Midgets sweep Mandan in crowd pleasing fashion

Nov. 2—DICKINSON — The importance of communication on the court cannot be understated, and at the prep level can often be the deciding factor in the outcome of competitions. Dickinson High School Volleyball team's lack of early communication led to a lackluster performance that put the team on a path to suffering a quick loss — ultimately they would win courtesy of a much needed regrouping.

Behind by five points, on the game point in the second set, Kendra King would come to the service line and catch fire. Her string of dominating serves would surge the Midgets into a six point rally that brought her team out of the silence and back to the effective communication needed to culminate in a three-set match victory at home.

DHS (9-11, 15-18) ended the regular season at home and with a 3-0 victory (25-21,26-24,25-16). The Braves scored 10 more points than they did in their last pairing against Dickinson, taking advantage of miscues and serving errors. However, the Midgets' resiliency would come into play with strong blocking.

"Honestly, I think a lot of it was lack of communication tonight," Jay Schobinger, DHS head coach, said. "And then at the end of set two we started taking care of that."

Dickinson held a comfortable six point lead for most of the first set, but allowed Mandan to take several runs of points. Middle Blocker Jenna Decker and setter Cecelia Homiston put on a blocking clinic at the net and got the Midgets rolling on a 6-0 run. Decker would also supply back-to-back aces early in the set.

Senior outside hitter Caton Pearcy delivered three kills and was followed by Jazmine Barry and Decker, with two kills each. Barry also had two solo line blocks.

Second game was much more balanced, seeing both sides fight for the lead in a back-and-forth rally that would see the lead change eight times. The Braves took their fourth and final lead at 17-16, before punching the gas for a 24-19 run. Things looked grim, until King stepped to the service line and took 7 service points on the set.

"Kendra hasn't always played, but she is one of our leaders in service points," Schobinger said.

"She just finds a way. She serves a decent ball and doesn't miss a lot of serves. To go in that spot and hit that many in a role, she forced her opponents to make plays. We always say, 'Make your opponent beat you, don't beat yourself.'"

Homsiton would be an equal contributor on the night, playing a crucial role in the end game by way of two double blocks and sending a push attack over the net in the critical moments of the set.

The final set would prove to be Dickinson's best, winning by a nine point margin and going on two runs of four and five points late in the game.

As their final home game for the regular season, their three seniors took to the court for what would be the final regular season appearance of their careers. Libero Baylee Berg collected eight digs, Pearcy had 10 kills and Alyssa Curtis came into the game briefly to garner a kill and a dig as well.

"Senior night is always a tough one," Schobinger said. "You dont ever have success without having a decent group of seniors. That's the reality of it and we have been pretty lucky the past couple of years... We had a good group last year, we have one this next year."

Dickinson is currently in sixth place in the Western Dakota Association standings and will take to their home court for a play-in match against Turtle Mountain (# 11) for the West Region tournament opener. The tourney will be held inside the Dickinson High School gymnasium and will begin with the quarterfinals on Thursday, Nov. 10.