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Midgets unable to adjust as illness sidelines key starter

Against one of the fiercest teams of the western division, Dickinson would be routed in a 3-0 defeat at home on Tuesday.

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Dickinson Midgets fall to Bismarck High for their first regional loss.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press
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DICKINSON — Tuesday’s home game would prove a test for the Dickinson squad as they faced perennial contenders Bismarck High. The Midgets entered the competition ranked third in the western standings, one game ahead of the Demons.

A 3-0 defeat (25-17, 25-14, 25-21) would see the Midgets fall to mid-table.

Dickinson's troubles started pre-game when it was confirmed that starting setter and motivational team leader Cecelia Homiston would not compete due to illness. The Midgets would have to adjust not only their line up, but their approach to the game as much of the gameplan revolved around the highly touted Homiston.

The Midgets would drop the the first two sets without offering much resistance as errors and a lack of cohesiveness put the typically high octane offense on safety. In the final set Dickinson would show more confidence, keeping the set close until the final moments — even boasting a 5-point lead mid-set.

“We were thrown a major curve ball this morning. Cecelia Homiston went home sick,” Jay Schobinger, DHS head coach, said “We did our best to adjust and adapt, and both Kendra and Kaley did a nice job... but they are different setters and they put up a different ball than Cecelia does…You are always going to have to handle adversity, so we needed to do a better job of that from the start.”

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The first set quickly became one sided as Bismarck went on a 2-1 lead through the first 18 points, winning multiple rallies back-to-back to chip away at the Midgets' confidence. The Demons quickly expanded their lead by nine to take the largest lead in the set, closing the door 11 rallies later.

The Midgets returned to court with newfound motivation, courtesy of Schobinger, but couldn’t manage to halt an 11-point run for a 25-14 end to the second set.

Back to the drawing board, the Midgets returned to the court seeking a moral victory to an otherwise out of control game and would hold out in set three — taking an early lead and going up by 5. The pendulum would swing back to the stronger team when a Bismarck rally overtook the Midgets.

“In the end you have to go out and play and have fun, and we did that much better in set three,” Schobinger said. “It took some time to readjust, but we thought, ‘Hey, lets try both of these setters and let them play and get some reps.’”

Unlike most nights, Caton Pearcy was unable to garner her usual double digit kills, but would lead Dickinson with eight. Pearcy also managed the only ace for the Midgets, while teammate Jazmin Barry led the team in blocks with three.

Senior libero Baylee Berg tallied 12 digs, followed by Peacy with nine and Jenna Decker with 7.

Kendra King and Kaley Embry had 17 assists together, individually tallying 12 and five respectively.

Thursday will be another tough night of competition for the Midgets who will be taking on Bismarck Century — WDA’s current No. 2 team — at home.

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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