It was tournament time in Dickinson on Friday and Saturday as 16 teams filled the Dickinson high gymnasium for a weekend of volleyball.

Included in the field was Dickinson Trinity, who came into the tournament with only one loss to their name.

However, they would exit the tournament with two losses as the competition heated up on Saturday, including a close loss to cross-town rivals Dickinson.

Friday’s edition of the tournament were the seeding games, which determined where teams would be put in the bracket for Saturday. The 16 teams were split into four groups and played the other three teams in their group on Friday.

It was business as usual in the group stage for the Titans, who defeated all three of their opponents, Mott-Regent, Sidney, MT, and Lewis & Clark, in three sets. It earned them one of the top seeds to earn a bye in Saturday’s bracket play.

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Titans sophomore Olivia Kessel (8) with the block against Baker Saturday afternoon in Dickinson. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)
Titans sophomore Olivia Kessel (8) with the block against Baker Saturday afternoon in Dickinson. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

The top two teams in each group, along with the top two teams who finished third in their groups, advanced to play on Saturday.

Trinity’s first matchup on Saturday was against Baker, MT, where the Spartans took the first set 25-23. The Titans came out flat in the set, falling behind 9-3. They came back and made it a game, tying it up at 22, but couldn’t take it in the end.

But the Titans would bounce back in the next two sets to win both 25-16 and 15-7 to earn the victory.

This set up a matchup with the Dickinson Midgets in the next round, with the winner advancing to the championship game. Since they're in different classes in North Dakota, it's not often the two sides meet each other.

It was everything you would expect from a rivalry game. It was a close, intense game with heroic plays being made all over the court. The Midgets took the first set 25-23.

Trinity took a 7-1 lead in the second set as they looked to push it to a third. It was another close battle but they would eventually prevail 25-22.

The third set is when the intensity really picked up. Both teams were desperate to best their rivals to advance to the next round.

The Titans bench after earning a point against Dickinson Saturday afternoon in Dickinson. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)
The Titans bench after earning a point against Dickinson Saturday afternoon in Dickinson. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

“We don’t see each other often but when we do it’s a nice rivalry,” Trinity head coach Breanna Sisson said. “That’s the best volleyball I’ve seen us play this season. It’s nice to see that progress from day one to now. To have our best foot forward right now is good to see.”

The Titans had the edge early in the third set 6-2, but Dickinson clawed back to tie it at 8. It was certain this match would come down to the wire.

It stood at 13-13 when Dickinson outside hitter Caton Pearcy delivered a crucial spike on the Titans that put the pressure on Trinity, being one point away from a match victory.

Senior Kali Kubas finished with 30 assists and 10 digs. Sophomore Ava Jahner had 14 kills with 5 assists and 12 digs. As a team the Titans had 50 digs.

The Midgets took the final set 15-13 and handed their rivals their second loss of the season.

The loss bumped the Titans down to the losers bracket and matched up with Baker, MT, where they got back on track with a quick win in two sets, 25-16, 25-12.

Their final game of the day came against Our Redeemers where they dropped their second game of the day to the Knights.

The Titans were tested all day for a change, which could help them in the long run as they look to continue to rack up wins.

“We came into this tournament with the mindset that it might be ok to drop a set or if we’re playing tough teams and we are playing our best, it doesn’t matter the outcome,” Sisson said. “We just hope that we are getting better throughout the tournament and I think we definitely did that.”

TRINITY TOURNAMENT STATS (7 games)

Kills - Ava Jahner, Olivia Kessel, 61; Helena Pavek, 25; Melissa Zach, 24; Bella Kovash, 21; Kali Kubas, 17

Digs - Jada Erie 63; Kubas, 50; Jahner, 48; Jersey Erie, 36; Victoria Keller, 28; Kovash, 13; Pavek, 4; Kessel, Zach, 3; Delaney Deschamp, 1

Assists - Kubas, 164; Jahner, 26; Je. Erie, 4, Ja. Erie, Zach, 2; Pavek, Kovash, Deschamp, 1

Aces - Kovash, Jahner, 14; Kubas, 8; Keller, 6; Ja. Erie, 5, Je. Erie, 4, Nevaeh Muckle, 1

Blocks - Kessel, 8; Kubas, Jahner, 4; Zach, 2