Beavers top Blue Hawks: Former Dakota Athletic Conference rival Minot State defeats Dickinson State

Still searching for its first win on the season, the Dickinson State volleyball team hosted former Dakota Athletic Conference rival Minot State in hopes of coming out with a victory.

Brenna Hansen
Dickinson State sophomore Brenna Hansen, back right, goes up for a kill against Minot State defenders during a nonconference match on Wednesday at Scott Gymnasium.

Still searching for its first win on the season, the Dickinson State volleyball team hosted former Dakota Athletic Conference rival Minot State in hopes of coming out with a victory.
The Beavers won 31-29, 21-15, 25-11, 25-15, Wednesday at Scott Gymnasium, but the Blue Hawks didn’t leave the gym with their heads down.
The team put together its most impressive performances of the season in the first two sets of the game and took away the fact they can compete against a Division II program.
“We showed what we can do in those first two games. Obviously the other two games were not our strongest showings, but it’s nice we came out and played that first set that could have gone either way,” DSU right-side hitter Tessa Sian said. “That was good to see what we did what we can do.”
In the first set, either team was no more than four points down and began to exchange leads every other point. Tied 29-29, the Beavers pushed forward with a go-ahead kill by Emily Byrne and won the set on a DSU reception error.
During the second set, both teams battled, but the Blue Hawks didn’t falter this time. At 19-19, both teams attempted to break the tied but an attack error by MSU’s Mallory Sall gave DSU the lead. Sall also committed an error to give the Blue Hawks the second set. The Blue Hawks outscored the Beavers 4-2 for its lone set win.
DSU’s Maddi Johnston had a team-high nine kills, followed by Sian and Miranda Kadrmas with eight.
“They came out aggressive and did exactly what they said they were gonna do,” DSU head coach Jon Stenman said. “They were alive before the game and they showed it. That’s the way they play in practice.”

But with the highs came the lows. MSU adjusted in the third set and shut down DSU 25-11. The Beavers went on a seven-point run to put the Blue Hawks into an early deficit which they never recovered.
“We started to get a feel for what success feels like and then I feel like we get too far ahead of ourselves,” said DSU libero Tasha Malana, who had a game-high 19 digs. “We sometimes need to take a step back and relook at the whole situation and try to adjust to the situation.”
Senior Jen Dixon posted a game-high 20 kills and a team-high 17 digs for MSU. Sall finished with an all-around performance of 19 kills, six digs, three aces and two blocks. Between Dixon, Sall and Tarah Dabovich, the players scored 49 of the team’s 62 total kills.
“It’s the first game and I’m really proud of how we came out,” Dixon said. “I got to give it to Dickinson, they’re a scrappy, scrappy team and it was really tough to put balls down on them but I thought we came together as a team on our side and fought right to the end.
“That first set was really really close and neither team was letting up, it was great competition.”
The Blue Hawks return to the road for the Big Sky Challenge starting Friday in Butte, Mont. DSU is set to face some more of its former Frontier Conference opponents, starting at 9 a.m. with Montana Tech and Westminster College (Utah) at 3 p.m.
“If we keep our heads straight and we play the way we can play and know how to play we’re going to play with anybody,” Stenman said. “Those first two sets, if we play that way against teams this weekend we’re up two sets to no pretty easily, not taking anything away from the other teams.”

MSU 31 21 25 25 - 3
DSU 29 25 11 15 - 1
Kills: MSU, Jen Dixon 20, Mallory Sall 19, Tarah Dabovich 10, Jessica Thompson 5, Brileigh Boyce 3, Taylor Butters 2, Alexis Boutin 2. DSU, Maddi Johnston 9, Tessa Sian 8, Miranda Kadrmas 8, Shelby Gustafson 5.
Blocks: MSU, Dabovich 1. DSU, Gustafson 2, Sian 1, Megan Dailey 1.
Aces: MSU, Sall 3, Josie DeGagne 2, Boutin 2, Cindy Pelo 2, Dixon 1. DSU, Shaylee Singleton 2, Gustafson 1, Morgan Lutz 1, Shayna Uffelman 1.
Digs: MSU, Dixon 17, Pelo 14, Emily Byrne 9, Sall 6, Boutin 6, Shaunessy Dauwalder 3, DeGagne 2.
Assists: MSU, Byrne 54. DSU, Ashleigh Aufforth 15, Lutz 13.

Tasha Malana
DSU senior Natasha Malana serves against Minot State.

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