DICKINSON- The Blue Hawk volleyball team came into Saturday evening's game looking to continue on their good play from the night before. They would need to put together a good game to do so, playing the Bellevue Bruins, who are ranked 19 in the latest NAIA poll. The Bruins traveled west following their first conference loss to Jamestown the night before.
The Bruins team started out hot in the first set, but with three service errors the Blue Hawks found them in striking distance at 11-13. Good defensive play by Kylie Hadley, Shaylee Singleton, and Ali Hert among others continued to give DSU opportunities. Three blocks from Shelby Gustafson and another from Kennedy Hildebrand kept the team tight to the Bruins. The Blue Hawks cut the deficit bringing the score to 18-19 Bruins, forcing Bellevue coach Trish Siedlik to take the team's first timeout. Following the timeout came four extended rallies from the two teams, which were split two and two. From there Bellevue took control of the set. The Bruins captured five unanswered points to take the set.
In the second, the Bruins again came out strong, jumping to a 9-4 lead. But again the Blue Hawks began to fight back. A pair of blocks from Hildebrand, a pair of kills from Hadley, and an ace from Brianna Holland and the Blue Hawks grabbed the lead 16-15. Bellevue Coach Siedlik had seen enough and took a timeout to regroup her team. But, the Blue Hawks kept the pressure on the Bruins and with a huge block by Gustafson DSU held the lead at 21-20. To finish the set Bellevue, again, showed why they are one of the top teams in the North Star. The Bruins went on a 5-2 run to win set two.
In the third set the Bruins were able to take an early advantage over the Blue Hawks. And yet again the Blue Hawks slowly chipped away at the lead. Excellent defensive scrambling and blocking gave the Blue Hawks the lead at 14-13. The Bruins and Blue Hawks battled back and forth until Coach Jennifer Hartman called for a timeout as DSU was trailing 19-18. From there the Bruins scored three unanswered points and Coach Hartman took her second timeout to regroup her team. The Blue Hawks were unable to find their groove late in the set and ultimately fell 25-20.
Kylie Hadley had an excellent evening, tallying ten digs and six kills. But, it was not enough to overcome the strength of Bellevue. The loss drops the Blue Hawks to 1-4 in conference play so far this year, Bellevue improves to 6-1. The Blue Hawks get another pair of conference games next Friday and Saturday when they travel to Valley City State university and Mayville State University. The Blue Hawks next home game is Homecoming week, October 10, when they take on former DAC opponent Minot State University.