The Dickinson Trinity volleyball team stood on the doorstep of a win when the student section and others in the stands stood to their feet.
Thoroughly dominant against Glen Ullin-Hebron, the Titans arrived at match point before a block at the net from senior middle hitter Laura Meyer not only sealed the deal, but sealed a successful christening of the renovated Knights of Columbus Activities Center.
With a larger seating capacity, new scoreboards and a new floor, the gymnasium enters its 58th year and third era of existence.
In a match that lasted 40 minutes, the Titans quickly got acquainted with their new digs, capturing a three-set victory over of the Bearcats 25-12, 25-7, 25-10 on Tuesday, Sept. 11.
"It was a big night, not only for the volleyball team, but for the school and for the community as a whole. It was nice to come out with a victory on such a big night," Dickinson Trinity head coach Breanna Sisson said. "With how big this night is, we didn't want to put that pressure on what we had to do during the game."
Capping a 4-0 run, senior middle hitter Lexi Gietzen gave the Bearcats their only lead in the match with a block, making it 5-4 in favor of Glen Ullin-Hebron early in the first set.
The Titans responded with six-point run that featured three aces from senior outside hitter Bre Tessier. After the Bearcats closed to within three, Dickinson Trinity closed out the frame scoring 13 of the last 14 points.
The opening frame included seven Titan service aces.
"We always like the mindset going into a game of if we can serve aggressively and hopefully take a team out of its system, that gives us a better shot," Sisson said. "Those service aces kind of puts the pressure off our defense and offense, scoring those points from the service line. So we really focus a lot on scoring aggressively."
Dickinson Trinity had 17 service aces throughout the match, many due to the Bearcats players miscommunicating or misjudging the flight of the ball staying inbounds. While Glen Ullin-Hebron head coach Phil Weldele thought his team did a better job of taking charge against the serve, the Titans' speed at times was just overwhelming.
"They really play fast," Weldele said. "They really play fast and that's something we're not use to. One thing that I was happy with is that our serve receive improved after the first set. ... When we did good things, we did good things, we just have to do it more often."
With aces from senior outside hitter Masy Kuntz and sophomore libero Asia Willer serving as exclamation points, Dickinson Trinity (9-0, Region 7 3-0) went on 6-0 run before closing the second frame on an 8-0 push.
"We just wanted to play as a team and get all of our stuff figured out so we could end it quick in three," said Tessier who had seven kills and four aces. "Because of the new gym, we wanted to start out with a win on the new court. With all of those people there, there was kind of some pressure, but (tonight) was good."
In addition to her three aces, three blocks and a pair of digs, Kuntz led the Titans with 10 kills. Senior setter Alexa Walby had 26 assists and seven aces, both of which were team highs. She also tied for a team-high five digs, along with senior defensive specialist Ali Daniel.
With six kills, four digs, a block and an assist, Gietzen paced a Bearcat team who has started off the season with five regular season contests and four tournament matches on the road. Glen-Ullin Hebron (3-2, Region 7 1-2) will host Killdeer on Sept. 20 in its home opener.
"It's just a quirky schedule, but it's going to be nice to be home in nine days," Weldele said.
Dickinson Trinity 3, Glen Ullin-Hebron 0
GUH 12 7 10 — 0
DT 25 25 25 — 3
Kills: GUH: Lexi Gietzen, 6. Taizalee Glass, 3. Kristin Schaaf, 1. Kinsey Zuroff, 1. DT: Masy Kuntz, 10. Bre Tessier, 7. Farrah Zeller, 6. Amaya Zeller, 2. Abbey Kubas, 2. Kelbi Jacobson 2. Alexa Walby, 1.
Blocks: GUH: Gietzen 1, Alyssa Berger, 1. DT: Kuntz, 3. A. Kubas, 3. Laura Meyer, 2. 1, Kylen Kubas, 1.
Aces: GUH: 0. DT: Walby, 7. Tessier, 4. Asia Willer, 3. Kuntz, 3.
Digs: GUH: Gietzen, 4. Zuroff, 3. Schaaf, 3. Breanna Hosman, 1. DT: Ali Daniel, 5. Walby, 5. Kuntz, 2. Tessier, 2. As. Willer, 2. Zeller, 1. A. Kubas, 1. Jacobson, 1. Lexi Andres, 1.
Assists: GUH: Chelsey Duppong, 5. Berger, 4. Hosman, 1. Gietzen, 1. DT: Walby, 26. A. Kubas, 1.
Records: GUH: 3-2 (Region 7 1-2). DT: 9-0 (Region 7 3-0)