Titans terminate Miners at home in sweeping 3-1 victory over Beulah

"...Our blocking at the net was a big factor right away. In the first five points we had three blocks. That set the tone and forced Beulah to hit around us,” said Breanna Sisson, Titans head coach.

Titans middle hitter Ava Jahner (left) and right side Melissa Zach (right) put up a block at the net against Beulah.
Amber I. Neate / The Dickinson Press
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DICKINSON —The Trinity Titans tore up the court Wednesday night as they vanquished the Beulah Miners three games to one. The lady Titans dominated the first two sets but Beulah made a hot comeback in the third, pushing the game into a fourth and final set.

Fans jumped off the edges of their seats as the Trinity put up a tight 25-21 win in the first. The lady Titans were the first to score and maintained their lead throughout the entire set. The score climbed steadily every few seconds as Olivia Kessel, Ava Jahner and Helena Pavek threw hammer fists at the net.

Beulah kept the score close and made a fierce effort to dodge for tough shots, but they fell short again in the second. The Miners were unable to answer relentless spikes and serves from the Titans who had no difficulty adjusting to Beulah’s pace, energy and technique.

The Titans came out dominant in the first and second sets but fell short in the third. From left to right are Delaney Deschamp and Ava Jahner.
Amber I. Neate / The Dickinson Press

“We played a complete game in the first two sets and I was so happy with that,” Breanna Sisson, Titans head coach said. “Defensively our back row did well tipping shots that were out of their reach. Our blocking at the net was a big factor right away. In the first five points we had three blocks. That set the tone and forced Beulah to hit around us.”

The Miners tied the score two times throughout the third before taking a lead on the Titans for the first time in the game. Beulah’s lead increased by several scores, forcing a tired Titans squad to swing and dive continuously. Trinity spent a chunk of the third gliding across the court on the floor to save the ball, in an almost rhythmic flow and pattern that exhilarated the crowd in attendance.


Both teams demonstrated remarkable rallies and retaliation.

Shea Barron, a 6’1 middle hitter for the Miners was a driving force offensively and defensively, spiking and blocking shots with her long reach.

“We played clean and aggressive through the first two sets and let off the gas in the third,” Sisson said. “We need to do a better job of turning that around. We gave them too much of a cushion in the third, but we did a great job of trying to chip away at that gap.”

The Titans practice a warm up exercise prior to the game.
Amber I. Neate / The Dickinson Press

Going into the fourth set, it was anyone’s game. Beulah picked up the lead again in the fourth, but things took a huge turn after they lost a player to injury.

Beulah’s defensive specialist Aisha Zaffino came in to sub for Daviney McKay who was out for the remainder of the game. A shift in the starting line up seemed to throw the Miners out of focus. Trinity quickly closed the gap and jumped into the lead.

The Titans smooth communication and determination paid off as they finished the fourth 25-19. With this victory their overall record increases to 11-2, and their region record remains undefeated at 5-0.

“Our serving and just putting the ball away was our biggest challenge,” Olivia Kessel, Titans middle hitter, said. “Our attitude overall was super good. Us just coming back gained a lot of momentum.”

Olivia Kessel (left) and Delaney Deschamp (right) work together to shut down Beulah's offense.
Amber I. Neate / The Dickinson Press

Trinity def Beulah 3-1 (25-21, 25-17, 22-25, 25-19)
Team Leaders THS: Kills – 13, Olivia Kessel, 12, Helena Pavek, 11, Ava Jahner, 8 Melissa Zach, Bella Kovash; Aces – 3, Delaney Deschamp, Jahner, 2, Zach, Kovash; Blocks – 7, Jahner, 5, Pavek; Digs – 16, Jahner, 13, Kessel, 9, Kovash, Deschamp; Assists – 43, Deschamp


Team Leaders BHS: Kills – 12, Jenna Koppelsloen, 8, Leah Hager, Shea Barron; Blocks – 3, Barron, 2, Koppelsloen; Digs – 24, Savana Filibek, 18, Koppelsloen; Assists – 32, Graysen Connolly

Up next, the Titans will face Des Lacs-Burlington in an away tournament.
Amber I. Neate / The Dickinson Press
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"We make each other compete way harder than we could ever push ourselves on our own,” Luke Shobe said.

Amber Neate grew up in rural Skull Valley, Arizona. Her passion of covering sports of all types, including personal favorites wrestling, hockey, rodeo and football, began at an early age.

She obtained her Associate of Arts Degree from Yavapai Community College before attending Northern Arizona University for a three-year journalism program. While at NAU, Neate worked as an Assistant Sports Editor for the Lumberjack Newspaper as well as a hockey commentator for KJACK Radio.

Gaining her experience working for a small community paper, The Wickenburg Sun, as a general news and features reporter, her love for sports and a small-town community brings her to Dickinson to cover southwest North Dakota sports.

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