DICKINSON, N.D. – Senior libero Natasha Malana set a pair of records on Senior Night, Friday (Oct. 24) against Dakota State. The Blue Hawks fell 3-1 with set scores of 27-25, 19-25, 24-26, and 23-25. Dakota State moves to 18-13 overall and 5-2 in conference. Dickinson State falls to 1-23 overall and 1-6 in North Star matches.
Carly Rozell led the Trojans with 20 kills, while Caitlin Pick recorded 17. Taylor Stratton finished with 11. Kaylee Vander Wal notched 21 assists, while Stacey Westby led the way with 35. Katie Gonzalez landed 32 digs. The Trjoans finished with 66 kills, 26 errors, 106 digs, and seven blocks.
Tessa Sian led the Blue Hawks with 14 kills. Miranda Kadrmas and Shelby Gustafson both recorded 12. Morgan Lutz and Tori Baumiller each dished out 21 assists. Malana led the Blue Hawks with 32 digs. Gustafson recorded three solo blocks. Sian and Kate Golding each recorded two. Dickinson State finished with 55 kills, 54 assists, five aces, 98 digs, six solo blocks, and 11 block assists.
In the third set, Dickinson State trailed 17-18. An attack by Vander Wal found the waiting Malana for her 20th dig of the match. That dig gave her 10, 20-plus matches on the season and 18, 20-plus matches in her career at Dickinson State. To watch her reaction to the record click, here.
"Justine came to us after a three year absence from the sport. Having played her high school ball just down the street at Dickinson High, Justine came home last year and shook off any rust quickly and established herself as one of our best defenders. This year she has been a great compliment to Tasha and has made me worry less about our defense and passing. I know that she is going to be in position and make the plays and passes I expect of a defensive specialist."
"Jen came to us from the softball team after playing both sports at Gavilin College. After taking two years off of volleyball Jen joined the team last season and picked up where she left off. You can tell the type of competitor that Jen is by how she threw herself back into volleyball. Whether on the court or off, she was truly the epitome of a team player. Her leadership this season was paramount to the development of our younger players."
"Tasha has been a tremendous, passionate player to coach. She has been a rock on the backline for us the last two years and has been a consistent passer and defender. She makes the setter's job easier since they know the pass will be on target more often than not. Few players play this game with as much fire and determination as Tasha and that makes her an easy person to coach."
Dickinson State will be back in action on Saturday (Oct. 25) against Presentation. The first set is scheduled for 7 p.m.