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Midgets triumph in thrilling fashion over Watford City

Dickinson High sophomore middle hitter Audrey Rodakowski doesn't remember ever having served nine straight times. On Tuesday, against Watford City, she did just that.

Dickinson High senior outside hitter Peyton Selle (right) and junior middle hitter Madison Lindley go up for a block in action against Watford City on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Scott Gym. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson High senior outside hitter Peyton Selle (right) and junior middle hitter Madison Lindley go up for a block in action against Watford City on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Scott Gym. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

Dickinson High sophomore middle hitter Audrey Rodakowski doesn't remember ever having served nine straight times. On Tuesday, against Watford City, she did just that.

Powered by three aces, Rodakowski and the Midgets went on a nine-point run in the fourth set, turning a 15-11 advantage into a 25-13 set victory.

The win forced a fifth set, which the Midgets won 15-9, capping off a 3-2 triumph over the Wolves on Tuesday, Oct. 23, from Scott Gym.
"It was kind of stressful," Rodakowski admitted. "Coach was looking over at me from the bench saying, 'OK, lessen the energy, now bring it up a little harder, a little harder,' I was kind of nervous. Some of them I know I definitely lucked out on."

In the fifth set, Rodakowski earned three more aces, bringing her total to six on the night. A Rodakowski ace and a kill from junior outside hitter Peyton Selle gave the Midgets a 5-3 advantage and drew a Watford City timeout.

From there, they built an even bigger lead, as great as 9-4 thanks to a kill from junior middle hitter Madison Lindley.

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The Wolves climbed within two, 9-7, but the Midgets put it away, aided by a kill and a block from Lindley, who led the team with four blocks.

Selle led Dickinson with 12 kills, followed by junior outside hitter Taylor Nelson, who added seven. Rodakowski appeared throughout the stat sheet, earning three kills and a pair of blocks.

"We were experimenting with a second outside hitter opposite Peyton and we started Audrey there in the first set," Dickinson head coach Jay Schobinger said. "Then when (Wolves senior middle hitter Tia McGorman) was kind of taking care of business, we said, 'Alright, Audrey, you're our best blocker, you got to go and take care of her.' Not that she stopped her, but she made some things happen for us."

After the Midgets (13-18, 6-11 WDA) won a back-and-forth opening set 25-21, the Wolves (8-20, 3-12 WDA) won an equally-competitive second set, 25-19, which they sealed with an ace from senior outside hitter Emily Elliot. Elliot earned a team-high four on the night.

An ace from junior libero Tayle Kaczmar tied the third set at nine before Watford City took a definitive lead. The Wolves found their rhythm and went on to win 25-15.

McGorman was dominant, tallying 16 kills and five blocks. Sophomore right side Ashley Holen followed with 11 kills and five blocks.

In the fourth, they lost their touch.

"I think we kind of let up," Watford City head coach Renae Morgan said. "We didn't keep on being aggressive. We didn't get after the ball. We played a little safer and not as aggressive and then we made some mistakes because we were playing tighter."

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A block from Rodakowski secured a 3-2 lead in the early goings of the fourth, an advantage Dickinson wouldn't surrender the rest of the way.

"We came out, started off well and then, I don't know. We quit going after balls," Schobinger said. "We harped on the fact that you have to play with energy and good things are going to happen. You saw the momentum. When we took it, we ran with it. ... Coming back after being down 2-1, we're not going to complain."

Dickinson High 3, Watford City 2

WC 21 25 25 13 9 - 2

DHS 25 19 15 25 15 - 3

Kills: WC, Tia McGorman 16, Ashley Holen 11, Emma Mogen 9. DHS, Peyton Selle 12, Taylor Nelson 7, Audrey Rodakowski 3, Madison Lindley 2, Lauren Jorda 2.

Blocks: WC, McGorman 5, Holen 5. DHS, Lindley 4, Rodakowski 2, Nelson 1, Madi Eckelberg 1.

Aces: WC, Emily Elliot 4, Tayle Kaczmar 2. DHS, Rodakowski 6, Selle 3, Nelson 2, Taya Hopfauf 2, Kendryn Bullinger 2.

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Digs: WC, Kaczmar 13, Mogen 10. DHS, Bullinger 24, Hopfauf 14, Selle 9, Nelson 5.

Assists: WC, Sydney Faller 23, Sydney Sanford 15. DHS, Jorda 28.

Records: WC, 8-20, 3-12 WDA. DHS, 13-18, 6-11 WDA.

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