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Jays earn West title shot

John M. Steiner / The Sun Jamestown’s Addie Eamon connects for one of her 18 kills in the Blue Jays 3-1 win over Bismarck on Friday night. The Demons won the opening set, but Jamestown took the final three to advance to the championship match.1 / 2
John M. Steiner / The Sun Josie Hegerle (11) and McKayla Keller (8) go up for a block against Bismarck’s Natalie Todd during Friday night’s West Region tournament semifinal match at the JHS gym. The Blue Jays beat the Demons 3-1 to advance to the title match tonight at 5 p.m.2 / 2

Having swept 13 of its 16 conference opponents this season, Jamestown hasn’t faced much adversity.

On Friday night at the JHS gym, the Blue Jays lost the opening set for the first time.

But senior Addie Eamon and company dug deep, using the setback to fuel a 19-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-20 win and advancing to the West Region championship match for the second straight year.

“For us to be down like that and come back, I think we proved to ourselves what we’re truly capable of,” said Eamon, who had a match-high 18 kills. “We don’t like to start behind by any means, but I think that motivated us.”

The Jays play Bismarck St. Mary’s at 5 p.m. today, looking for their first region title. Jamestown fell to Bismarck Century in last year’s championship match.

“We’re really happy to be going (to state),” Eamon said. “But to get another shot at WDA ... we hope to redeem ourselves.”

Jamestown coach Sara Hegerle said she knew she’d have to address the issue of set 1 after watching her team come off the court.

“It was as if they didn’t know how to react to it,” Hegerle said. “I told them, ‘This is how it’s gonna be for the rest of our year. It’s gonna be point for point like that. You guys have to be able to respond to that.’ Fortunately for us, we did respond.”

Bismarck gave the Blue Jays only five points on hitting errors and violations in the first set, which was the theme of the night for the Demons. They never game Jamestown more than 10 points in any set.

“In game 1 ... Bismarck played perfect volleyball; they were ripping balls at us,” Hegerle said. “I don’t think we played poorly.”

Jamestown turned the tides in the second set with six straight points after trailing 12-11. Two kills each from Eamon and Rainey Selvig put Jamestown in front and while the Demons had a small rally, they never got back into the set.

Jamestown gutted out the next two wins as well. The Jays broke a 16-16 tie with four straight points on kills by Rebekah Hilgemann and McKayla Keller. In set 4, Bismarck managed to get within three at 23-20, but hitting errors did it in.

Jamestown received 10 kills from Jenna Stilwell, and seven kills, four blocks and 40 assists from setter Josie Hegerle.

Bismarck’s Morgan Miller and Natalie Todd had 17 and 14 kills, respectively. The Demons play Williston in a state-qualifier at 3 p.m.

“I think we played great, disciplined and intense volleyball,” Bismarck coach Jessica Nichols said. “We knew they were gonna come back. Any time you play a good team, they’re gonna come back and do whatever they can.”

Jamestown 3, Bismarck High 1

Bismarck 25 17 19 20

Jamestown 19 25 25 25

Bismarck: Kills, Morgan Miller 17, Natalee Todd 14. Assists, Kenzie Kiefer 34. Aces, Sadie Luetzen 4. Blocks, Miller 2. Digs, Ali Fisher 29, Kiefer 20, Miller 14.

Jamestown: Kills, Addie Eamon 18, Jenna Stilwell 10, Josie Hegerle 7. Assists, Hegerle 40. Aces, Stilwell 1, Julina Niemeier 1, McKayla Orr 1. Blocks, Hegerle 4. Digs, McKayla Orr 38, McKayla Keller 30, Meghan Orr 24.

Records: Jamestown 32-3, Bismarck 21-15.

Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (702) 952-8462 or