Blue Jays advance to semifinals, defeat RR 3-0
MINOT — Rainey Selvig was the spark that sent Jamestown into uncharted territory.
Seeded second out of the West Region, Jamestown (33-4) is ensured the best finish in school history. It had only three previous trips, taking sixth in 1999 and 2012, and eighth in 2001.
“This gives us a lot of momentum going into (today) and for the rest of the tournament,” said Selvig, whose team meets Fargo Shanley in the 6 p.m. semifinal. “We’ll be in a good mood now and ready to go, so that’s great.”
Selvig didn’t have any kills the rest of the way, as standout senior Addie Eamon took over. She finished with 10 kills and five blocks.
Still, Jamestown coach Sara Hegerle said she felt it was Selvig’s play from the right side that put a charge into her team.
“They were having a hard time defending that position on the court, and that’s where she hits a lot of her balls from,” Hegerle said. “Our setter (Josie Hegerle) did a nice job realizing what was going on and continuously getting her the ball. She didn’t make errors and played really well. That was a boost of energy for us, a sparkplug.”
Selvig, of course, deflected the credit.
“My teammates did a really good job of telling me where the open spot was,” she said. “So, I just listened to them and did what I could with the sets. The sets were awesome, too.”
Jamestown scored eight of the final nine points of the first set and didn’t have much trouble with the second set either, pulling ahead 15-14 and never looking back.
But it struggled with the third set, trailing 12-6 at one point. The Blue Jays rallied, eventually scoring eight of the last 10 to clinch the sweep.
“It’s tough when you feel like the match is over and you’re playing pretty well,” Sara Hegerle said. “We took a timeout and then I really thought we took it to them. This team is capable of being down and coming back, so that’s really fun to see.”
Getting past the first round was an important hurdle for the Blue Jays, who were coming off a five-set loss to Bismarck St. Mary’s in the West Region championship match.
“Getting the first one was really exciting,” Hegerle said. “We’ve gone so far with this season. It doesn’t matter if we lose or we win, we always play together and we’ll always love each other.”
Grand Forks Red River (18-14) drops into consolation play and meets Bismarck at noon today. The Roughriders were paced by Jennifer Trader’s six kills.
“We just had too many unforced errors,” Red River coach Carolyn Olson said. “Jamestown’s a solid team. They ball-control very well. We just simply made far too many errors.”
Jamestown 3, Grand Forks Red River 0
GFRR 16 15 19
Jamestown 25 25 25
Grand Forks Red River — Kills, Jennifer Trader 6, Taylor Adam 5, Skylar Borg 5. Assists, Mari Rustebakke 21. Digs, Jamie O’Halloran 23, Megan Musich 12, Bethany Stoley 10.
Records: Red River 18-14, Jamestown 33-4.
Jamestown — Kills, Addie Eamon 10, Rainey Selvig 5, Jenna Stilwell 5, McKayla Keller 4, Beka Hilgemann 4. Assists, Josie Hegerle 31. Aces, Keller 1, Julina Niemeier 1. Blocks: Eamon 5. Digs, Niemeier 20, McKayla Orr 18, Hegerle 11, Keller 10.
Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or firstname.lastname@example.org