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Titans volleyball rolling in early part of Region 7 schedule

At the beginning of the season, Dickinson Trinity volleyball had a few question marks. But now the Titans are all about making statements. Trinity has opened 4-0 in Region 7 and finished third in the silver bracket of last weekend's Dickinson Hig...

Dickinson Trinity junior outside hitter Sarah Mayer looks for a kill against Glen Ullin-Hebron on Sept. 13 at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Submitted Photo by Jim Berger)
Dickinson Trinity junior outside hitter Sarah Mayer looks for a kill against Glen Ullin-Hebron on Sept. 13 at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center. (Submitted Photo by Jim Berger)

At the beginning of the season, Dickinson Trinity volleyball had a few question marks.

But now the Titans are all about making statements.

Trinity has opened 4-0 in Region 7 and finished third in the silver bracket of last weekend's Dickinson High volleyball tournament, during which the Titans competed well with Class A's Bismarck High and Williston, registering a win over the latter.

"We've kind of picked a rotation and stuck with it," head coach Breanna Messer said. "We had some growing pains, but they're starting to click. And the girls in the positions they're in now, they've come to love where they're at and get to know who's next to them."

Trinity will look to run its region record to 5-0 at 6:30 p.m. today against Beulah at the Knights of Columbus Activities Center.

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Certain players are on the floor full-time now and still getting used to new responsibilities, but the process of creating that continuity has gone faster than they expected.

"Right away we were worried that we wouldn't have the chemistry that we've had in years past with some experienced girls," said junior outside hitter Sarah Mayer, "but now we're clicking. ... In a way it feels like we've been playing together for years."

Alexa Walby is just one of three sophomores on the team, but she's been trusted with the setting role and has flourished.

"She's facilitating our offense, she's able to mix it up," Messer said. "Ask her to set someone, and she'll do it and she can really get their defense out of rotation."

Mayer added: "I've seen so much improvement from Alexa. She's showing so much skill, and it's amazing to see someone at that age performing who she's performing. She's one of the strongest on our team."

Walby had never played on varsity before this season, but she's acclimated quickly, in part, due to the hitters around her.

"It's a lot difficult from (junior varsity) because you have to think of the block that's coming or who's doing well that night," Walby said. "I think it's been really easy because of the success with our hitters. I don't have to rely on one girl. I have three almost all the time."

The team learned a lot about itself at this weekend's tournament, namely that it can compete with anybody. It's a mindset that the team plans to carry for the rest of the season.

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"It showed us that against teams that have different strengths from what our region has, we can still play at that level," Mayer said. "We can do more than we think we're capable of."

Arguably the team's most important win so far this season is a five-set victory at Hazen, last season's region champion.

"That's always a big region rivalry, and we knew it was a got-to-win," Messer said. "We came out of that game more confident than ever."

It's still early, of course - seven region games remain after Tuesday's - but the Titans are starting to feel comfortable. Actually, they've felt that way for a while.

"I think we have a lot of potential to keep it up," Walby said. "We see the better teams as a challenge we're excited about. I don't think we're scared to play them. I think we're excited for the challenge."

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