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Titans take down Night Hawks: Dickinson Trinity sweeps Hettinger-Scranton, becomes lone undefeated team in Region 7 play

Fans packed inside of the Knights of Columbus Activities Center rose to their feet prior to the much anticipated contest between Dickinson Trinity and Hettinger-Scranton, but had to wait a couple of moments before the match could get underway.

Dickinson Trinity senior outside hitter Masy Kuntz socks the ball over the net against Hettinger-Scranton on Tuesday, Oct. 9, from the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson Trinity senior outside hitter Masy Kuntz socks the ball over the net against Hettinger-Scranton on Tuesday, Oct. 9, from the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)
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Fans packed inside of the Knights of Columbus Activities Center rose to their feet prior to the much anticipated contest between Dickinson Trinity and Hettinger-Scranton, but had to wait a couple of moments before the match could get underway.

There were some technical difficulties with playing of the national anthem.

However, after two minutes of silence, the crowd in unison performed a wonderful rendition of the anthem, culminating with loud applause that energized the building.

The only sounds louder, were the roars from the crowd after each team earned a point in the first set. That frame, as well as the next two, went to the Titans, who swept the Night Hawks 25-21, 25-16, 25-20 on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

With the victory, Dickinson Trinity is the last remaining team undefeated in Region 7 play. Hettinger-Scranton not only dropped its first game in the conference, but had its seven-match winning streak snapped.

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"We had a big crowd out here tonight, so it was fun to feed off the energy from the crowd," Dickinson Trinity head coach Breanna Sisson said. "We could feel it on the court so I think everybody in the gym had fun, starting with the national anthem. But to pick up a victory in front of this big of a crowd, it feels good, especially on our home court."

In a back-and-forth first set, the tone turned from fun to intense after a shot down the line from Titans senior outside hitter Bre Tessier was ruled in favor of the Night Hawks, who trailed 10-9. Arguing that the strike was deflected by a Hettinger-Scranton player, Sisson was issued a yellow card by the head referee.

The penalty ignited a Dickinson Trinity rally, as the home team went on a 4-0 run, resulting in a timeout called by Night Hawks head coach Ria Eaton. The Titans extended the advantage to as much as 21-14 before taking the opening frame.

"I think it got them going on the court," Sisson said. "I was just trying to fight a call that maybe didn't go our way, but I think that kind of sparked something in the girls were they were like 'Oh shoot, I think we need to go on a run now.'"

Dickinson Trinity's strong close to the first set blended to the second, where four kills from Tessier, a kill from sophomore middle hitter Amaya Willer and a pair of aces from senior outside hitter Farrah Zeller pushed a 10-6 Titans lead to 17-6.

"We took the momentum that we had at the end of the first set and we carried it over into the second set," said senior outside hitter Masy Kuntz, who led all players with five blocks. "We got it going right away and not just at the end. Communication, our passes were amazing and everything was just clicking, it was awesome."

Hettinger-Scranton broke the run with a kill from senior outside hitter Kaitlin Jahner. The Night Hawks played even with the Titans during the rest of the frame, but when Tessier connected with a miraculous two-handed, over-the-head strike before nearly falling into the crowd, the road team found itself in a 2-0 hole.

"We just had to keep swinging at them and come out stronger," Night Hawks senior setter Abbie Kludt said. "We were taking every timeout to regroup ourselves. We just need to come out and hit them hard."

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Highlighted by a pair of aces by junior hitter Quinn Mellmer, Hettinger-Scranton went on a 6-0 surge to take a 16-13 lead in the third set.

The Titans fought back, even if the attacks were intentional. A dig from sophomore libero Asia Willer bounced in Kuntz' direction. Kuntz, almost looking to avoid the ball, made contact with the ball with her left hand, but the ball found a hole in the Night Hawks defense, tying the score at 17.

"That's the thing about volleyball, it's such a reaction game," Kuntz said. "Everything is not going to be perfect: the sets aren't always going to be perfect, the passes aren't always going to be perfect, but the out-of-system stuff is what we work on during practice and it really came into play during that set."

Dickinson Trinity sealed the match with another 7-0 run.

Senior setter Alexa Walby led the Titans with 29 assists and 18 digs. Tessier added 10 kills while Zeller paced the home team with three aces.

Hettinger-Scranton junior hitter Alyssa Andress led her squad with 10 kills and 11 digs. Junior libero Carolyn Schultz paced the team with 14 digs while sophomore Sam Oase had four blocks.

The Night Hawks are looking forward to a return trip to Knights of Columbus Activities Center and a possible rematch with the Titans when the Region 7 tournament takes place in early November.

"It's always awesome playing at Trinity. All the fans and everyone screaming at you, you just have to buckle down," Kludt said. "When we come back, we want to work on those little things and hopefully finish them out next time."

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Dickinson Trinity 3, Hettinger-Scranton 0

HS 21 16 20 - 0

DT 25 25 25 - 3

Kills: HS, Alyssa Andress 10, Sam Oase 7, Abbie Kludt 2, Briana Sanford 2. DT, Bre Tessier 10, Masy Kuntz 8, Farrah Zeller 7, Amaya Willer 6, Abbey Kubas 4.

Blocks: HS, Oase 4, Andress 3. DT, Kuntz 5, A. Kubas 3, Zeller 1.

Aces: HS, Carolyn Schultz 2, Kludt 1, Andress 1, Quinn Mellmer 1. DT, Zeller 3, Tessier 1, Walby 1.

Digs: HS, Schultz 14, Andress 11, Jahner 8, Kludt 7. DT, Walby 18, Kuntz 9, Asia Willer 9, Daniel 8, Tessier 6, Zeller 6.

Assists: HS, Kludt 10, Talia Carter 5, Sam Oase 2. DT, Walby 29, Kubas 3.

Records: HS, 22-6-1 (6-1 Region 7). DT, 30-5 (9-0 Region 7).

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