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Midgets volleyball takes care of Saints in four sets

For a brief moment, Bismarck St. Mary's held a 25-24 advantage in the fourth set against Dickinson High on Tuesday. The Saints had won a bang-bang play at the net. Until they didn't. The officials convened and decided to re-play the point. Given ...

Dickinson High's Jayde Lawlar, left, and Mariah Mortensen watch as their block falls to the floor against Bismarck St. Mary's Tuesday at DHS gymnasium. (Parker Cotton / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson High's Jayde Lawlar, left, and Mariah Mortensen watch as their block falls to the floor against Bismarck St. Mary's Tuesday at DHS gymnasium. (Parker Cotton / The Dickinson Press)

For a brief moment, Bismarck St. Mary's held a 25-24 advantage in the fourth set against Dickinson High on Tuesday.

The Saints had won a bang-bang play at the net. Until they didn't.

The officials convened and decided to re-play the point.

Given another chance at life, the Midgets won the next two points to put away St. Mary's with a 3-1 victory at DHS gymnasium.

Dickinson (4-10, 3-4 West Region) had jumped to a 2-0 set led before dropping the third game. It appeared that the Saints were on the verge of tying the match in the fourth, but the Midgets buckled down to secure their third win in a row.

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"We knew we could do it," said junior outside hitter Lexi Jordheim. "It helps when not only one of us believes in ourselves, but we all believe in each other. We trust each other a lot on the court."

The lead changed hands nine times in the final set, reaching its apex at 24-24. Players from both sides reached for the ball right above the net and battled for control. It ultimately was too close to call and swung the momentum one final time.

After the Saints had come back from a 7-0 deficit in the third set, which they eventually won 25-21, the momentum was clearly on their side, Midgets head coach Jay Schobinger said.

"That was a big-time wasted opportunity," he said. "We had all the momentum, and in two rotations, I think we went from being up 8-2 to tied 10-10. I don't know if it was lack of concentration or what, but that gave them a lot of momentum, and they rode it. If we don't give them that, this could be over in three."

Despite dropping a set, Schobinger appreciate the way his team regrouped and competed through a tight fourth set.

"This group has been through some tough situations athletically, and to fight through is very important for them," he said.

On the other side of the net, Saints head coach Kyle Kuether was similarly pleased with his team's effort, but he hoped to see more fire from the early going.

"We had a sloppy match, but we came back and played well in the third," he said. "In the fourth, we just need to find a way to spark that intensity when it's not 24-24. We have to spark that when it's 2-2 or 5-5."

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Dickinson won the first two sets 25-18 and 25-21, respectively. The teams were tied at 15-15 in the first set before a seven-point run put Dickinson ahead for good. That run was spurred by two aces from Paige Schweitzer and a kill and a block from Mariah Mortensen.

In the second set, tied at 16-16, Dickinson won the next point to take control. The Saints fought back to tie it three more times, but the Midgets never trailed again.

"When we play those top teams, we were right there with them until the midway point in a game and then they pulled away," Schobinger said, "so it's nice to be on the other side of that."

Mortensen led all players with 13 kills and five blocks from her middle hitter spot. Schweitzer added six kills, Jayde Lawlar had eight and Morgan Kainz supplied five. Aiding their offensive efforts was Lauren Jorda, who collected 31 assists.

Jordheim racked up nine kills and added a team-high 18 digs and three service aces.

The Midgets tallied 10 total aces and were able to make the Saints uncomfortable on the serve-receive a number of times.

"The first thing coach told us was, 'Today we're going to go back and serve hard,'" Jordheim said, "and that's what we did and it got it done."

Dickinson High 3, Bismarck St. Mary's 1

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SM 18 21 25 24 - 1

D 25 25 21 26 - 3

Kills: SM, Kaitlyn Wanner 11, Taylor Gerving 9, Sydney Graner 7, Kailey Arman 6. D, Mariah Mortensen 13, Lexi Jordheim 9, Jayde Lawlar 8, Paige Schweitzer 6, Morgan Kainz 5, Sadi Dvorak 2.

Blocks: SM, Wanner 2, Gerving 1. D, Mortensen 5, Kainz 3, Schweitzer 3.

Aces: SM, Gerving 3, Arman 1. D, Jordheim 3, Schweitzer 2, Sarah Dobitz 2, Aspen Galster 2, Mortensen 1.

Digs: SM, Wanner 4, Victoria Johnson 4, Abbi Kopp 4. D, Jordheim 18, Dobitz 14, Galster 8, Dvorak 5, Katie Riely 3, Lauren Jorda 3, Schweitzer 2, Mortensen 1.

Assists: SM, Kylie Haas 36. D, Jorda 31, Jordheim 9, Schweitzer 1.

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