Dickinson, ND -- A tough and extended first set looked promising, but the Blue Hawks were unable to capitalize against Montana Western. DSU was swept by the Bulldogs 3-0, with set scores of: 29-31, 16-25, 12-25. Dickinson State fell to 3-19 overall and 0-10 in conference matchups. Montana Western is 8-18 overall, with a record of 1-9 in Frontier play.
The first set was back and forth with both teams fighting to live for another point. Western Montana junior Emily Erickson had five kills in the first set. Junior Breanne Kelly had four. Blue Hawks' seniorMelissa Avila recorded 10 sets in the first set alone. It took eight set points to finally finish off set number one. "If we get that first set, maybe things go differently," Avila said after the match.
Erickson led the match for the Bulldogs will 11 kills, Kelley was second with 10. Junior setter Paige Latimer recorded 34 assists for the match high. As a team, the Bulldogs recorded 46 kills, 39 assists, and 48 digs.
The Blue Hawks couldn't seem to find a groove after the first set. "It's about the little things," Avila said. "We have to do the little things. When we start doing the little things, we will be successful again." Avila ended the match with 13 kills and 11 digs.
Senior Kelly O'Connor added another perspective on the match, "We are a young team. We are going to go through some growing pains and tonight was a rough experience. We have a good core of players and I think that with experience we will get back to being the team we need to be." O'Connor totaled 19 assists, seven digs, and three kills.
As a team, the Blue Hawks recorded 27 kills, 24 assists, and 41 digs. They also had seven blocks.
"We couldn't seem to hit all six cylinders tonight," coach Jon Stenman said. "We had a challenge getting into an offensive rhythm. Now, we have some time to refocus and go back to doing the little things."
The Blue Hawks will go on the road to play Westminster on Thursday, Oct. 24, before heading to play Western Montana on Saturday, Oct. 26.