Jimmies down Waldorf, face No. 2 Viterbo today
Friday night was sort of like the calm before the storm at Harold Newman Arena.
The 19th-ranked University of Jamestown volleyball team swept visiting Waldorf University 3-0, as was expected, but a much larger conference match looms today.
The Jimmies face second-ranked Viterbo University at 4 p.m. in a battle between the North Star Athletic Association's top two teams.
"I think we just have to play free and not really worry about who is on the other side of the court," University of Jamestown senior middle blocker Madison Wendel said. "We play our best when we don't care about the score and we don't care about who's on the other side, but care about each other."
Wendel embodied character against Waldorf. The Carrington High School product swatted a match-high 11 kills to the floor, bringing fire along with a .562 hitting percentage on the night.
"Me and my setter Whitney (King) were connecting really well," Wendel said. "I thought the passers were getting her good passes so that I could set up for the kill."
Jamestown coach Jon Hegerle agreed, but added he'd like to have seen more consistency with the offense heading into today's matchup with the V-Hawks. The Jimmies have dropped eight straight matches to Viterbo, including a 3-0 setback in Wisconsin back on Sept. 22.
"I really didn't think our offense was the way it could have been," Hegerle said. "But I thought we did most of the other stuff pretty well. We passed really well and served tough, and our middles did a nice job."
A pair of Wendel's 11 kills and two aces from defensive specialist Meghan Orr contributed to a 7-2 run in the middle of the first set, which separated the Jimmies in a 25-16 set victory. A 7-0 run with the Jimmies' senior libero Elise Peterson at the service line buried the Warriors early in set 2.
The Jimmies won the middle frame 25-10 and the finale 25-22. King finished with 16 assists for the orange and black, while Josie Beckman added 14.
The Jimmies (15-6, 8-1 NSAA) showed relatively little rust after 13 days between matches. Jamestown last defeated Valley City State 3-1 on Oct. 7.
"Honestly, we've been waiting for this the last couple weeks," Wendel said. "We've been practicing really hard, so it was exciting to finally come out and compete because that's what we love to do best."
Viterbo (24-1, 8-0) fell to Rocky Mountain College 3-2 last Saturday at the Grand View Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa, ending the V-Hawks' undefeated season and dropping them from No. 1 to No. 2 in the national rankings.
The V-Hawks stormed back on Tuesday with a 3-0 sweep of 23rd-ranked Bellevue.
"We just gotta keep getting after them and not getting down on ourselves," Hegerle said. "They're a good team and earn a lot of points, so we're going to have to block well and keep aggressive in our mindset and just play.
"We're better than we were (in Sept), so we'll see what happens."
Jamestown 3, Waldorf 0
WU 16 10 22
UJ 25 25 25
WU leaders—Kills: Angie Gore 8, Kyra Platzek 7, Rebecca Bartnicki 4. Assists: Kaitlyn Monck 22. Aces: Danica Cheney 2. Digs: Gore 12, Erica Fee 11, Rieley Rodman 7. Blocks: Mindy Poehler 2, Gore 2.
UJ—Kills: Madison Wendel 10, Haley Glasoe 7, Jessica Velander 6, Isabel Wedell 5, Morgan Hensch 3, Kennedy Conzemius 2, Britta Knudson 2, Jordan Thomas 1. Assists: Whitney King 16, Josie Beckman 14, Miranda Lowman 3, Elise Peterson 2. Aces: Peterson 4, Meghan Orr 2, Julina Niemeier 1. Digs: Peterson 24, Orr 10, Niemeier 9, Velander 5, Beckman 3, Hensch 2, Conzemius 2, King 2, Knudson 1. Blocks: Glasoe 3, Hensch 3, Wedell 2, Wendel 2.
Records: Jamestown 15-6, 8-1 NSAA; Waldorf 4-22, 1-9 NSAA