Stumble at state: Blue Jays upset by West Fargo in Thursday’s opening roundThe Jamestown High School volleyball team struggled to stop Amanda Levin and Christina Bruenjes on Thursday. The standout duo from West Fargo amassed 27 of the Packers’ 39 kills in a 25-21, 25-19, 25-23 win in opening-round action of the Class A state tournament at the Minot State University Dome.
By: By Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
MINOT — The Jamestown High School volleyball team struggled to stop Amanda Levin and Christina Bruenjes on Thursday.
The standout duo from West Fargo amassed 27 of the Packers’ 39 kills in a 25-21, 25-19, 25-23 win in opening-round action of the Class A state tournament at the Minot State University Dome.
“We came out strong,” Levin said. “We knew what we had to do and we executed.”
Levin finished with 15 kills, five digs and two aces in the win, which sends the third-seeded Packers to the semifinals against Grand Forks Red River at 6 p.m. today.
Jamestown stayed competitive in all three games, never trailing by more than seven. The Blue Jays meet Bismarck High in a loser-out match at noon.
“We’ll be upset right away and then come back,” Jamestown coach Sara Hegerle said. “Our Blue Jays didn’t play well. ... We had some of our best offensive players hitting balls 15 to 20 feet out of bounds.”
Siri Jystad had a team-high eight kills and Addie Eamon added seven. Josie Hegerle finished with 18 assists, two aces, two blocks and two digs for the Jays, who are making their first trip to state since 2001.
But Sara Hegerle refused to use that as an excuse, citing the success of the team in the regular season and the region tournament, where it finished second.
“You have to serve tough and keep them out of their system,” Hegerle said. “We didn’t do that.”
Levin had four kills and an ace in the opening game, which saw the Packers score 12 points off Jamestown errors. A 9-3 run gave West Fargo an 18-11 lead. Jamestown took advantage of West Fargo errors late, scoring five straight points with the help of two aces from Josie Hegerle to get within one at 22-21.
However, a trio of Jamestown errors clinched the loss.
The second game was a microcosm of the match. West Fargo put together numerous small runs to build a lead, eventually pulling away.
The Blue Jays looked poised to avoid the sweep with a win in game 3. Finally settling in, the game was never worse than a three-point deficit. Jamestown staked a 5-2 lead early until Levin had a pair of kills that aided a Packers’ rally. After it took over at 8-7, West Fargo never trailed despite letting Jamestown tie the match on three occasions.
The last tie came at 22 after Billie Buchanan drilled two kills and West Fargo committed a hitting error. The Blue Jays followed with two errors and an Eamon kill before Bruenjes drove the match-winner into the wood.
“They ripped balls at us,” Sara Hegerle said. “Our girls in the front got to hold ‘em. When you’re down by three and four all the time, you can’t always play catch-up.”
State Class A Volleyball Tournament
At Minot State University Dome
West Fargo 3, Jamestown 0
Jamestown 21 19 23
West Fargo 25 25 25
Jamestown - Kills, Siri Jystad 8, Addie Eamon 7, Billie Buchanan 4, Jenna Stilwell 3, McKayla Keller 3. Assists, Josie Hegerle 18, Rebekah Horgan 9. Aces, Hegerle 2, Julina Niemeier 2. Blocks, Hegerle 2. Digs, Meghan Orr 10, McKayla Orr 6, Niemeier 5, Horgan 2, Hegerle 2.
West Fargo - Kills, Amanda Levin 15, Christina Bruenjes 12, Shelby Gustafson 5, Courtney Suppa 4, Kennedi Sand 3. Assists, Andrea Klug 37. Aces, Levin 2. Blocks, Suppa 1, Gustafson 1. Digs, Suppa 14, Gustafson 10, Klug 6.
Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at 701-952-8462 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org