Oct. 28—DICKINSON — After three periods of playing catch up, the Dickinson State University Blue Hawks came up short against the Viterbo University V-Hawks Thursday, 0-3.
Dickinson was first to put points on the board but couldn't match the V-Hawks rigid blocks and frequent fists at the net. Throughout all three sets the Blue Hawks tagged behind, tying the score once in the second and twice in the third. They were unable to swoop into the lead and let a tight third-set comeback slip through their fingers.
"The whole game we started off a little slow, but we were always searching for something we were missing," Shari Hewson, DSU head coach said. "Our serving went well, and we were offensive at times. When something was working, something else wasn't as strong."
Viterbo was quick to nail shots in the back court and frequently landed the ball in empty pockets. Dickinson's defense was slow to retaliate and unable to dominate on long rallies. Libero Jenna Swope however, managed to put up 16 digs for Dickinson.
The Blue Hawks bumped shots out of bounds, missed blocks, dove for balls that couldn't be saved and couldn't find a comfortable rhythm for coverage. They lost energy and momentum mid-game but put up a fight in the last period that brought fans out of their seats.
"We do our best when everyone is involved and I push a lot for that," Hewson said. "The girls all came together at the end, but we got ourselves into a situation where we couldn't make a mistake which is a hard place to be."
Prior to the game, Hewson and the team studied Viterbo's hitting lineup and prepared to block their key hitters that go to the same spot every time. In practice, the Blue Hawks have been challenging themselves to not let defeat over come them. Going into their next match-up against Waldorf University, Hewson says they need to start off strong right away and keep the momentum.
"When we make a mistake, it's hard not to get down, but we have to overlook it," Hewson said. "That's the hardest part about volleyball."
Viterbo University def. DSU 3-0 (25-18,25-21,25-23)
Team Leaders DSU: Kills — 10, Mackenna Johnson; 9, McKenzie Moser; 7, Madi Wahl; Aces — 2, Wahl, Haydin Henschel; Blocks — 3, Wahl, 2, Henschel, Pearcy; Digs — 16, Jenna Swope; 12, Moser; 7, Bailey Pearcy; Assists — 29, Pearcy
Team Leaders VU: Kills — 14, Kenzie Winker; 11, Grace Rohde; 7, Jada Mitchell; Aces — 2, Kenidi McCabe; Blocks — 2, Mariah Calkins; Digs — 13, Adrianna Reinhart, Winker; 10, Rohde; Assists — 24, Lauryn Sobasky; 13, Cailie Kowal