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Allison Thomas, Alaina Bosche pacing MPB volleyball this fall

The Medina/Pingree-Buchanan volleyball team is off to a good start this year.

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Alaina Bosche (6) and Allison Thomas (5) both recorded 1,000 career digs for the Medina/Pingree-Buchanan volleyball team on Sept. 1, 2022. The duo has been playing volleyball together since middle school and has helped the Thunder to a 3-0 Region 3 record so far this fall. Contributed / LeAnn Thomas
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MEDINA (N.D) — Allison Thomas' daydream was one of the select few that has actually proven to be achievable.

"I have definitely thought about how cool it would be to reach 1,000 digs," said Thomas, a junior for the Medina/Pingree-Buchanan volleyball team

The dreams turned into Thomas' reality on Sept. 1.

Thomas and her teammate Alaina Bosche each received props for hitting 1,000 official digs following their 3-1 win over Edgeley/Kulm-Montpelier.

"To be honest, I had no idea that I was even close to reaching this goal and almost forgot about the benchmark," Thomas said. "I feel very honored and grateful to have achieved that milestone. I definitely could not have done it without my amazing team."

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The duo's steady defense combined with some strong swinging from Thomas has helped the Thunder to a 3-3 overall record and a perfect 3-0 record in the Region 3 standings.

"The season is going great so far," Thomas said. "Our practices and games always have a ton of energy, and the positive environment constantly uplifts every player. In addition, our team has many players that strive in different areas of the court. As a result, we are able to have a strong team that works well together. Thanks to my teammates and coaches, the season has been successful so far and so much fun."

Thomas has been playing volleyball since she was 5 years old and her parents registered her for different Parks and Recreation activities. A few years later, Thomas began participating in JO volleyball in Jamestown and Valley City which only served to grow her passion for the sport.

"The constant energy and excitement that volleyball creates makes the game so much fun," Thomas said. "On the floor, my teammates and I are always cheering on one another. The environment is so thrilling and fun, and I just love it."

When she wasn't playing, Thomas said she would watch her sisters play at the high school and collegiate levels.

"My sister, Jordan, has influenced my volleyball career tremendously," Thomas said. "Ever since I was young, I admired her volleyball skills and knew I wanted to be just like her. She inspired me to become an outside hitter and wear jersey No. 5."

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Jordan, a former standout for MPB herself, went on to play collegiate-level volleyball for Jon Hegerle at the University of Jamestown. She ended her collegiate career with a trip to the 2019 NAIA National Volleyball Tournament.

Jordan currently lives in Pennsylvania and is pursuing a degree in optometry at Salus University.

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"Even though she is over a thousand miles away, she watches every one of my games through our school’s livestreams and supports me," Thomas said. "Jordan has undoubtedly helped me become the player I am today."

Who Thomas has become is a threat to be reckoned with — and this year, there's no torn ACL that might slow her down.

Thomas suffered a torn ACL in the winter of 2021, ending her freshman basketball season indefinitely. Last fall, she was able to play volleyball but she wasn't going at 110%.

"I was definitely hesitant and very cautious with my knee as I was still quite fresh off an ACL and meniscal injury in my left knee," Thomas said. "This year I spent my entire summer focusing on strengthening my knee and getting back 100% functionality."

The work in the offseason has seemingly paid off. Thomas said so far this fall, she hasn't given her knee a second thought.

"Allison is such a good athlete," Bosche said. "She always strives to do her best and I really appreciate everything she does for our team."

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Allison Thomas (5) is a regular statistical leader for MPB head coach Jacie Connell (right). Contributed / LeAnn Thomas.

Bosche and Thomas have been playing volleyball together since seventh grade.

"We know how the other person plays and what our strengths and weaknesses are," Bosche said. "Being confident in each other and trusting each other in the game helps our chemistry so much."

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Bosche has been playing volleyball since she was in fourth grade and has been the libero for MPB since her freshman season. Since she earned recognition for 1,000 digs, she has added 58 more to the stat books.

"Alaina always works extremely hard and puts her entire effort into her role as the libero on team," Thomas said. "She is such a great leader to the team and makes for a great role model to everyone.

"She is always encouraging me, as well as my other teammates, and pushing us to our greatest potential," she said. "I have loved having her by my side our entire volleyball high school career."

It's not just Bosche and Thomas who've got the special connection.

"Our team has amazing chemistry, which definitely contributes to how we play on the court," Thomas said. "The girls work so well together, and the coaches are extremely encouraging towards us and always challenge us to reach our full potential."

Skill-wise, Bosche said the crew has been doing a great job developing their fundamentals like passing, setting and hitting. After each of the team's four games so far, there have been at least four people with double-digit dig counts and two with more than 10 kills.

"Being strong on defense and getting that first ball to our setter allows us to get the points we need," Bosche said. "Having a high number of digs each game really just goes back to the fundamentals and determination to get a good first good pass to set our team up for success."

It's been a good first few weeks for the Thunder but Bosche and Thomas said there is always more to work on, especially when finishing well and making the region tournament a main priority.

"Our energy as a team can be unsteady at times, but when our energy is at a lull, coach always makes it a point to tell us to create energy, because when we do, that’s when we play our best," Bosche said.

Bosche said coming into her final season with the Thunder, she wanted to be a leader for her teammates, stay positive and give 100% no matter what team MPB is playing.

"Winning or losing, choosing to have a positive attitude and to give 100% effort is something I can control every single day no matter how I’m playing," Bosche said.

Coming into this year, Thomas said she really wanted to focus on playing like she had never been injured and showcase the improvement she has made since the 2021 season. Thomas also said she wants to be able to hit the ball harder and increase the difficulty of her serves.

"This year, my coaches expect our team to always give our biggest effort during both practices and games," Thomas said. "As the season progresses, we are developing into a more formidable team to our region. We seem to be improving every day and were hoping to come out on top at District 6 and Region 3."

Katie Ringer is a sports reporter for the Jamestown Sun. Katie joined the Sun staff in the summer of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a degree in journalism. She can be reached by email at kringer@jamestownsun.com or by phone at 701-952-8460.
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