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Mystics Team Ends as Regional Champs
by Head Coach Jennifer Walsh

The 2017 Mystic volleyball season left its mark. The Mystics earned the Mon-Dak Conference Volleyball 2017championship title with a 9-1 record, won the west sub-regional title and won the Region XIII Championship over N.D. State School of Science. It was BSC’s first regional championship title since 2013.

The Mystics hosted the District G Championship Playoff series versus Central College Nebraska – a strong program that’s made the NJCAA DII National Tournament the last seven years. While the Mystics were defeated, all sets were tight, and the level of volleyball was very high.

The backbones of this year’s team were sophomore co-captains Sierra Graff and Hannah Hanson. Jaycee Walter, Allie Mischel and Alyssa Beck also provided leadership on the court, in the weight room and in the classroom. The freshmen players all added to the program whether stepping into a starting role or training and learning from others.

The Mystics return 10 players next year. Liza Doppler had a breakout freshmen campaign, and was named Conference and Region MVP. Sam Anklam, All-Conference and All-Region, anchored the backrow as the team’s libero. Sidney Mann, a defensive specialist, played extensively and was a primary serve receiver. The pinpoint accuracy of setter Jessie Oja will be relied upon next season along side Caitlyn Inman who plays opposite hitter and finished in the top 30 in the nation in hitting percentage. Kristina Lucier sat out the 2016 season with an injury, but came back as a blocking force at the net at the end of the season. Alicia Larsgaard, top middle reserve, along with top freshmen reserves Paige Schweitzer, outside hitter, and Leah Woods, opposite hitter, will also play key roles in 2018. Outside hitter Amy Jacobson sat out with an injury, but should be cleared to participate in spring season.
Mystics Add Mr. Basketball Finalists
by Head Coach Buster Gilliss

The Mystics return three starters from last year, along with one part-time starter. All-Conference and All-Region selection Brody Nieuwsma of Strasburg, was the leading scorer for the Mystics last season. The Mystics picked up some well-known local talent to bolster their roster. N.D. Mr. Basketball finalists Tronis McKay, Four Winds, and KyJuan Johnson of Minot High School head that list. Other new-comers include All-State selections Drew Pearson, Des Lacs-Burlington; Austin Slaughter, Grand Forks; Dante Fischer, Mobridge, S.D.; and Conner Piatz of Bismarck High. The freshmen players will need to quickly adjust to the college game, and the team will need to improve on rebounding to implement their up-tempo style of play.

Rounding out the team are sophomores Grant Kohlus, Eagle Butte, S.D.; Michael Olson and Jared Walter, Bismarck; Jesse Roberts, Minot; and Kaelen Johnson, Peoria, Ill.
Mystic Women Confident in Experience
by Head Coach Marv Pedersen

The Mystics women’s basketball team is bringing experience back to the court with seven returning players. Two 2016-17 Mon-Dak All Conference players, Hannah Hanson, Mandan, and Nicole Bunting, Redwood Falls, Minn., are returning starters from last season. Hanson averaged 11.5 points per game and 6.8 rebounds. Bunting averaged 12.5 points and 3.3 rebounds.

Other returning sophomores are Bailie Beer, Lemmon, S.D.; Syann Golus, Belcourt; Mara Roteliuk, Sawyer; Taylor Schmeichel, Jamestown; and Jaycee Walter, Bismarck. The coaches are pleased with the energy and effort these sophomores bring to practice.

Freshman athletes Bailey Wilhelm, Bismarck; McKenna Weisenburger, Wilton; Brianna Honrud, Powers Lake; Ellie Gehring, Garrison; Faith Dionne, Belcourt; and Kyra Braaten, Kindred, are working hard and learning quickly.