Titans tip Raiders
Heading into Tuesday's match against the Richardton-Taylor volleyball team, Dickinson Trinity hadn't worked much on how to defend teams that tip. Meanwhile, Richardton-Taylor coach Brian Filibeck has been trying to get his team to tip the ball be...
Heading into Tuesday's match against the Richardton-Taylor volleyball team, Dickinson Trinity hadn't worked much on how to defend teams that tip.
Meanwhile, Richardton-Taylor coach Brian Filibeck has been trying to get his team to tip the ball better.
"We've talked about trying to tip the ball higher," Filibeck said.
The Raiders caught Trinity off guard in Game 1, but the Titans adjusted and came away with a 24-26, 24-20, 25-17, 25-16 victory in both teams' District 14 opener at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
"Richardton-Taylor really played a non-aggressive offense," Trinity coach Melini Grosulak said. "We haven't seen that and it really caught us off guard.
"Once we changed our defense, we were more successful."
Game 1 was a thriller as Trinity had overcome some of its defensive struggles to take a 23-16 lead on a kill from Danielle O'Donnell, who finished with 10 kills, 10 digs, two aces and two blocks.
However, the Raiders embarked on an 8-1 run that tied the game at 24 on a tip kill from freshman Halle Olson. A pair of hitting errors gave the Raiders the first game.
"I don't know that we've lost a Game 1 this year," Filibeck said. "Game 2 is where we usually struggle."
The Raiders didn't struggle early, though, as they trailed just 18-17 when the wheels fell off. They were able to get within two at 20-18, but the Titans shut the door with some craftiness from O'Donnell, who closed out the game with a tip kill of her own.
"The girls did a great job of figuring out the adjustments," Grosulak said.
From there, it was smooth sailing for the Titans, who used strong starts in the final two games to bury the Raiders.
Nonetheless, Grosulak said she was plenty impressed.
"They did a great job of finding our holes," Grosulak said. "They're a team to watch."
Filibeck said he knows what the Raiders are capable of. Junior Sadie Gjermundson finished with 12 kills and senior Paige Voltz added 10. Senior libero Megan Miller had 42 digs.
"I think we can play with anybody," Filibeck said. "After Hazen, I think the region is really balanced."
Trinity senior Ashley Sickler had a game-high 16 kills to go with a trio of blocks and two digs. Setter Kendra Kovash had a game-high 33 assists.
As good as the Raiders looked early, Trinity was that dominant late in the match, though it's understandable if Trinity was a bit off. The Titans are playing without senior outside hitter Halie Knopik, who broke her femur in gym class and will miss the rest of the season.
Sophomore Mariah Quintus has taken her place and Grosulak said that will take some getting used to.
"We've had a lot of injuries," Grosulak said. "We haven't found the perfect balance yet."
RT 26 20 17 16 - 1
DT 24 25 25 25 - 3
Kills: RT, Sadie Gjermundson 12, Paige Voltz 12, Amber Rebel 8. DT, Ashley Sickler 16, Danielle O'Donnell 10, Kendra Kovash 6.
Blocks: RT, Voltz. DT, Sickler 3, O'Donnell 2.
Aces: RT, Halle Olson 2. DT, Megan Gordon 2, O'Donnell 2.
Digs: RT, Megan Miller 42, MacKenzee Stein 10. DT, O'Donnell 10, Katie Kovash 10, Gordon 6.
Assists: RT, Rebel 25. DT, Kendra Kovash 33.