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DSU begins 3-game homestand

The Dickinson State volleyball team is looking for history to repeat itself. Last year, it took the Blue Hawks 13 games to pick up its first win and came against Mayville State. DSU currently sits at 0-11 and hosts the Comets at 7 p.m. today in S...

Tessa Sian
Press Photo by Meaghan MacDonald Dickinson State redshirt sophomore Tessa Sian, right, goes up for a hit against Minot State during a nonconference game on Sept. 3 at Scott Gymnasium.

The Dickinson State volleyball team is looking for history to repeat itself.
Last year, it took the Blue Hawks 13 games to pick up its first win and came against Mayville State. DSU currently sits at 0-11 and hosts the Comets at 7 p.m. today in Scott Gymnasium.
While the team is still searching for that crucial first win, DSU is pumped up for the matchup, its first-ever conference game as a member of the North Star Athletic Association.
“They’re anxious for this weekend and understand the brevity of the situation, this is our season,” DSU head coach Jon Stenman said. “Doesn’t matter what we did, everyone is 0-0 in conference and everyone starts conference on Friday. This is it.”
With the sense of urgency understood, the team has been hard at work and used its 10 days off to practice and perfect some issues which have held the Blue Hawks back.
DSU’s schedule was hectic from the start. In 17 days the team played 11 games, including two tournaments and just two home games. Intensity has been high during practices to prepare for conference play, but the extended time off from games and travel has helped the players mentally reset and get organized.
“This week off is really going to help us mentally because we’ve had time to focus on school and on getting things done in practice and not worrying about having a game,” said freshman hitter Shelby Gustafson.
The focal point of practices has been consistency. Since day one DSU has been fighting with consistency levels and trying to get all six girls on the court in sync.
“I feel like we’re able to play strong 0 to 25 and its not kind of on and off,” said Miranda Kadrmas, a rightside hitter and Heart River native. “Lately we’ll go on a run and then the other team goes on a run. But the way, I feel, we’ve been proving ourselves in practice that we are going to stay strong throughout, regardless of the score.”
Stenman and his team have also addressed lowering the amount of unforced errors committed and overall hitting the ball smarter. In its 11 games, DSU has accumulated 242 unforced errors, while its opponents have made 179.
The Blue Hawks also have been trying to practice and hone in on their strengths, passing and their defense. DSU averages 1.4 blocks per set and 12.5 digs per set. Morgan Lutz is currently ranked No. 5 in the conference in assists per set, averaging 4.5 while senior libero Tasha Malana is No. 4 with digs per set with 3.9.
“If we can pass and then finish on the other end, that’s when we turn things around,” Stenman said. “I know we can pass and I know we can play defense it’s just putting the two together.”
DSU’s homestand doesn’t stop after today and has two more chances to get its first win in front of its fans. The team hosts Valley City State at 6 p.m. Saturday and concludes with a nonconference matinee against Briercrest College (Saskatchewan) at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
“We are very excited for conference play,” Kadrmas said. “Lately our season has been down but in the end this is all that matters so we are really preparing for these teams this weekend and nothing better than being at home.”

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