JHS routs Bismarck in 3Siri Jystad set an unusual tone on senior night, even for the very successful Jamestown High School volleyball team.
By: By Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Siri Jystad set an unusual tone on senior night, even for the very successful Jamestown High School volleyball team.
The 5-foot-9 middle hitter had three early kills in game 1 to help the Blue Jays to a big lead en route to a 25-20, 25-14, 25-18 West Region sweep of Bismarck High on Monday night at the JHS gym.
Jystad, teammate Billie Buchanan and coach Sara Hegerle each said it’s not common for Jamestown to gain big leads early on.
“We sometimes have a hard time getting started right away,” Jystad said. “This was really important for us. … It’s my last home game, so it was really important for us to come out strong. I knew I had to do that.”
The match sets up a showdown between the Blue Jays (12-2 region, 22-7 overall) and Bismarck Century (13-1, 28-4), the top two teams in the region. The contest is slated for 7 p.m. Thursday in Bismarck.
The Patriots won in five games in Jamestown earlier this season, and if the Blue Jays want a shot at the region regular-season title, they have to win in four games or less, or beat Century by five in the fifth game.
If Jamestown were to execute, it could capture the region title and No. 1 seed for the region tournament with a win next Tuesday at Mandan (5-9, 11-21). The Blue Jays have won nine consecutive region matches, eight of them sweeps.
“It’s within our reach,” Hegerle said. “We’ve just got to be determined to do it.”
If the Blue Jays play with the same enthusiasm they did against Bismarck, it may not be a problem.
They led 14-6 in the first game and stayed well ahead of the Demons, who struggled with hitting errors most of the night. Jystad finished with five kills in game 1 and had a team-high 10 in the match. Buchanan, also a senior, had five kills and two blocks, while senior Rebekah Horgan had a team-high four aces.
“(The seniors) can’t ask for a better ending for their career in this gym,” Hegerle said. “They played well and came out with a huge, huge win. It’s just a special group of kids. They did a fantastic job.”
The Blue Jays flexed their muscles in the second game, jumping out to a 15-4 advantage with the help of pair of Horgan aces. Buchanan put her stamp on the game with three kills.
“It’s really good to get that first lead,” Buchanan said. “Sometimes, when you go down in the dumps, it’s hard to get back up.
“(The win) just feels awesome. It’s really emotional.”
Jamestown got out to a 12-6 lead in game 3 and never looked back. Bismarck tried to rally behind the arm of junior Ashley Hilzendeger — who had a match-high 12 kills — but couldn’t muster enough offense to get back into the match.
Jamestown 3, Bismarck High 0
Bismarck 20 14 18
Jamestown 25 25 25
Bismarck — Kills, Ashley Hilzendeger 12, Natalie Todd 7. Assists, McKenzie Kiefer 29. Aces, Alison Fischer 1, Kiefer 1. Blocks, Todd 1. Digs, Karli Sanders 16, Fischer 8.
Jamestown — Kills, Siri Jystad 10, Billie Buchanan 5, Addie Eamon 4, Jenna Stilwell 4. Assists, Josie Hegerle 15, Rebekah Horgan 7. Aces, Horgan 4, Meghan Orr 2. Blocks, Hegerle 4, Jystad 3, Eamon 2, Buchanan 2. Digs, McKayla Orr 20, Julina Niemeier 14, Meghan Orr 8.
Records: Bismarck 9-5 West Region, 19-12 overall. Jamestown 12-2, 22-7.
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at email@example.com