don't overlook anybody," Dickinson head coach Jay Schobinger said. "We've put ourselves in a pretty good situation as the two seed, so we're going in preparing for Williston. We're not looking at anybody else." The No. 2 seed Midgets swept the No. 7 seed Coyotes twice during the regular season, most recently on Oct. 27 in Williston.
The Williston Coyotes didn't come away with another West Region girls swimming and diving title, but their sights remain high heading into this weekend. The Coyotes had previously won back-to-back West Region titles, but placing second by six points to Bismarck Century is all the motivation they'll need Friday and Saturday at the North Dakota state meet in Grand Forks. "It's a pretty big motivator," said Kristi Roller, who coaches Dickinson's side of the co-op. "We wanted to beat Century, but it's going to be even tougher at state.
The semifinal encore to Dickinson Trinity and Heart River's battle didn't go to five sets, but ended it with Beulah besting rival Hazen to reach the Region 7 championship match. The Miners used a strong first set to sweep Hazen 25-21, 25-15, 25-14 on Tuesday at Knights of Columbus Activities Center. "We were so ready before the game," Beulah senior outside hitter Meghan Battest said.
The Dickinson Trinity volleyball team didn't bring its 'A' game, but its 'B' game was enough to get the job done. The Titans used a strong offensive start to sweep Hettinger-Scranton 25-18, 25-14, 25-15 in the Region 7 tournament quarterfinals on Monday at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. "We aren't there yet," Trinity head coach Rayma Braaten said.
Every game between Hazen and Beach went down to the wire. Only 12 points separated the two teams as the Bison defeated the Buccaneers, 25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 25-21 in the quarterfinals of the Region 7 Tournament on Monday at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. "I think we had to play really hard and I'm not really sure we played our game like we wanted to play it," Hazen head coach Linette Irwin said.
Two is good. Three is better. The Williston Coyotes, a co-op of Dickinson and Williston swimmers, are looking for their third straight West Region title today in Mandan. "I think it's going to be really exciting," Williston coach Thomas Wheeling said. "It's definitely going to be a three-team race with Century and Minot. It should be really close." Dickinson side coach Kristi Roller hopes tapering down of practice distances allows the swimmers to cut down on times today. "We're hoping to do really well," she said. "We're going down in our yards and started our taper this week.
Dickinson State head coach Maura Bronte didn't envision that her first season would be a winless one. Black Hills State rallied in the first and second sets en route to a 25-23, 26-24, 25-18 sweep that ended DSU's season with a record of 0-27 on Friday at Scott Gymnasium. "I'm thoroughly impressed with my team," Bronte said. "A lot of teams who are winless don't compete and we definitely fought for every point that we got.
Winning means everything at tournament time. The first step has been taken and now the next leg of the journey begins. Eight volleyball teams are vying for a spot in the state tournament in the Region 7 tournament, which starts at 3 p.m. Monday at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. "In the past, there really was always a dominant team in the region," Heart River head coach Craig Pool said. "This year, there are some good teams there and everybody has a chance." Could it be a district champion? A No. 3 seed? Or maybe the underdogs from Bowman County?