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Crafty Comets push past Blue Hawks

Something happened between the third and fourth sets. After falling 25-18 to the Dickinson State volleyball team in the third set, Mayville State dominated in the next, tying the match at two sets a piece with a 25-14 victory. The Comets kept it ...

Dickinson State senior outside hitter Kylie Hadley connects for a kill against Mayville State on Thursday, Nov. 1, at Scott Gym. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson State senior outside hitter Kylie Hadley connects for a kill against Mayville State on Thursday, Nov. 1, at Scott Gym. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

Something happened between the third and fourth sets.

After falling 25-18 to the Dickinson State volleyball team in the third set, Mayville State dominated in the next, tying the match at two sets a piece with a 25-14 victory.

The Comets kept it rolling into the fifth, defeating Dickinson State 15-10 and winning the night 3-2 on Thursday, Nov. 1, at Scott Gym. With the win, the Comets take the fifth seed from the Blue Hawks in the conference standings.

"If I could pinpoint it, I would bottle it and bring it to every game," Mayville State head coach Lindsey Johnson said. "For us, the roller coaster that we play with ... that's kind of been our M.O. all season. We can be really down, then we can be really up. For us, the nice part tonight was that when we caught fire, we didn't lose it because that tends to be, again, kind of our M.O."

From the first serve in the opening frame, everything was coming up Dickinson State.

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The set was close, with six ties, but Dickinson State was always the one ahead. The setters kept feeding senior outside hitter Kylie Hadley and junior middle Kadara Marshall, who finished with a team-leading 24 and 14 kills, respectively.

As Mayville State closed within a point, 17-16, head coach Jennifer Hartman called timeout. When the players returned to the floor, the Blue Hawks started an eight-point, game-ending run that began with kills from Marshall and sophomore middle blocker Alyssa Wisher. With a powerful kill, Hadley sealed the 25-16 win.

"We came out strong in the first set, which was exciting," Hartman said. "We needed to come out strong. I think we surprised them a lot, being aggressive. We did really well in the first set, for sure."

The Blue Hawks led by as much as five points before the Comets found their fight, going on a five-point run to tie the game at 14. From there, Mayville State pulled ahead and maintained the lead until coming out on top 26-24.

The Comets were led by senior middle Cassidy Miller, who contributed 19 kills, as well as a pair of blocks. Fellow middle hitter freshman Victoria Johnson followed with 17 kills, a handful of which came from tips.

"We have some undersized players and we have some skilled players, they're very crafty," Johnson said. "I have a really crafty group and it can frustrate the heck out of a team because we don't always just score on the big booming kill and then we keep the ball alive alot."

Comets junior defensive specialist Jayden Warner led all players with 32 digs, followed by senior outside hitter Rumor Stokes and freshman outside hitter Natalie Hadrava, who added 16 each.

The Blue Hawks were ready for the Comets' tricks, but were still left watching some balls go into gaps and hit the floor.

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"We practice on it a lot," Cleveland said. "We practice on tip coverage and who's gonna take them and when. It's just communication on the court. We're all a team. Whoever can grab it, go ahead and grab it."

Cleveland and junior setter Keera Stookey each had 30 assists on the night.

Freshman Jenna Swope and senior Makenzie Digesualdo led the team on defense with 22 and 21 digs, respectively. The pair also put up three aces each.

Dickinson State's second set win of the night, was more dominant than the first. Four kills from Sydney Bentz, who finished with 13, helped the Blue Hawks to a 7-1 advantage. Kills from Hadley gave the Blue Hawks both their 10-point leads at 14-4 and 17-7, as well as the 25-18 win.

Dickinson State will suit up again on Friday, Nov. 2, to take on Presentation College (S.D.), who are now just ½ game behind Dickinson State for the final playoff spot.

"I thought we played amazing tonight," freshman setter Karlie Cleveland said. "I think tomorrow's just gonna to be a new day and we're going to play just the same, but this time we're going to beat Presentation."

Mayville State 3, Dickinson State 2

MSU 16 26 18 25 15 - 3

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DSU 25 24 25 14 10 - 2

Kills: MSU, Cassidy Miller 19, Victoria Johnson 17, Natalie Hadrava 10. DSU, Hadley 24, Kadara Marshall 14, Sydney Bentz 13, Alyssa Wisher 8, Ellie Hanser 4, Kennedy Hildebrand 4, Karlie Cleveland 2, Makenzie Digesualdo 1.

Blocks: MSU, Johnson 4, Miller 2, Kiana Johnson 2. DSU, Wisher 6, Hanser 1, Marshall 1, Hadley 1, Hildebrand 1.

Aces: MSU, Hadrava 4, Rumor Stokes 1, Jayden Warner 1. DSU, Digesualdo 3, Jenna Swope 3, Marshall 1.

Digs: MSU, Warner 32, Hadrava 16, Stokes 16. DSU, Swope 22, Makenzie Digesualdo 21, Alli Hert 18, Cleveland 15, Marshall 10, Hadley 8, Keera Stookey 6, Hanser 3, Bentz 2, Hildebrand 1, Sarah Dobitz 1.

Assists: MSU, Jana Mehus 50. DSU, Stookey 30, Cleveland 30, Digesualdo 3, Swope 2, Hildebrand 1, Hanser 1, Marshall 1.

Records: MSU, 19-15, 5-9 NSAA. DSU, 6-22, 4-9 NSAA.

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