DICKINSON, N.D.—The Blue Hawks opened their season on Saturday (Aug. 23) against Dakota Wesleyan University. The Tigers handed the Blue Hawks their first loss of the season, 3-1 with set scores of 25-16, 29-27, 25-17, and 25-20. Dakota Wesleyan is now 1-0 on the season. Dickinson State falls to 0-1.
The Blue Hawks dropped the first set to the Tigers, before engaging in a tight back and forth second set. Dickinson State pulled ahead to 24-18. Dakota Wesleyan battled back to tie the set at 24-24. Lauren Tadlock and Sammy Fluck would eventually put the set away, 29-27.
In the third set, Dickinson State jumped out to a 15-8 advantage. Dakota Wesleyan could not find a way to jump back into the set, failing to come within four points of evening the set. After dropping the first two points of the set, the Blue Hawks went on a five point run to gain a 3-2 lead and capture the set 25-17.
Dakota Wesleyan took hold in the fourth set and kept the Blue Hawks at bay, taking the match 3-1.
Lauren Tadlock led the Tigers with 15 kills. Mallory Jark followed closely behind with 14. Michelle Van Epps recorded 54 assists for Dakota Wesleyan. Maggie Stehly notched 13 digs. As a team, the Tigers recorded 59 kills, 22 errors, 15 service errors, and 42 digs.
Sophomore Tessa Sian, junior Maddi Johnston, and freshman Shelby Gustafson each recorded nine kills. Sian recorded five block assists. Sophomore Brenna Hansen notched a solo block. Freshman setter Tori Baumiller recorded 10 assists, while sophomore setter Morgan Lutz picked up 19. Senior libero Natasha Malana led the Blue Hawks with 18 digs. Overall, Dickinson State had 40 kills, 46 digs, four aces, and nine blocks.
The Blue Hawks next match is Friday (Aug. 29) at the Corn Palace Invitational against Johnson and Wales Denver. The match is scheduled for 11 a.m.