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Titans sweep Raiders, move to 7-0 in region

Dickinson Trinity only needed three sets to put away Richardton-Taylor on Thursday, but the Raiders made the Titans work for it. Richardton-Taylor vastly improved its play in the final two games, but Trinity still came away with set wins of 25-13...

Dickinson Trinity juniors Masy Kuntz (left) and Bre Tessier block an attack at the net by a Richardton-Taylor player on Thursday at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson Trinity juniors Masy Kuntz (left) and Bre Tessier block an attack at the net by a Richardton-Taylor player on Thursday at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

Dickinson Trinity only needed three sets to put away Richardton-Taylor on Thursday, but the Raiders made the Titans work for it.

Richardton-Taylor vastly improved its play in the final two games, but Trinity still came away with set wins of 25-13, 25-15, 25-17 at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

"We knew they had improved a lot since last year, and they had taken some big sets from some good teams," said Titans senior libero Amber Sickler, who had seven digs and four aces. "We knew we had to come work hard."

After jockeying for position during the opening moments of the first set, Trinity took the lead for good with three straight points to go ahead 7-4. The Titans would later lead by as many as 15 points, at 23-8, before a flurry of Raider points at the end narrowed the score to 25-13.

The Raiders built a 5-3 lead to open the middle set, but the Titans scored five straight to take an 8-5 edge. Then, it was Richardton-Taylor's turn to answer; six points from that side made it 11-8 for the visitors.

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The Raiders gave it all back, however, as Trinity put up seven straight points - and later on, another run of six straight - to take control of the set.

"Those spurts are really important," Raiders head coach Tessa Sian said. "We need to just capitalize on those and not let on other teams go on runs."

The Titans won the first six decisions of the third set and kept building from there. Richardton-Taylor cut its deficit to three points, at 14-11, but would get no closer.

"When we came out, we weren't quite ready, but in the second and third game, we really adjusted to their level of speed. We're not really used to that," Sian said. "But that was great for the girls. They did awesome as far as that is concerned. They just kept improving. We try to never give up on a ball, never quit, and I don't think they did that tonight."

Titans head coach Breanna Messer was pleased to see her team respond to different challenges from the Raiders throughout the match.

"In our timeouts, we talked about staying focused, staying disciplined," Messer said. "I think, at times, we resort back to bad habits and we stand up when we're passing and we're not getting on top of the ball when we're swinging. As long as we can stay focused and stay disciplined, then we can get into that flow and play smooth volleyball."

Senior Haylee Leingang led the Raiders with six kills. Junior Jodi Leingang added three kills, three digs and an ace, and sophomore Katya Baranko tallied three blocks and two kills.

For Trinity, junior Masy Kuntz supplied seven kills, a pair of blocks, eight digs and four aces. Junior Farrah Zeller was the third Titan to also have four service aces in the match.

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The win sends Trinity to 23-6-3 overall and 7-0 in Region 7. The loss drops the Raiders to 1-7 in the region.

"We knew they were scrappy, and they definitely proved that," Messer said. "They were getting some touches on a lot of balls, they were getting their passes to the setter, they were running a good offense. We just knew we had to come back and be just as aggressive, and when we are swinging away, that's when we're playing our best."

Dickinson Trinity 3, Richardton-Taylor 0

RT 13 15 17 - 0

DT 25 25 25 - 3

Kills: RT, Haylee Leingang 6, Jodi Leingang 3, Josie Wicks 2, Katya Baranko 2, Elle Goetz 1, Shelby Floberg 1. DT, Masy Kuntz 7, Bre Tessier 6, Megan Krebs 5, Sarah Mayer 5, Alexa Walby 1, Macy Gress 1.

Blocks: RT, Katya Baranko 3. DT, Amaya Willer 2, Kuntz 2, Tessier 1.

Aces: RT, Wicks 4, Jodi Leingang 1. DT, Farrah Zeller 4, Mayer 4, Amber Sickler 4, Kuntz 2, Bailey Jahner 1, Walby 1.

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Digs: RT, Anya Baranko 9, Jodi Leingang 3, Bailey Paulson 2, Calli Kuntz 2, Floberg 1, Wicks 1, Haylee Leingang 1. DT, Kuntz 8, Sickler 7, Jahner 5, Mayer 5, Zeller 4, Tessier 2, Walby 2, Tylla Roshau 1.

Assists: RT, Floberg 12, Paulson 3, Wicks 1. DT, Walby 22, Roshau 2.

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