DICKINSON — The Dickinson Midgets’ home court advantage wouldn’t be enough to push the Midgets to the top, losing their third consecutive regional game at home on Tuesday night.
It’s been a tough season for DHS, which has faced one highly touted team after another in the mid-season schedule – a schedule that sees the Midgets host a 16-team varsity tournament over two days over the weekend. .
Bismarck Legacy, the No. 1 team in the WDA conference, are now on a nine-game winning streak, although their ninth victory would not come easy in the four-set match.
The Sabers (9-0, 12-4) defeated the Midgets (4-4, 7-8) 3-1 (18-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-22) after a surprising opening set saw Legacy fall to Dickinson in a stunning Midgets performance.
Bismarck would right the ship, changing his approach in the second set and quickly taking the lead without ever giving up. The Midgets contested the final two sets, taking several leads and ties, but sideouts and long lost rallies prevented them from winning by three in both sets.
“[Legacy] beat Bismarck High, they beat Jamestown, so a good volleyball team,” DHS head coach Jay Schobinger said. “We still played Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Tuesday. It’s hard to play three days in a row like this, but I thought our children during a period like that did a very good job… Obviously disappointed, we were a bit short, but I think we’ve proven that we can be a competitive team with the best teams in our conference.
While Dickinson won the first set with relative ease, the Midgets allowed Legacy to take several runs before closing the door. Freshman Jenna Nelson scored the final point of the first set with a kill coming from the Midget’s left side.
“We thought we were going to let [Nelson] play two rotations and then we let her play three and she ended up playing six for a while,” Schobinger said. “She did a good job.”
The Sabers fought back in the second set, their outside hitter Asiah Gross constantly putting the ball into open spaces. The DHS have never been too far behind for a comeback, but an end-of-set rally would see the Sabers make a five-point run to close the books on the second set.
The Midgets took the lead midway through the third set but couldn’t contain Legacy’s attack, losing two long critical rallies – snuffing out their momentum.
“There were long rallies and we won some of them, but they won more,” Schobinger said.
Dickinson’s early 8-4 lead quickly disappeared as Legacy launched a 5-point run in the fourth set. There were five draws in the set, including the Midgets hitting a three-point streak to tie the Sabers at 18, before falling behind once again.
Center blocker and outside hitter Jenna Decker had a good night on offense, especially late in the sets; collecting 14 eliminations and two aces in the match. Senior outside hitter Caton Pearcy had a double-double, 21 kills to lead the team and 17 digs.
“Jenna is one of those kids who plays a little stoically, but she comes out and plays hard. She’s one of the leaders on this team and she’s done a great job for us,” Schobinger said. since she was in ninth grade. Last year she really didn’t play much because she was injured, so it’s nice to see her there leading and taking care of business.
Dickinson’s young setter, Cecelia Homiston, had 37 assists and tied Decker for most service aces. Homiston also tied Jazmin Barry for more blocks with two apiece. Senior Libero Bailey Berg had an incredible 30 digs to lead the Midgets.
Dickinson’s stay at home has come to an end and they will be on the road for the first time since September 7 to face Jamestown, who currently sit third in the standings.