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STILL ALIVE Jimmies fall in pool play at nationals

University of Jamestown setter Whitney King (10) sets up teammate Madison Wendel (7) as Julina Niemeier looks on (2) during NAIA national tournament pool play Wednesday against Lindsey Wilson College in Sioux City, Iowa. Sean Johnson / For The Sun

Jimmie volleyball slung a rock at Goliath Wednesday in Sioux City, Iowa, but the giant stayed standing.

Top-ranked and undefeated Lindsey Wilson College (Ky.) swept University of Jamestown 3-0 on the second day of pool play at the NAIA Women’s Volleyball National Championship tournament. The Blue Raiders’ Polish freshman, Paulina Sobolewska, posted match highs of 17 kills (.552 hitting) and 16 digs, leading Lindsey Wilson to its 30th win of the season.

The Blue Raiders have dropped one set all year. Jamestown wraps up pool play at 10 a.m. today against Texas Wesleyan University.

“She was really a handful,” Jimmie head coach Jon Hegerle said of the 5-foot-10 Sobolewska, from Zuromin, Poland. “We watched her play yesterday and I said, man, that’s my favorite player at this tournament.”

The Raiders are stacked. First team NAIA All-American senior setter Makenzie Montano scored 39 assists and second team All-American junior middle Grace Blomstedt — the nation’s leader in hitting percentage at .527 — turned in eight kills and a trio of blocks in the winning effort. Set scores were 25-14, 25-17, 25-13.

The tough sledding led to the Jimmies hitting just .133 for the match. Isabel Wedell, Haley Glasoe and Madison Wendel each scored six kills for 19th-ranked Jamestown (22-9).

“We just wanted to play our game and play hard, and at times we did that but it was difficult to do because it was tough for us to score points against them,” Hegerle said. “They’ve got a lot of weapons and it was difficult to get any momentum going, but I thought we battled hard.”

Today’s meeting with the Texas Wesleyan Lady Rams of Fort Worth is a big one for the Jimmies. A win sends Jamestown to Friday’s final 16-team elimination tournament, which would be a program first.

The Lady Rams are 0-2 in pool play and were swept Wednesday by Cornerstone University, the team Jamestown defeated 3-2 on Tuesday.

“We know that we’ve put ourselves in position to make the final 16 and we have a chance at that today,” Hegerle said. “Our goal of moving forward in the national tournament is right in front of us and we’re excited about that.”

Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 3, Jamestown 0 LW 25 25 25 UJ 14 17 13 LW (leaders) — Kills: Paulina Sobolewska 17, Elly Burke 9, Grace Blomstedt 8. Assists Makenzie Montano 39. Aces: Caitlyn Tino

3. Digs: Sobolewska 16, Tino 12. Blocks Sobolewska 3, Blomstedt 3. UJ — Kills: Isabel Wedell 6, Haley Glasoe 6, Madison Wendel 6, Morgan Hensch 4 Jessica Velander 4, Kennedy Conzemius 2 Elise Peterson 1. Assists: Josie Beckman 15 Whitney King 12. Aces: Julina Niemeier 1 Digs: Peterson 13, Beckman 9, Niemeier 8 Meghan Orr 8, Conzemius 4, King 3, Hensch 1, Velander 1. Blocks: Glasoe 3, Velander 2 Conzemius 1, Hensch 1, Wendel 1. Records: Lindsey Wilson 30-0. Jamestown 22-9.

msavaloja@jamestownsun.com / @

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