Sep. 23—DICKINSON — The Dickinson Midgets volleyball team are having to dust themselves off, after falling for a second time this week. The team's first defeat of the week came courtesy of Bismarck High, last year's state finalist contenders, and then to the defending state champions Bismarck Century.
The Patriots (8-0, 14-1), are by all accounts a well oiled machine who entered the competition against the Midgets (4-3, 7-7) Thursday night with a winning streak of 12 consecutive wins. The streak continued with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-20) shutout of Dickinson.
Dickinson's head coach Jay Schobinger knows that the Midgets don't do moral victories, but on Thursday his team certainly qualified for one.
"I am honestly very pleased," Schobinger siad. "Our kids went out and played hard. We had long rallies, we didn't win enough of them, but we played some really long rallies with them."
Schobinger gave proper recognition to opponents seemingly destined for another run at the state title.
"You saw Logan Nissley pound one down cross court. There might be a handful of kids in the last 20 years that can do that," Schobinger said. "Bauman is wonderful, Fridley does a great job and they come at you all over."
The first set ended with Century showcasing their high octane offense by coming right out of the gates to take a commanding 10-4 lead. The Midgets would squeeze in short runs and points, but never caught up to the Patriots.
The first set ended with Century coming right out of the gates, quickly securing a 10-4 lead. The Midgets had a short run of points, but never caught up to the Patriots. Century was in a back and forth battle with Dickinson in the second set, before the Patriots secured a six-point run to make it 18-9 — a gap too wide for DHS to close.
In the third set, the Midgets would again rally to stay competitive until the very end with hopes of extending play to a crucial fourth set. However, a run of points by the Patriots would keep them one play ahead for the win, but the deficit never expanded more than a six-point margin.
"We are finding out how important a good attitude is," Schobinger said. "Not in just volleyball, but in anything that you do... It doesn't matter what you do in life, but you have to attack it with a good attitude and I think that is what we learned tonight."
Senior outside hitter Caton Pearcy collected 13 kills and two aces on the night. Middle Blocker Jenna Decker had six kills, four digs and an ace. Libero Baylee Berg tallied 17 digs to lead Dickinson, followed by Pearcy with 12 and Braelynn Farnsworth with eight. Setter Cecelia Homiston joined her squad tonight after missing their last outing. She had 20 assists, two kills and a service ace.
The Midgets next two days will be filled with volleyball, hosting the Dickinson High School Varsity Tournament. It will feature pool play on Friday with 16 teams from North Dakota and Montana broken into four groups. On Saturday, two separate 8-team tourneys will be played out starting at 9:30 am.
"We have a varsity tournament with a few Class A teams and a lot of Class B teams," Schobinger said. "We are going to give kids a lot of playing time and try to work on some little specific things in the next two days."