Jimmies led by senior class: JC faces Carroll today in NAIA opening roundWhether it’s on the court or in the classroom, the five seniors on the Jimmie volleyball are a pretty impressive bunch. All have played roles in the Jimmies’ 27-8 season, which continues today with an NAIA national tournament opening-round match at Carroll College in Helena, Mont.
By: By Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Whether it’s on the court or in the classroom, the five seniors on the Jimmie volleyball are a pretty impressive bunch.
All have played roles in the Jimmies’ 27-8 season, which continues today with an NAIA national tournament opening-round match at Carroll College in Helena, Mont.
The Jimmies have never gotten beyond this point, but a win today would extend the careers of Katie Zent, Emilee Schutta, Kaitlyn Rogalla, Katie Lee and Beth Segerholm and send the program to the national championships for the first time.
“It’s a pretty special group,” said JC coach Jon Hegerle of his seniors. “They represent our program and the college the right way.”
They’re not just cruising along as general studies majors either.
Rogalla, Lee and Segerholm are finishing up nursing degrees. Zent is going to be a vet, but before she begins another 4-year stretch of school, is going to officer training in January in Georgia as part of her commitment to the National Guard.
But all of that is secondary for the time being.
“Senior year, national tournament with this team — I couldn’t ask for a better way to go out,” said Zent, who has amassed over 1,000 kills in her sparkling career.
Zent, Rogalla and junior Sarah Becker give the Jimmies one of their most diverse hitting attacks ever.
But according to the Moorhead native Rogalla, that’s not even the best part of the team — the chemistry is.
“There is no drama. Normally on a team full of girls, that is together all the time like we are, there would be drama, with this team there’s none. There really isn’t,” she said smiling. “It’s hard to believe, I know. But it really is like a family.”
Rogalla and Lee have had all-conference seasons, while also completing clinicals towards their nursing degree. Same is true for Segerholm, who teams with Lee to give the Jimmies a pair of talented defensive specialists. Lee’s schedule was so full this past week, her first practice of the week was Wednesday because she spent the previous three days in Fargo completing clinicals.
“You have to learn time management,” said a smiling Lee, who has a whopping 688 digs this season. “Our professors are great, they’re flexible. Our coaches are the same way, they are very understanding. … It’s busy. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself when I’m done with school.”
She was joking, of course. Lee, the former Fargo South standout, plans to head back to graduate school and become a nurse practitioner.
Segerholm, who also completed clinicals this week, is going to be a delivery room nurse. She’s used to pressure and being busy, though. She’s also a 3-time national qualifier as a javelin thrower for the track team. Track practice is not far away, but first things first.
“This team is so capable of going well and beyond the first round,” Segerholm said. “If we play up to our potential anything is possible.”
Getting past Carroll (24-9) will not be easy. The two teams did not play this season, but did two years ago with the Saints winning 3-0. That match will have little bearing on today, however.
“As long as we’re playing together and on the same page, it’s going to take a special team to stop us,” said the versatile Schutta, who was Hegerle’s first recruit. “I’ve never been on a team as tight-knit as this one.”
It’s also a group that worked and waited, climbing the ladder from JV to varsity to nationals.
“It’s believing in the program. Believing in the coach and working hard to make yourself better,” said Rogalla, who played two seasons on the junior varsity. “That makes it even more meaningful knowing we worked hard for this. And, we don’t want it to end.”
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com