Patriots top JaysA loss on Thursday night wasn’t what the Blue Jay volleyball team wanted, but the Jays’ best season in recent memory is far from over. Jamestown had a shot at possibly vying for the West Region regular-season title, but they needed to get past the Bismarck Century Patriots for that dream to become a reality.
By: By Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
A loss on Thursday night wasn’t what the Blue Jay volleyball team wanted, but the Jays’ best season in recent memory is far from over.
Jamestown had a shot at possibly vying for the West Region regular-season title, but they needed to get past the Bismarck Century Patriots for that dream to become a reality.
The West Region’s No. 1 team defeated Jamestown 3-2 way back on Sept. 11, but entering Thursday the Blue Jays had rifled off nine wins in 10 matches against West Region foes to firmly plant themselves into second place in the region standings behind the Patriots.
A total of eight of those nine victories by the Blue Jays were dominant 3-0 sweeps over their opponents.
The Jays got put on their heels early against the Patriots, falling in the first two sets 25-19, 25-14, but they bounced back with a big 25-15 victory in the third frame.
It looked like the Jays were on their way to sending the match into a fifth and final game as they took a 23-19 lead in the fourth. Century, however, stepped things up and rallied to win the game and the match 26-24.
“We came in and didn’t play very well for two straight games. We were kind of letting balls drop,” JHS coach Sara Hegerle said. “They put a little bit of pressure on us and we didn’t respond to it.”
The heartbreaker was letting the fourth-game, four-point lead slip away. If Jamestown could have forced a fifth game and won the match by five or more points, the team could have captured the region title and No. 1 seed for the WDA tournament with a win at Mandan on Tuesday.
“We started tipping the ball and they started hitting the ball,” Hegerle said. “We just kind of tensed up a bit.
“But it actually wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened to us,” Hegerle said, concerning the loss to the Patriots. “We hope to see them in the finals at the WDA. That’s the plan.”
Siri Jystad, Billie Buchanan and Jenna Stilwell all topped double figures in kills for Jamestown in the loss, with Jystad collecting 13, Buchanan finishing with 12 and Stilwell slamming home 11.
Josie Hegerle tossed up 28 assists for the Jays, while McKayla Orr led the team in digs with 19.
Now Jamestown has to take care of business at Mandan on Tuesday. The Braves were 11-21 and ranked No. 6 in the West heading into the Thursday, but the team the Blue Jays have to worry about is Dickinson.
If Jamestown (23-8, 12-3 West Region) were to lose against the Braves, Dickinson (23-8, 9-3) would slide into the No. 2 spot if they beat Minot on Saturday and Bismarck on Tuesday.
Jamestown swept Mandan in Jamestown back on Sept. 25. The Blue Jays and the Midgets split their two regular-season matches this season.
“Our mindset is to let’s make sure we lock that up,” Hegerle said. “Mandan is a tough team and I don’t think they’ve played their best volleyball yet.
“But we want to be that second team. It’s a big advantage going into the WDA and these kids deserve it.”
The West Region tournament starts on Nov. 8 in Mandan.
Bismarck Century 3, Jamestown 1
Jamestown 19 14 25 24
Century 25 25 15 26
Aces, Josie Hegerle 2, McKayla Orr 1. Kills, Siri Jystad 13, Billie Buchanan 12, Jenna Stilwell 11. Blocks, Addie Eamon 4, Buchanan 1, Stilwell 1. Assists, Hegerle 28, Rebekah Horgan 9. Digs, McKayla Orr 19, Meghan Orr 13, Julina Niemeier 12.
Records: Bismarck Century 29-4, 14-1 West Region; Jamestown 23-8, 12-3 West Region.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at email@example.com