MINOT - The Dickinson Trinity volleyball team entered its match against Kenmare in a position that’s been foreign to the team throughout much of the season: in need of a bounce-back victory following a defeat.
Falling to Oakes during the first day of the North Dakota Class B State Volleyball Tournament, the Titans answered the call in convincing fashion, earning a consolation semifinal sweep over the Honkers with set scores of 25-11, 25-12, 25-19 on Friday, Nov. 15, from the Minot State Dome.
“After last night, we just had to walk out of the locker room with our head held high and know that we still had a couple more days to compete at the state volleyball tournament. And they did just that tonight,” Titans head coach Breanna Sisson said. “They came out on the court, they refocused and re-zoned-in. We talked about redefining our goal, because we knew our original goal wasn’t in reach anymore, and we had something to work for.”
In the first set, Dickinson Trinity raced out to 15-4 advantage before Kenmare coach Tim Wallstrum signaled for a timeout. After putting away the Honkers (30-15) behind a .315 attacking percentage in the first set, the Titans raced out to a 12-3 advantage in the next frame.
“The atmosphere gets to be quite large and sometimes overwhelming, so zoning in on communication, just being loud and trusting our teammates were really big factors for us today,” Sisson said.
The Region 8 Champions kept things close in the third set. However with a 15-14 advantage, the Titans (38-6) scored 10 of the last 15 points.
Much of Dickinson Trinity’s success came from the service line as the team connected with a staggering 14 aces, 8 of which came from outside hitter Masy Kuntz. The senior also led the Titans with 12 kills and nine digs. Sophomore middle hitter Amaya Willer had nine kills and the team’s lone block.
Senior Bre Tessier was solid on both sides of net, adding seven kills and seven digs, while senior Alexa Walby paced the team with 33 assists.
Seven different players recorded a kill and eight players produced a dig for a Titans team that still played with a purpose.
“I think just having the pressure of having the opportunity to still advance and reach that championship game last night, we kind of just faltered under that pressure,” Sisson said. “We just came out and didn’t want to leave any regrets behind at the state tournament, especially with this large group of seniors.”
Dickinson Trinity will move on to play Center-Stanton in the tournament’s fifth-place match on Saturday at 1 p.m. CT from the Minot State Dome. The Titans blanked the Wildcats 2-0 during the Coal Country Tournament on Aug. 25.
“We haven’t seen Center-Stanton since the first day of competition, so we know they’ve grown just like we have grown throughout the season,” Sisson said. “They are a familiar team to us, but we just really need to focus on what we can do on our side of the net and control what we can control.”Kills:
Records: DT, 38-6. K, 30-15.