Midgets win drought continues against undefeated Legacy at home
Dickinson's woes continue as they go 1-3 at home since September, falling to mid-table in Western Dakota Association standings.
DICKINSON — The Dickinson Midgets home court advantage wouldn't be enough to push the Midgets over the top, losing their third regional home game in a row on Tuesday night.
It has been a difficult season for DHS, who have faced one highly touted team after another in the mid-season schedule — a schedule that sees the Midgets host a two-day, 16-team varsity tournament over the weekend.
Bismarck Legacy, the No. 1 team in the WDA conference, are now on a nine game winning streak, though their ninth win wouldn't come easily in the four-set match.
The Sabers (9-0, 12-4) defeated the Midgets (4-4, 7-8) with a 3-1 result (18-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-22) after a surprising first set witnessed Legacy fall to Dickinson in a stunning performance by the Midgets.
Bismarck would right the ship, changing their approach in the second set and taking an early lead and never relinquishing it. The Midgets contested in the final two sets, taking multiple leads and ties, but side-outs and long rallies lost kept them three-points away from winning in both sets.
“[Legacy] has beaten Bismarck High, they have beaten Jamestown, so that a good volleyball team,” Jay Schobinger, DHS head coach, said. “We played Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Tuesday again. It's tough playing three days in a row like that, but I thought our kids for a stretch like that did a really nice job… Obviously disappointed we came a little short, but I think we have proved that we can be a competitive team with the top teams in our conference.”
While Dickinson won the first set with relative ease, the Midgets did allow Legacy to take several runs of points before closing the door. Freshman Jenna Nelson scored the final point of the first set with a kill coming in from the Midget’s left side.
“We thought we were going to let [Nelson] play two rotations, then we let her play three and she actually ended up playing six for a while,” Schobinger said. “She did a nice job.”
The Sabers came out battling in the second set, with their outside hitter Asiah Gross consistently placing the ball into open spaces. DHS was never too far behind for a comeback, but a late-set rally would see the Sabers go on a five-point run to close the books on the second set.
The Midgets took the lead in the middle of the third set, but couldn't contain Legacy's offense, losing two critical long rallies — all but extinguishing their momentum.
“There were some long rallies and we won a few of them, but they won more of them,” said Schobinger.
Dickinson's early 8-4 lead quickly vanished as Legacy went on a 5-point run in the fourth set. There were five ties in the set including the Midgets going on a three-point run to match the Sabers at 18, before falling behind once more.
Middle blocker and outside hitter Jenna Decker had a good night on offense, especially late in the sets; garnering 14 kills and two aces in the game. Senior outside hitter Caton Pearcy had a double-double, 21 kills to lead the team and 17 digs.
“Jenna is one of those kids that plays a little stoic, but she goes out and plays hard. She is one of the leaders on this team and she has been doing a good job for us,” Schobinger said. “She has played for us since she was a ninth grader. Last year she really didn't get to play much because she was hurt so it's nice to see her out there leading and taking care of business.”
Dickinson’s young setter, Cecelia Homiston had 37 assists and tied Decker for most service aces. Homiston also tied Jazmin Barry for more blocks with two each. Senior libero Bailey Berg tallied an incredible 30 digs to lead the Midgets.
Dickinson's spell at home has come to an end and they will be on the road for the first time since Sept. 7 to battle Jamestown, who are currently holding third in standings.