Dickinson State's Tessa Sian gives Blue Hawks energetic spark
Even at a 5:30 a.m. practice, Tessa Sian provides energy for the Dickinson State volleyball team. The 6-foot junior middle blocker from Pompeys Pillar, Mont., has not only provided a spark for her team, but she's also been one of the few staples ...
Even at a 5:30 a.m. practice, Tessa Sian provides energy for the Dickinson State volleyball team.
The 6-foot junior middle blocker from Pompeys Pillar, Mont., has not only provided a spark for her team, but she’s also been one of the few staples to the program.
Sian will bring her energy to the Blue Hawks’ (6-25, 3-7 North Star Athletic Association) opening round of the NSAA tournament Saturday against Presentation (S.D.) College at 6 p.m. Saturday in Aberdeen, S.D.
Sian is one of six players from last year’s DSU team that went 2-30 and lost in the opening round of the NSAA tournament. But the Blue Hawks eclipsed last year’s win total and went 3-3 at home in Scott Gymnasium with 12 underclassmen and no seniors.
Sian claimed her team is just getting better, which is the goal especially before the conference tourney. She hopes the Blue Hawks meet their peak in the coming weeks.
“All of our girls are really mature,” Sian said. “We have a lot of experience under our belts, so we’re just leading the younger girls. They’re all mature in what they’re doing, it’s just getting everyone up to the speed of the game.”
Sian has certainly shown maturity this season. She leads the team and is eighth in the NSAA with 97 blocks. She is also second on the team with 185 kills.
“She gets up there and smacks the heck out of the ball,” freshman defensive specialist Maggie Green said. “When she puts the ball down or gets a block, she stomps the floor, screams and has energy. She definitely carries the momentum for the team.”
Sian said she can see a good or bad set and what she should do with it almost right away, though she doesn’t really think before she spikes.
“When I hit the ball, I don’t think about it, but after I do, I can go back in my mind and process,” Sian said. “It’s crazy how much runs through your mind, but that’s where you need to rely on your training for everything and just do what you need to do.”
But maybe more importantly, she provides an energetic spark for the young Blue Hawks. Whenever DSU scores a point - whether she’s on the court or not - Sian is usually the one celebrating the loudest and most enthusiastically.
Especially for a team that’s only played for a home crowd six times all year, DSU head coach Jenn Hartman said Sian plays an important role.
“She’s a louder leader on the court for us,” Hartman said. “She’s the fire you need in the games. She’s the type of player if you’re in a situation you need a side-out, you can always count on her to step up into that role.
“She’s done a really great job for DSU and mentoring the young athletes as well.”
Considering her young team, Sian said she is working on chemistry with teammates and hopes it comes soon.
Whether fully developed, connection among her teammates was shown in front of a loud crowd at Scott Gym when the Blue Hawks defeated Presentation 31-29, 20-25, 26-24, 25-17.
“When things aren’t going very well, you look to the support of your teammates and them believing in you and trusting you can do your job,” Green said. “Going into these next few games, we’re going to need that.”
A transfer from North Idaho College, Sian considers herself lucky to play college volleyball. With that, she wants to take advantage of every chance thrown her way.
“My volleyball career has always been about energy,” Sian said. “I just firmly believe in the momentum of the game, and whether you’re down or you’re up, you just need to have the same amount of energy. The celebrations after the point are as fun as getting the point.”
DSU won five matches in the past two years, but won six this year and now is the No. 3 seed of the NSAA north and will be going against a team the Blue Hawks have beaten this season.
But this is only the beginning, Sian said. Although she has one more year to go, she’s wants to push the volleyball program to prominence long after she’s gone. Sian likes how the freshman class is playing, and hopes that in four years, she can watch a program that’s thrived.
“It’s not just this season, we’ve been saying it’s ground zero, and it really is for the DSU volleyball program,” Sian said. “We’re really just trying to work the program up in general and change the atmosphere here at DSU and in Dickinson volleyball in general. Just getting back on top, working toward that and doing whatever we can do to better it.”