The Region 7 volleyball tournament has its championship matchup set, and it features a rematch that has both teams, coaches, and fans eagerly waiting for the game to begin. The rematch will be feature No. 1 Hettinger-Scranton against the No. 2 Trinity Titans.
The first game on Oct. 15 was a back-and-forth battle that resulted in a narrow five-set victory given to the Night Hawks. However, the match took place on Hettinger-Scranton’s home floor. This time, it’s on Trinity’s court.
“We know that this is going to be a challenge for both teams. We know this isn’t going to be a 3-0 match. Whichever way it goes, we just have to come with confidence ... really we just need to be trusting our teammates,” head coach Breanna Sisson said.
In game one, the Trinity Titans proved they could battle and contest with the Night Hawks. The Titans were able to upset Hettinger-Scranton, coming away with a 25-19 first set win. The Titans then continued their hard battle in the second set with a 25-17 win. From there, down 0-2, Hettinger-Scranton pushed forward to gain potentially its biggest comeback of the season.
After another close set, Hettinger-Scranton took the third 26-24. Following the third set, the Night Hawks gained momentum took the fourth set 25-23, tying the match 2-2. In the final set, despite attempting to retake the series, the Titans fell 15-10 and suffered a 3-2 comeback loss to Hettinger-Scranton.
One month later, the Titans are looking to finally have a redo. This time, they hope to finish what they started.
For the Titans, they will be looking to have key games from junior outside hitters Abbey Kubas — who has recorded 24 kills, two blocks and two aces this tournament and had 10 kills, one ace and eight aces in the previous encounter with Hettinger-Scranton — and Amaya Willer, who has 18 kills, two blocks and three aces this tournament and recorded 14 kills and two blocks against the Night Hawks.
The two juniors will also be looking for leadership from the team’s three senior outside hitters Morgan Ehlis, Kylen Kubas and middle hitter Mya Decker. Kubas and Decker have a combined total of 24 kills and one ace this tournament. The two athletes also combined for 21 kills, three blocks and one ace against the Night Hawks.
As for Hettinger-Scranton, they will be led by senior outside hitter Alyssa Andres, one of the top volleyball athletes in the state of North Dakota and future DSU Blue Hawk. Andres currently has 21 kills and 10 aces this tournament. She will be helped by her senior teammate outside hitter Quinn Melmer and junior middle hitter Samantha Oase both having a combined total of 24 kills, three blocks and four aces.
For head coach Jon Kohler, this rematch looks to be as hard fought and close as the previous matchup.
“It’s going to be tight no matter what,” Kohler said. “We beat Trinity in five down in our place and that was just a big ol’ slobber knocker. And the one thing we could take away is just (that) these girls don’t quit and they will not quit.”
The epic rematch will take place on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 6:30 p.m. following the third-place game featuring No. 5 Bowman County and No. 3 Heart River at 5 p.m.