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Midgets fall short in game of runs

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Jordan Reger goes up for a kill in the Midgets 3-0 loss to Bismarck at home on Thursday, Sept. 17. (Jake Wright / The Dickinson Press)

Dickinson High couldn’t get kills at the right time and a couple strong rallies by the Bismarck Demons proved to be their nemesis at home on Thursday evening in a match between winless teams.

The Demons (1-3) won all three sets in a sweep by scores of 25-21, 25-12 and 25-21.

After a poor showing in the second set, the writing was on the wall and it was even more so when Bismarck opened up a 21-11 lead in the third set.

The threat of getting swept didn’t phase Dickinson, however, and they battled back to make it a competitive end to the match.

They went on a 9-2 run making the score 23-20 in part due to a spark by senior outside hitter Jayce Bradley and an ace by junior Makenna Eckelberg.

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“I really thought other than one rotation in set two where we gave up nine points and couldn’t get out of it, our kids played well,” Dickinson head coach Jay Schobinger said. “They are figuring out that we are pretty good defensively and that is what got us back in the last set.”

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Taya Hopfauf attempts to set up a teammate in the Midgets loss to Bismarck on Thursday. (Jake Wright / The Dickinson Press)

The whole match was dictated by runs by each team as in the first set, the score was tied at 16, but the Demons scored four unanswered points and eight out of 10 to put the Midgets (0-4) behind the eight ball.

Bradley recorded two kills to bring the score to 24-20, but Bismarck closed out the set.

In the second set, the match started to turn after the score was tied at 10. The Demons went on a 10-0 run puting the set out of reach, and the Midgets weren’t able to crush their foe's momentum.

“We lost a lot offensively from last year. We knew that was going to be a process. We need our offensive players to kind of start to grow up and get us through those tough times. We need them to put a ball in a good spot or get a big kill,” Schobinger said. “That is what we need right now and we will continue to work on that and get there.”

Bradley led the Midgets with five kills and fellow senior Paige Balliet totaled a team high 13 assists.

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Mataya Mortenson tries to get a kill for Dickinson in their 3-0 loss to Bismarck. (Jake Wright / The Dickinson Press)

“We told the kids ‘are you better than you were a week ago?’ and the answer is yes,” Schobinger said. “We just need to keep getting better. That is a good team we played today.”

The Midgets now have a longer than expected break as they will not play for 12 days until Sept. 29.

They were set to host Williston next Tuesday, but the Coyotes are having issues with COVID-19 and the varsity match will not be played as scheduled.

“When you have an inexperienced group, then quality practices are really important,” Schobinger said. “Our girls get that and they understand that we need practice. We don't get a varsity match next Tuesday, but we do get a full week of practice.”

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Bismarck (1-3) 25 25 25
Dickinson (0-4) 21 12 21
Dickinson stats

Serving (aces): Jayce Bradley 2. Set assists: Paige Balliet 13. Hitting (kills): Jayce Bradley 5. Blocking (aces): Jenna Decker 1. Digs: Taya Hopfauf 14, Reese Hauck 10, Paige Balliet 10.

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