Nov. 11 – DICKINSON – The gym at Dickinson High School was alive with intensity on the first day of the WDA tournament. In the final game of the night, DHS took on Bismarck Legacy, and the crowd was excited to see who the winner would be.
The Midgets’ (6) unforced glitches and difficulty adapting to the Sabers’ (3) tilting caused them to fall behind too often. In the final set, DHS gave up a 6-0 lead and lost the match 3-2 (25-11, 17-25, 25-17, 23-25, 15-13).
“We knew it was going to be tight and it just ended up making too many mistakes,” said Midgets head coach Jay Schobinger. “We could have rolled over after the first set, but we didn’t do it. It came down to a few balls here and a ball there, and that’s the reality.”
Dickinson struggled the most in the opening set as a wide margin grew between the two sides and lack of team communication. Legacy took the set from a six point run.
The second game was much more competitive, the lead changed four times in eight rallies.
After taking the winning lead, the Midgets would go on a three-point and a four-point run to move forward. In these two runs, the scoring was a team effort; Jenna Nelson racked up two kills, Caton Pearcy with an ace, Jazmin Barry hit it from the middle, and Jenna Decker picked up a block.
In the third set, Legacy executed backset attacks with positive results. Dickinson kept getting in each other’s way with mistakes and misunderstandings, finishing the set eight points down.
The intense gameplay continued in the fourth set, with eight draws. On a five-point run, libero Baylee Berg served out back-to-back aces to take a 21-18 lead. Decker finished the set with a corner push.
“Baylee was always very consistent from the service line,” Schobinger said. “She’s always scored a lot of points for us and tonight was no exception.”
The last game appeared to be won by Dickinson – with a 6-0 lead, they had their strongest start of the game. Pearcy started the run with three kills. However, Sabers snuck up on a five-point run, with the scoreboard reading 8-7. Hit from the service line to take the final lead of the game from the Midgets.
As a double-elimination tournament, Dickinson’s next fight will be a win-or-death matchup against Minot as they continue their fight for a state championship shot.
“We came here thinking that there are many teams that have a chance to play in a state tournament,” said Schobinger. “[Minot] is another good one and our girls have to play really well because they’re playing really good volleyball right now.”
At the end of the night, Legacy’s Asiah Gross had the most kills in the match with 19. Pearcy and Decker each had 11 kills to share the lead for DHS. Decker also led the serve aces with four and two blocks.
Junior middle hitters Jazmin Barry and Sadie Stevenson each had a block and three and five kills, respectively.
Impressive performances from newcomers Jenna Nelson and Cecelia Homsiton showed strong potential in the younger Midgets. Nelson had 10 outside kills while Homsiton had 37 assists and 25 digs.
Bismarck century def. Williston 3-0
Bismarck St Mary’s def. Bismarck HS 3-1
Jamestown defeated. Minot 3-1