SCOTT THROLSON Bismarck Tribune
The mystics of Bismarck State College simply refused to lose.
Sophomore Night at the Armory started off with a big win in the first set and ended with a Lake Region State sweep in the Mon-Dak Conference regular season final. Between the two, the navigation was not quite smooth towards a 10th consecutive victory. The BSC beat the Royals 25-14, 26-24, 25-21 on Wednesday night.
“We were playing a little hesitant tonight,” said Mystics coach Kyle Kuether. “I think the biggest thing that helped us tonight was just our mentality that we’re going to win. Lake Region dominated us for a good part of the game. I think it’s a good thing that we came out and won 3-0 because this game could have gone either way.
The Mystics scored seven straight points to turn an early 7-5 deficit into a 12-7 lead, built an 18-12 advantage and closed the opening set with a 7-1 flurry to claim a victory of 25-14 over the Royals.
After that, the Royals pushed the Mystics over the edge in the second and third sets.
In the second set, Lake Region quickly took a four-point lead. After BSC hit back, the game was tied at 12-12, 13-13 and 14-14 before Lake Region lost four straight points to take an 18-14 lead. The BSC rallied, tying at 21-21 and the teams traded points until a Gibson kill gave the Mystics a 25-24 lead and they closed it at 26-24.
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“We tend to come out strong, and we always have that set of struggles, whether it’s the second or the third,” said Greta Gibson, sophomore at Mystics. “We took her out but we just need to be able to continue playing at the high level that we are playing in the first set throughout the game.”
The Mystics used a varied offensive attack to complete the victory.
Reile Payne led the Mystics (19-3, 11-1 Mon-Dak) with 11 kills. Gibson, Jossi Meyer, Megan Klein and Macy Wetsch each added seven.
“We had to bring our own energy,” Gibson said. “We had to pass the ball and Cam would give them out to everyone and everyone just put them down when she gave them to them. We just put it all together.
“Not a single hitter is really our choice,” said Kuether. “We really worked a lot more on the distribution of the ball. Our outs have been sort of our choice all season, but now towards the end of the season a lot of teams know that and they’re trying to shut them down, so we’ve been working a bit more on the distribution of the ball and I think. that it showed up tonight. Greta had a brilliant game tonight.
Meyer had two blocks, Beasley gave out 35 assists, Abbi Kopp had 17 digs and Wetsch had three aces.
The third set was another round trip. BSC took a 15-11 lead then watched Lake Region take a 19-17 lead. Megan Klein and Macy Wetsch had back-to-back wins to tie the game at 19-19. The game was tied at 20-20 and 21-21 before BSC closed on a 4-0 streak – securing wins from Klein, Reile Payne (two) and Gibson on match point.
The Mystics clinched the No. 1 seed for the West Subregion quarterfinals, scheduled for October 24. They are competing in a tournament in Lake Region this weekend before hosting the Jamestown JV on Wednesday, October 20 in the regular season. final as they prepare for the playoffs.
What do they need to work on to prepare for the tournament?
“I’m just thinking of staying in the moment,” Kuether said. “Sometimes we get ahead, we start to think of maybe other things. Sometimes we get stuck in the past where we keep thinking about a mistake we just made. So I think the most important thing right now is just the mindset. Towards the end of the season, there isn’t much you can change, in terms of skills. So keeping a straight mental game is what we need to work on. “
“We’re going to have to stay focused in training, stay consistent and bring energy,” Gibson said. “I know there is a lot of talent in our team and we just have to put everything in place and we’re going to be okay with it.”
The Lake District fell to 8-20 overall, 0-11 in Mon-Dak.
The Mystics travel to Devils Lake this weekend for the Lake Region Slamfest tournament, where they face Williston State and Jamestown JV on Friday and Trinity Bible College and Dickinson State JV on Saturday.