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Blue Jays fly past Midgets

Jamestown's Jordan Paulson (22) and Courtney Peterson go up for a block against Dickinson Thursday at the West Region Volleyball Tournament in Mandan. John M. Steiner / The Sun1 / 2
Jamestown's Abby Kallenbach smacks the ball against Dickinson Thursday at the West Region Volleyball Tournament in Mandan. John M. Steiner / The Sun2 / 2

BISMARCK—Jamestown, the top team in the West Region, was all business Thursday afternoon.

The Blue Jays rolled into the West Region tournament semifinals with a 3-0 win over Dickinson, 25-20, 25-9, 25-15.

"We knew they'd come out fighting hard, but we just wanted to play our game," senior Alyssa Ukestad, who served four of the Blue Jays' 10 aces. "We just played the way we always try to and it's been successful for us."

No kidding.

The win pushed Jamestown's record to 34-4. They face Bismarck in the semifinals today at 5 p.m.

The Blue Jays never trailed in the match. A 5-0 run in the opening set made it 11-4 on a kill by Jordan Paulson.

The Midgets made a push late to within 23-19 on a pair of kills from Lexi Jordheim, but Courtney Peterson's kill and a violation ended it.

Set 2 was a rout, disappointing Dickinson coach Jay Schobinger.

"We rolled over in the second set and that's what's disappointing," Schobinger said. "Jamestown's good, they're the top seed, they're going to do enough good things on their own without us playing as poorly as we did in the second set."

Another big spurt by Jamestown finished off the match, which lasted just 58 minutes.

Five Blue Jays had seven kills or more with McKayla Kurtz's 11 leading the way. Courtney Peterson also hit double figures with 10. Megan Gaffaney led in assists (26) and blocks (3.5) to go with eight kills.

After the Midgets (10-28) closed within 11-10 in the third set on back-to- back kills from Jordheim and Mariah Mortenson, the Blue Jays reeled off five of the next six points. Kurtz flew in and connected for one of her 11 kills. Peterson and Gaffaney terminated before Ukestad zipped in another ace and that was about it.

"That's kinda my job, I guess," the 5-foot- 5 Ukestad said of her stellar serving. "We work on it a lot in practice. We want to be strong serving every game we play."

The Blue Jays have won eight in a row and have not lost in a month.

"We wanted to get business done and get it done in three," Ukestad said. "We're pretty focused right now. This is when everything matters the most."

Dickinson, which showed signs of strong play but also struggles with consistency, faces Mandan in a loser-out match today at 1 p.m.

"The goal is to win two out of three. We have the same goal as everybody else, but we'll have to find a higher level of consistency to do that," Schobinger said. "We've showed flashes at times, but that's not good enough when you get to this point in the season."


DIC 20 9 15

JAM 25 25 25

Dickinson — Kills: Lexi Jordheim 4, Morgan Kainz 3, Mariah Mortensen 3, Lauren Jordan 2 Peyton Selle 1. Blocks: Kainz 3, Mortensen 1. Assists: Jorda 7. Digs: Selle 15, Jordheim 12, Kendryn Bollinger 12, Jorda 7, Marley McChesney 7. Aces: Selle 1.

Jamestown — Kills: McKayla Kurtz 11, Courtney Peterson 10, Megan Gaffaney 8, Alyssa Ukestad 8, Abby Kallenbach 7, Hannah Schiele 1, Jordan Paulson 1. Blocks: Gaffaney 3.5, Kallenbach 2.5, Peterson 1. Assists: Gaffaney 26, Kameron Selvig 1, Paulson, Schiele 1. Digs: Schiele 14, Gaffaney 13, Olivia Nihill 12, Ukestad 11, Peterson 5, Paulson 3, Selvig 1. Aces: Ukestad 4, Paulson 2, Nihill 2, Gaffaney 2.

Records: Jamestown 34-4; Dickinson 10-28.

Dave Selvig

Selvig has been a sports writer at The Sun since 1999 and sports editor since 2009.

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