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Strong start: Titans sweep Bowman County

Dickinson Trinity freshman Amaya Willer (left) and senior Sarah Mayer (right) go up for a block against Bowman County on Monday, Nov. 6, at the Knights of Columbus Center. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

The Dickinson Trinity volleyball team kicked off the Class B Region 7 tournament with a 3-0 sweep of Bowman County on Monday, Nov. 6 at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. With the win, the Titans advance to the semifinals and end the Bulldogs' season.

The Titans earned the first five points of the opener. That lead that proved helpful when the Bulldogs went on a seven point run later in the set, cutting a 23-11 lead to 23-18.

"At first we started out really strong but then we dug ourselves in a hole," junior outside hitter Bre Tessier said. "We knew that we had to try our hardest and get through it in three."

The Titans won the first set 25-20, the closest margin of the night.

The Bulldogs kept pace with Dickinson Trinity in the first half of the second set.

After exchanging points for a while, the Titans went up 11-10, which they stretched into a 19-10 lead. The Bulldogs stayed alive though, putting up a five-point run a few serves later, narrowing the gap to 22-17. The Titans scored the next three points, earning a 25-17 win.

"To me it's not really surprising," Bowman County head coach Jennifer Holecek said. "Our team has grown a lot since we were up here the third game of the season. They do good work. We've really gotten after hitting the ball."

Bowman County junior middle blocker Ellie Stafford led her team with 15 kills and five blocks.

"That was very good for her," Holecek said. "We knew we were going to see a quick offense so we worked blocking pretty hard in order to prepare for this. That showed up. It was probably one of her highest block nights for Ellie."

The Titans braced themselves for Bowman's big hitter ahead of the match.

"We knew that once Ellie Stafford got in the front row she could do some damage," Trinity head coach Breanna Messer said. "It was just a matter of making a couple stops on her and keeping her in control."

The Titans didn't take any chances in the third set, putting Bowman County away 25-13.

Tessier led the Titans offense with 10 kills and also added five digs. Senior outside hitter Sarah Mayer also added 10 kills, two aces and one assist.

"They were getting a touch on a lot of stuff," Tessier said. "So we had to find an open spot on the court and just use our angles to find the open court."

Senior libero Amber Sickler led the Titans with 14 digs followed by senior setter Alexa Walby who had 13.

Walby led the team with five aces and 32 assists.

"Our serving definitely helped us out," Messer said. "We like to serve aggressively and try to pull them out of system and I think that's what saved us and pushed us through sets two and three."

Dickinson Trinity 3, Bowman County 0

T 25 25 25 — 3

BC 20 17 13 — 0

Kills: T, Bre Tessier 10, Sarah Mayer 10, Masy Kuntz 8, Megan Krebs 4, Amaya Willer 4. BC, Ellie Stafford 15, Kelsie GoodShield 5, Cassidy Walby 3, Jill Svihovec 2.

Blocks: T, Kuntz 1, Alexa Walby 1, Megan Krebs 1, Willer 1. BC, Stafford 5, Svihovec 2.

Aces: T, Walby 5, Mayer 2, Farrah Zeller 1, Amber Sickler 1. BC, Maury Burke 3, Abby Smyle 1.

Digs: T, Sickler 14, Walby 13, Zeller 10, Tessier 5. BC, Walby 17, Burke 14, Svihovec 8, Ashlynn Dix 8.

Assists: T, Walby 32, Megan Krebs 2, Mayer 1. BC, Svihovec 19, Smyle 2.