Valley City, N.D. -- Seniors Kelly O'Connor and Melissa Avila led the Blue Hawk offense with a combined 29 kills, as Dickinson State University defeated Valley City State 3-1. It took four sets for the Blue Hawks to capture their third win of the season with set scores of: 25-23. 25-20, 22-25, 25-22. DSU improves to 3-17 on the season, while Valley City fell to 12-19.
The Valley City State Vikings middle hitter Aurissa Martens recorded 17 kills, reaching 1,000 total for her career, but it was not enough for the Vikings. Kelsey Labodi tallied 13 kills for herself in the match. Stephanie Miller and Megan Good combined for 39 assists, 20 and 19 respectively, for the Vikings as Valley City kept all four sets close. The Vikings finished as a team with 48 kills, 45 assists, 79 digs, and 7 total blocks.
The Blue Hawks picked up their first four set win of the season led by Kelly O'Connor (15 kills) andMelissa Avila (14 kills). Avila is now at 235 kills total for the season. Not only did O'Connor lead the team in kills on the day, but she also led in assists with 22. Her 22 assists was the match high for both teams. Kelly had 14 digs, second only to junior libero Natasha Malana who picked up 16. O'Connor is now just five kills short of 100 for the season and has recorded an even 300 assists. The 15 kills against Valley City is a season high for O'Connor, it is the first time the setter has totaled more than 10 kills in a match.
Defensively, the Blue Hawks saw contributions from nearly every player that head coachJon Stenman sent onto the floor. Three separate players had 10 or more digs and three more players had over five digs. A consistent and confident defensive approach led to nine blocks. The Blue Hawks committed just one ball handing error in the match. DSU totaled 43 kills, seven service aces, 39 assists, and 75 digs.
The win comes at a big time for the Blue Hawks as they will play four conference matches in the next week and a half, including back to back home matches. DSU has won two of its last three matches.
Dickinson State will be back at home for their next match, as they play host to Westminster on Oct. 17. The match is scheduled to begin at 7:00 PM.