Despite a hard-fought battle against the fifth-seeded Northern Cass Jaguars on Thursday at the Fargodome, the fourth-seeded Trinity Titans were unable to pull out the victory to advance to the semifinals of the 2020 NDHSAA Class B State Tournament, falling to Northern Cass on Thursday with a 3-0 sweep loss.
The Titans (22-2) were unable to match the intensity of the Jaguars (19-1) as the team lost its first match in over two months. After falling hard in the first set 25-12, the team seemed to find its rhythm in the second set despite the 25-23 loss, but was unable to match its second-set intensity in the third and fell 25-15.
"Northern Cass is quick, they run at a fast pace tempo," Titans Head Coach Breanna Sisson said. "I think we were always just one step behind their hitters, trying to catch us with their blocking. They definitely challenged us tonight ... our competitive edge just wasn't there tonight."
The Titans knew their opponents had tall defenders and attempted to get around, but were unable to find their targets early on. Blocked numerous times by the Jaguars, they were unable to make the key defensive stops needed to get the win throughout the match.
From the opening serve, Northern Cass showed it was ready to play. After taking a 3-0 lead, the Jaguars' defense heavily limited the Titans' offense and quickly took a 15-7 lead. The Jags continued to push forward against the Titans, with the team's largest lead of the night being 11 with a 21-10 score against Trinity. Northern Cass eventually closed the set with a 25-11 win.
Following the large first-set loss, Trinity found its rhythm in the second set and constantly tied the set in the second, but were never able to obtain the lead. After tying the set six times to start, and the score tied at 12, Northern Cass began to break away with the lead to take a 15-12 lead, forcing head coach Breanna Sisson to call a timeout. The Titans continued to keep the set close following the timeout, eventually getting the score within one at 20-19 following a timeout by Northern Cass.
Still, the Jaguars continued to make solid plays. With the Jaguars leading 24-22, the Titans were able to score to narrow the gap to one but were unable to tie and lost the second set 25-23.
After a hard second-set battle, and potentially battling some fatigue, the Titans seemingly reverted back to the first set and were unable to match the Jaguars' strong defense and offensive abilities. The Jaguars eventually took their second 10-point lead of the night with an 18-8 score, forcing Sisson to call a dire timeout in hopes making a comeback. The chance of a comeback was slim, but the Titans seemingly were on the verge by scoring six straight points to force Northern Cass to take a timeout with an 18-14 lead.
Following the timeout Northern Cass went on a run of its own by scoring four unanswered points to take a 22-14 lead. Sisson called a timeout in the hopes of the team making another strong push but were unable to pull out the victory, losing the set 25-15.
"I think our mindset really faltered in that third set," Sisson said. "We were playing timid, we were playing too scared to make a mistake and when we play like that, it's when we lose our edge. Normally we play with aggression, we play big and we were just one step behind all night."
The Titans are now in the consolation bracket and will battle Our Redeemer's High School at the Fargodome on Friday at noon MST. As for Northern Cass, the team will advance to the semifinals to take on the top-seeded Linton/HMB Lions on Friday at 6 p.m. MST.
Northern Cass 25-25-25,
Dickinson Trinity 12-23-15
Dickinson (kills-blocks-service aces) -- Jada Erie X-X-2 (12 digs), Anna Kessel 1-2-X (1 dig), Asia Willer X-X-1 (18 digs, 1 assist), Kali Kubas 1-1-X (19 assists, 13 digs), Olivia Kessel 5-2-X (2 digs), Ashley Pavlicek 5 digs, Amaya Willer 4-5-X (3 digs), Abbey Kubas 6-X-X (4 digs), Hope Fath 5-4-X (2 digs).
Northern Cass -- Abby Richman X-X-5, (10 digs, 1 assist), Halle Crockett 6-X-X (12 digs, 1 assist), Abby Rasmussen 20 digs, Nelson Morgan 10-3-1 (3 digs, 1 assist), Sarah Yoney 3-1-3 (29 assists, 12 digs), Karissa Hammer 2-1-X (2 digs), Emma Lucas 9-3-3 (18 digs), Jenna Maker 2-2-X (2 digs).