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Titans take care of New England: Zeller dynamite as Dickinson Trinity remains undefeated in region play

After collecting a couple of kills early in the first set against New England, Dickinson Trinity sophomore rear hitter Abbey Kubas tested her skill. Elevating for an attack from the right side of the net, Kubas smacked a cross-court shot that fel...

Dickinson Trinity senior outside hitter Farrah Zeller connects on an attack against New England on Tuesday, Oct. 2 from the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson Trinity senior outside hitter Farrah Zeller connects on an attack against New England on Tuesday, Oct. 2 from the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)

After collecting a couple of kills early in the first set against New England, Dickinson Trinity sophomore rear hitter Abbey Kubas tested her skill.

Elevating for an attack from the right side of the net, Kubas smacked a cross-court shot that fell just out of bounds. The attempt generated applause and a slight smile from Titans head coach Breanna Sisson.

With Dickinson Trinity closing in on a victory, junior outside hitter Kylen Kubas, Abbey's cousin, tried her luck with a similar shot from the right side, only this time her attempt landed just inside the boundary for a kill. Following the point, Sisson held her hands by her lips, covering a widening smile.

The Titans went on the close out the Tigers, earning a 3-0 sweep 25-11, 25-8, 25-13 on Tuesday, Oct. 2 from the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. Dickinson Trinity improved to 26-5, including a perfect 6-0 mark in regular games against Region 7 opponents.

"They're both very young, so I think for them in that game and picking up the fast-paced tempo," Sisson said. "So when they are getting the nice cross-court shots and they do connect, it's fun for a coach just to kind of watch them progress throughout the game."

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Multiple Dickinson Trinity surges was the story against the Tigers. Highlighted by three service aces from Titans senior outside hitter Masy Kuntz, the home team ripped away control moments into the first set, springing ahead to a 16-3 lead with a 13-0 run. Throughout the match, the Titans strung together five consecutive points or more, six times.

"A big advantage in volleyball is going on those little runs because that's how you get a big lead in these kinds of matches," senior outside hitter Farrah Zeller said. "That's always our goal, to try and go on little 3-0 runs, and I think we definitely did that."

Zeller's name was scattered towards the top of the Titans' stat-sheet, collecting team-highs with 10 kills, 14 digs and matched Kuntz with three aces. One of her aces was part of 6-0 rally in the middle of the second set after New England closed the gap to 8-5 following a pair of hitting errors.

Playing on their home court for the first time since a 3-0 victory over Beulah on Sept. 25, the Titans lowered their hitting mistakes from a week ago, but according to Zeller, they were far from flawless.

"Before the game, we said that we were going to try and communicate as much as possible, and I think we could have done that a little more," Zeller said. "It was a little bit better than our previous game, but we still could have been better."

Following Zeller's ace, New England called a timeout in search for answers, but Dickinson Trinity scored the last eight points of the second frame, capped by an attack from senior outside hitter Kelbi Jacobson.

"We were really excited to play Trinity because they are a really good team," New England head coach Kay Moody said. "When you play good teams, you get better; it exposes your weaknesses and then you have to work on them. ... We've been working on passing, getting a nice platform and getting our feet to the ball. That was our main focus, because in the first set we weren't doing that. We got better at that, but getting used to a faster pace, we got exposed to it."

Led by senior outside hitter Elizabeth Kaufman, the Tigers' defense improved as the match carried on. Kaufman paced all players with 17 digs while junior Shelly Kathrein followed with 12. Kaufman and freshman middle blocker Jersey Binstock each had a block.

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On the Titans side, Kuntz added 12 digs while sophomore libero Asia Willer contributed with eight. Kuntz and middle hitter Amaya Willer both had a pair of blocks.

Dickinson Trinity senior setter Alexa Walby amassed 32 assists.

"We played really well from the service line, just being aggressive and having low serves that took New England out of their system," Sisson said. "We just need to work on creating energy on our side of the court. ... (New England) is a great team, they passed well and definitely were ready to push us hard to the end. We definitely had to pick on our side of the net."

Dickinson Trinity 3, New England 0

NE 11 8 13 - 0

DT 25 25 25 - 3

Kills: NE, Elizabeth Kaufman 3, Sebella Sorenson 3, Shelley Kathrein 3. DT, Farrah Zeller 10, Amaya Willer 7, Bre Tessier 5, Masy Kuntz 4, Abbey Kubas 4, Kylen Kubas 2, Kelbi Jacobson 2, Ali Daniel 1, Laura Meyer 1, Alexa Walby 1.

Blocks: NE, Binstock 1, Kaufman 1. DT, Kuntz 2, Am. Willer 2, Tessier 1, A. Kubas 1.

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Aces: NE, Sorenson 1. DT, Zeller 3, Kuntz 3, Daniel 2, Asia Willer 1, Walby 1, K. Kubas 1.

Digs: NE, Kaufman 17, Kathrein 12, Sorenson 8. DT, Zeller 14, Kuntz 12, As. Willer 8, Tessier 6, Daniel 4, Walby 2, Jacobson 1, Alexis Andres 1.

Assists: NE, Emily Dinius 10. DT, Walby 32, Tessier 2, A. Kubas 1.

Records: DT, 26-5 (6-0 Region 7). NE, 8-19 (1-5 Region 7).

Related Topics: NEW ENGLAND TIGERS
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