Blue Hawks volleyball still searching for first win
The Dickinson State Blue Hawks got their home schedule underway on Saturday.
A new season breeds new hope for the Dickinson State volleyball team as they played their first home matches on Saturday, hosting the Blue Hawk Classic at Scott Gymnasium.
The three-team competition consisted a pair of nationally ranked teams in the NAIA, with #25 Rocky Mountain College and #2 Jamestown making the trip to Dickinson.
The Blue Hawks were overmatched and struggled to put together any success, losing both matches in three sets.
Paired with last weekend’s results in the Big Sky tournament, where Dickinson State went up against the University of Providence, Carroll College, and Montana Tech, the Blue Hawks fell to 0-6 this season.
Leading the Blue Hawks this season is new head coach Shari Hewson, who was hired earlier this month. Despite the losses early on, Hewson has been encouraged by what she has seen at times.
“We’re seeing glimpses of what we want to see but we’re not putting them together yet,” Hewson said. “We’re making a few mistakes and we just have to come together as a team.”
They first went up against Rocky Mountain as the two sides remained close early on, tied up at 13 apiece in the first set. The Battlin’ Bears would then finish off the Blue Hawks with a 12-6 run to take the first set.
Set number two was controlled more by Rocky Mountain, who pieced together a 9-3 run when the score was 13-10 Battlin’ Bears to power their way to a second set victory.
Determined to put up a fight, the Blue Hawks wouldn’t go down easy in the third set as they were able to get the set squared at 25.
Needing to win by two, a kill by Rocky Mountain’s Morgan Allen and an ace from Brooke Ark pushed the Battlin’ Bears over the line.
The Blue Hawks had one more kill than Rocky Mountain, 40-39, but also had more errors with 17 opposed to six for the visitors. Senior Bailey Dashner led the way for Dickinson State with 13 kills on 29 attempts. She also had eight digs, second-most behind freshman McKenzie Moser with nine.
Dickinson State still had one more match to go, but the competition wasn’t going to be any easier as the Jimmies showed why they are the second-best team in the NAIA with a relatively comfortable win. The Blue Hawks weren’t able to get more than 17 points in each of the three sets, losing 25-12, 25-17, 25-13.
It was the 20th straight match Jamestown defeated Dickinson State, improving their series lead to 25-6 all-time.
Hewson has experienced a rough start in her first year as the Blue Hawks head coach but knows her squad has the talent to compete.
“What we’re trying to do is defensively trust the process and work through it,” Hewson said. “Right now they’re a little shaky but getting them to believe they are as great as they are and getting that mentality.”
Their next games will come next weekend in another tournament as they travel to Bellevue, Nebraska for the Go Sarpy Labor Day Classic.