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Blue Hawks top Comets in 4 sets to end regular season

With less than a full day to regroup after suffering a sweep against Valley City State, the Dickinson State volleyball team looked rejuvenated Saturday afternoon.

Dickinson State junior Shelby Gustafson (19) fires an attack past Mayville State's Whitney Janu (3) and several other Comets on Saturday at Scott Gymnasium. (Parker Cotton / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson State junior Shelby Gustafson (19) fires an attack past Mayville State's Whitney Janu (3) and several other Comets on Saturday at Scott Gymnasium. (Parker Cotton / The Dickinson Press)

With less than a full day to regroup after suffering a sweep against Valley City State, the Dickinson State volleyball team looked rejuvenated Saturday afternoon.

Despite dropping the third set against Mayville State, the Blue Hawks rebounded to take the fourth game, winning 3-1 against the Comets at Scott Gymnasium.

"Sometimes we have to learn a hard lesson to come back and play aggressive, and I think that's what happened last night," DSU head coach Jen Hartman said. "We came out with a lot of intensity and energy today and played really well."

The win concludes the Blue Hawks' regular season, and they now focus on preparing for the North Star Athletic Association tournament next week, which begins next Tuesday against an opponent that has yet to be determined.

In its last match before the postseason, Dickinson State was challenged in each of the final three sets, and that suited the Blue Hawks just fine.

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"We know we're not finished yet, so having another team battle back on us but we can still come out on top, that means a lot," said senior outside hitter Brenna Hansen.

Dickinson State won the opening set 25-15, but that would be the only lopsided game. The teams traded points until the midway point of the set, tied at 14. The Blue Hawks then won seven straight points and 11 of the final 12 to take an early set advantage.

Mayville State never led in the second set but really played point-for-point for the whole way despite trailing 8-2 early on. DSU ultimately won 25-23.

"It was a relentless pursuit. They kept hitting with us and we just kept digging," Hartman said. "As a hitter, you know better than anyone that gets really frustrating, but it was exciting to come out and play that defense the way we know how to."

The Comets broke through after intermission to take the third set 25-22. The Blue Hawks held an early lead at 8-4 only to see it dwindle. The same happened to their 19-15 advantage after MSU rallied to take the next four to tie it. DSU won the next point to go ahead 20-19, but the Comets responded with another four-point burst to take the lead for good.

The final game was just as back-and-forth as the two preceding it, but DSU held off Mayville State just long enough to take the 25-21 victory.

In the win, senior Danielle Boyette recorded a triple-double with 10 kills, 11 digs and 28 assists, and three teammates joined her with more 10 or more kills; Hansen had 11, while Tessa Sian and Sydney Bentz tallied 18 and 10, respectively.

The team collected 98 digs, led by Shaylee Singleton's 28, and the Blue Hawks were strong at the net with 10 blocks.

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"Our hitters and our front line really stepped up," Hartman said. "We hit well and we blocked well. We just really seemed in-system with each other. There was a lot of chemistry on the court."

 

Dickinson State 3, Mayville State 1

MSU 15 23 25 21 - 1

DSU 25 25 22 25 - 3

Kills: MSU, Stephany Wold 13, Joely Christianson 10, Megan Kolness 9, Hannah Bliss 9, MaKenzie Bring 4, Whitney Janu 2. DSU, Tessa Sian 18, Brenna Hansen 11, Danielle Boyette 10, Sydney Bentz 10, Shelby Gustafson 8, Ellie Hanser 4, Shyanne Gilcrest 2, Keera Stookey 2.

Blocks: MSU, Janu 3, Wold 3, Bring 1. DSU, Gustafson 5, Bentz 5, Sian 3, Hansen 1, Boyette 1.

Aces: MSU, Sydney Boom 1. DSU, Kaitlyn Anderson 2, Boyette 2, Allie Hert 1, Shayna Uffelman 1.

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Digs: MSU, TaLise Hansen 22, Boom 18, Jayden Warner 15, Kolness 9. DSU, Shaylee Singleton 28, Hert 15, Stookey 14, Anderson 11, Boyette 11, Bentz 4, Gustafson 4, Hansen 4, Hanser 3, Sian 3, Uffelman 1.

Assists: MSU, Kolness 33. DSU, Stookey 29, Boyette 28, Anderson 1, Sian 1.

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