Blue Jays take sixthFighting back tears, Jamestown High School volleyball coach Sara Hegerle spoke fondly of the seniors who helped the Blue Jays tie for the best finish in school history. "I'm gonna miss those seniors," she said. "Most of them didn't play (on varsity) for a number of years. Siri (Jystad) played, but the other ones never stopped fighting for a spot on varsity."
By: By Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
MINOT — Fighting back tears, Jamestown High School volleyball coach Sara Hegerle spoke fondly of the seniors who helped the Blue Jays tie for the best finish in school history.
"I'm gonna miss those seniors," she said. "Most of them didn't play (on varsity) for a number of years. Siri (Jystad) played, but the other ones never stopped fighting for a spot on varsity."
The Blue Jays ended their season with a marathon, falling to Fargo Shanley 3-2 for sixth place at the Class A state tournament Saturday at the Minot State University Dome. Game scores were 25-21, 18-25, 19-25, 25-19 and 15-11.
"Our team had an awesome season," said senior Billie Buchanan, who joined junior Addie Eamon with a team-high 13 kills. "We wanted to do better, (but) it was good to get Jamestown back in the state tournament."
The season had a variety of highlights that featured 12 West Region sweeps, a runner-up finish in the regular season and a trip to the region championship match. The Jays were able to sweep Bismarck High three times, the last of which punched their ticket into the consolation championship at state.
"It's a memory they'll never forget," Hegerle said. "They're not gonna remember the wins and losses; they're gonna remember the experiences."
Carrying momentum from Friday's win, the Blue Jays took the opening game behind four kills, two aces and a block from Jystad. A pair of Eamon kills put Jamestown ahead 9-8, a lead it never relinquished.
"It felt really good to get that first one," Buchanan said.
But Shanley collected itself and sophomore Alivia Fraase went to work, posting five kills to stake Shanley to a 14-3 lead in game 2. Jamestown did rally to get within five at 23-18, but a net violation and a hitting error clinched the win for the Deacons, who entered as the No. 2 seed out of the East.
Shanley used another strong start in game 3 take a 2-1 match lead. A trio of Fraase kills gave the Deacons a 6-1 advantage, never trailing at any point in the game. Fraase finished with a game-high 20 kills and four blocks.
The Blue Jays rallied in game 4 with kills from Buchanan, senior Hannah Heilman and sophomore Jenna Stilwell. They led 24-19 when Buchanan hammered a kill to send the match into five frames, where Shanley broke a 6-6 tie with three kills from Carolyn Mickelson en route to the win. Mickelson finished with 11 kills.
Jystad had nine kills and eight digs, while sophomore Josie Hegerle contributed five kills, five aces, five digs, four blocks and 35 assists.
Both players were named to the all-state team, which is voted on by the coaches. Hegerle picked up first-team honors, while Jystad selected to the second team. Freshman defensive specialist Meghan Orr was the only Blue Jay picked to the all-tournament team.
Grand Forks Red River's Carolyn Olson was named coach of the year, while Fargo North's Kira Larson was named senior athlete of the year. Larson is headed to Division I volleyball powerhouse Nebraska next year.
Fargo Shanley 3, Jamestown 2
Shanley 21 25 25 19 15
Jamestown 25 18 19 25 11
Shanley — Kills, Alivia Fraase 20, Carolyn Mickelson 11, Jessica Anderson 10, Haley Brenner 8. Assists, Amy Freeberg 40. Aces, Anderson 3, Brenner 2, Mickelson 2. Blocks, Fraase 4. Digs, Mickelson 24, Brenner 14, Little 12.
Jamestown — Kills, Billie Buchanan 13, Addie Eamon 13, Siri Jystad 9, Jenna Stilwell 6, Josie Hegerle 5, Hannah Heilman 4. Assists, Hegerle 35, Horgan 14. Aces, Hegerle 5, Jystad 2, Julina Niemeier 1. Blocks, Hegerle 5, Eamon 2, Stilwell 1, Jystad 1, Buchanan 1. Digs, McKayla Orr 21, Niemeier 18, Rebekah Horgan 12, Meghan Orr 10, Jystad 8, Hegerle 5, Buchanan 2, Heilman 2.
Jamestown: Meghan Orr.
Bismarck Century: Hannah Larson, Ali Hasche, Shaye Bense.
G.F. Red River: Kaitlin Anderson, Hadley Steffen, Cassidy Bush.
Dickinson: Abby Grove, Ali Moody.
West Fargo: Christina Bruenjes, Amanda Levin.
Fargo Shanley: Alivia Fraase, Carolyn Mickelson.
Fargo Davies: Kali Erickson.
Bismarck High: McKenzie Kiefer.
Josie Hegerle, Jamestown. Hannah Larson, Ashley Bohrer, both of Bismarck Century. Hadley Steffan, Cassidy Bush, both of G.F. Red River. Kira Larson, Taylor Preston, both of Fargo North. Ali Moody, Abby Grove, both of Dickinson. Karli Sanders, Bismarck High. Kali Erickson, Fargo Davies. Alivia Fraase, Fargo Shanley.
Siri Jystad, Jamestown. Christina Bruenjes, Amanda Levin, both of West Fargo. Katelyn Olson, Fargo Davies. Ashlee Hilzendeger, Bismarck. Rachel Schroeder, Dickinson.
Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached by at (701) 952-8462 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org