Unstoppable: Titans blaze their way to Region 7 championship appearance
"We're all riding high, but we know tomorrow morning we are going to have to buckle down..." Titans Head Coach Brianna Sisson said.
DICKINSON — The Trinity Titans have advanced to the Region 7 championship for the sixth straight year after defeating the no. 4 seed Bowman County Bulldogs 3-0 in the semifinals at Trinity Catholic High School on Nov. 8.
“Going into this game, we knew we had to take care of their middle Ellie Powell,” Titans Head Coach Brianna Sisson said. “She is a great hitter and we knew she was going to find her way around our block.”
The Titans nailed shots, performed confidently from the service line and adapted to the Bulldogs aggressive offense.
Bowman was first to score in two out of three sets and picked up a few leads throughout the game.
“They did a good job of chipping on us right away but once we started to recognize some of those moves, our defense was starting to cover,” Sisson said.
The first set irrupted with a kill by Titans Ava Jahner, but a served ace by Bowman County setter Bailey Peterson evened the score immediately. Titan net violations held them to a one-point lead, which they maintained for the majority of the period. The Bulldogs consistent net and touch violations throughout the match prohibited them from gaining a stable advantage. The Titans claimed the set by a 7-point spread, 25-28.
“Bowman challenged us with some good hits, but we kept our intensity up and I think we played well as a team,” Jersey Erie, Titans defensive specialist said. “We cheered each other on and kept each other up.”
“We challenged ourselves pushing our goals and executed them well,” Bella Kovash, Titans outside hitter added.
The Bulldogs charged into set two with a kill by senior outside hitter Kennedi Blankenbaker. The score tied early before the Titans took a two-point lead. Back-to-back touch violations by Bowman County kept their score stagnant. Nevaeh Muckle served an ace for Trinity and teammate Jahner closed the set with a winning point.
Bowman’s shots out of bounds and violations cost them crucial points. Unlike previous matches this season where Trinity gained land-slide leads, Bowman tied and topped their score frequently and challenged their speed, agility, focus and control.
“The girls have worked so hard and have come a long way since the beginning of the season,” Sisson said. “Since day one we had a lot of building to do and a lot of chemistry that we had to build into our team. It started to flourish right away and it’s nice to see that at this point in the season.”
The Titans tied the score twice in the third before taking an 9-point lead to claim the set. The Bulldogs errors eradicated them, but they made a vicious effort to claw their way back from a point deficit and rescued multiple wide shots in their back court.
“Going into the championship game, we are all riding high, but we know tomorrow morning we are going to have to buckle down and focus,” Sisson said.
The Region 7 championship was set for Nov. 10, but it has rescheduled to Nov. 9, due to projected blizzard conditions in the Dickinson area. The Titans will take on the no. 2 seed Glen Ullin-Hebron Bearcats for the Region title following the 3rd place match slated for 1 p.m. at Trinity High School.
Trinity def. Bowman County 3-0 (25-18,25-17,25-16)
Team Leaders THS: Kills –10, Ava Jahner, Helena Pavek; 7, Bella Kovash, Olivia Kessel; 6, Melissa Zach; Aces – 1, Jahner, Kovash, Nevaeh Muchle; Blocks – 3, Jahner; 2, Kessel; Assists – 38, Delaney Deschamp; Digs – 9, Deschamp, Jahner; 6, Serenity Pavlicek; 5, Jersey Erie; 4, Kovash
Team Leaders BCHS: Kills – 14, Ellie Powell; Aces – 2, Bailey Peterson; Blocks – 2, Powell