One year ago, the Dickinson Volleyball teams biggest challenge came off the court. They had a teammate going through cancer, but as Phil Benotti reports, it’s the way that the team has grown through that experience that has been remarkable.

The teammates of Lauren Jorda saw the embodiment of perseverance in 2018: A friend battling ovarian cancer. This season, it’s about the life lessons both the players and Head Coach Jay Schobinger learned in the process.

“I remember when Lauren came up and told me,” says Head Coach Jay Schobinger. “And remember thinking there’s no where in the coaches manual that tells you how to deal this.”

In an abnormal season, Dickinson finished in 8th place and lost in the play-in game to qualify for the regional tournament. But through that experience a group of five juniors — now seniors — took that moment and turned it into their attitude for 2019.

“We go after everything,” outside hitter Peyton Selle says. “I think that’s pretty fun to watch. We never really give up, and we’ve been through a lot. And that makes sense.”

Along with the aggresiveness, this team came together in the summer and feels they have a bond that is hard to compete with in the WDA.

“I think we developed a lot more as a team last year,” says middle hitter Taylor Nelson. “So coming into this year, we’re all ready. We’ve been together for a long time. This summer really helped too. Coming back into it. And I think we’re going to be ready for it.”

The true test of this team will come at the opening season tournament in Bismarck on Friday and Saturday. But no matter the result, head coach Jay Schobinger is already proud of his group of senior leaders.

“You know, going through all those things has really made this group closer,” says Schobinger. “They’ve grown up.”

On July 18, Lauren tweeted that she had her port removed which was the last obstacle in her cancer journey… Now she will just go through regular check ups and lab work