Another sweep: Blue Jays ease past St. Mary's
Smashing kills is just one way to win a volleyball match.
Sometimes, it's about making fewer errors than the team on the other side of the net.
Jamestown scored 12 points off hitting errors and violations in the final game of a 25-21, 25-19, 25-20 West Region win over Bismarck St. Mary's on Thursday night at the JHS gym.
"We're not always gonna dominate on the court," said Jamestown coach Sara Hegerle, whose team improved to 12-0 in the region and 26-3 overall. "Our goal is to put pressure on the other team and (hope) that they will make errors."
St. Mary's held a 16-14 lead in the third game, but a trio of hitting errors allowed the Blue Jays to take a one-point lead.
Though the Saints were able to tie it at 17, Julina Niemeier went to the line and served three aces as part of six straight points that all but sealed the match. Niemeier finished with match highs of four aces and 14 digs.
"She was serving tough," Hegerle said. "We have to serve tough. We can't miss serves and we can't get aced."
Addie Eamon, Jenna Stilwell and Rainey Selvig paced Jamestown with seven kills apiece. Selvig's seven kills were a personal-best at home.
"She's one of our secret weapons," Hegerle said. "She does such a great job of staying calm and putting the ball in good spots. She inspires our team. We need people that will inspire our team."
Like game 3, the Blue Jays had to rally in the opener after the Saints jumped out to a 7-2 lead. Jamestown followed with a 14-3 run that sunk St. Mary's. The Jays led in game 2 from start to finish.
"We weren't communicating," Niemeier said of the slow start in game 1. "Usually we get the first pass and we get the ball. Something was just off."
The win marks the third time Jamestown has beaten the Saints this season, posting a sweep in Bismarck in September and beating them 2-0 at a Fargo tournament earlier this month.
But Hegerle said St. Mary's (7-4, 15-9) appears to be inching closer every time the two teams meet, something not lost on Saints coach Amy Heuer.
"Each time our girls are getting more confident in what they're able to do," Heuer said. "Last year, we came here and rolled over and died. This year, we did not. We fought till the end.
"Jamestown's just a good defensive team. It's hard to beat them when you can't find their floor."
Jamestown continues a difficult portion in its schedule on Thursday, when it visits Bismarck High. The Jays host Century on Tuesday.
Jamestown 3, Bismarck St. Mary's 0
St. Mary's 21 19 20
Jamestown 25 25 25
St. Mary's: Kills, Mary Roller 7, Katelyn Schaffner 6, Kaylyn Herold 5. Assists, Allie Reisenauer 21. Aces, Roller 2. Digs, Caitlin Bakke 13, Ashley Kilzer 12, Roller 10.
Jamestown: Kills, Addie Eamon 7, Jenna Stilwell 7, Rainey Selvig 7. Assists, Josie Hegerle 23. Aces, Julina Niemeier 4, McKayla Keller 2. Blocks, Eamon 3. Digs, Niemeier 14, McKayla Orr 12, Hegerle 9, Meghan Orr 7.
Records: Bismarck St. Mary's 7-4 region, 15-9 overall. Jamestown 12-0, 26-3.
Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or firstname.lastname@example.org