Hometown: Churchs Ferry, N.D.; College: North Dakota
A recipient of the NDHSCA Award of Merit, Savaloja has been reporting sports for The Sun since 2008.
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Jon Purintun is about as laser-focused as basketball players come. That all started years ago in a small-town gymnasium as a disciple of North Dakota coaching icon Dan Carr at Linton-HMB, and it's continued to his senior season for the University of Jamestown Jimmies. Purintun has helped UJ to 55 wins over the past three winters, but it was 2013 when the Jimmies last qualified for the NAIA Division II men's basketball national tournament. Purintun has one final crack at it. The Jimmies open the season Saturday, Oct. 20, hosting Manitoba's Brandon University at 7 p.m.
Jenna Doyle blocked 102 shots last season for University of Jamestown women's basketball, second most of any player in the NAIA—Division I or Division II. Thad Sankey, new head coach of the Jimmies, said it's possible Doyle matched that number while training the past six weeks against her UJ teammates. The Jimmies open the season Monday, Oct. 22, hosting Dickinson State University at Harold Newman Arena.
Medina-Pingree-Buchanan shooting guard Amanda Allen will continue her career on the hardcourt with University of Jamestown women's basketball. Jimmie women's head coach Thad Sankey announced Allen, who's a senior at Pingree-Buchanan High School, had signed with the Jimmies on Tuesday, Oct. 16. The 5-foot-8 sharpshooter helped lead the M-P-B Thunder to the Class B girls state basketball tournament last March as champions of Region 3.
Watford City has begun to feel comfortable on the Class A volleyball court, which was evident Saturday afternoon at Jerry Meyer Arena. Jamestown High School atoned for Thursday's loss at conference leader Bismarck Century but was unable to sleep against the scrappy and energetic Wolves. The Blue Jays won by set scores of 25-16, 25-17, 25-23, as Watford City's confidence expanded throughout.
If anyone blinked at the start of Friday's ACHA Division I hockey clash at John L. Wilson Arena, they missed Dylan Haney score the fastest first-period goal in University of Jamestown history. Haney turned over University of Illinois in the Jimmie zone and beat Fighting Illini goalie Jake Barnhart on the breakaway 17 seconds into the contest. Jamestown beat third-ranked Illinois 3-2, and the two teams will face each other for Round 2 tonight at 7 p.m.
University of Jamestown men's soccer was unable to break through with a goal Thursday at Jimmie Turf Field, even after playing a much better second half against Briar Cliff University. First-half goals by the visitor's Rodrigo Oliveira and Prichard Sibanda was the difference in a 2-0 Chargers' victory over the Jimmies. Briar Cliff outshot the Jimmies 10-1 and booted all five of its corner kicks over the opening 45 minutes.
There are wins, and then there are massive wins. Thursday's wintry women's soccer victory was the latter for University of Jamestown. A talented Jimmie team, which had fallen out of the NAIA's top 25 voting on Oct. 9, lived up to its previous 25th-place ranking hosting Briar Cliff University at Jimmie Turf Field.
The Dordt College Defenders have played in back-to-back NAIA women's volleyball national tournament championship matches, and it was easy to see as to why Tuesday night at Harold Newman Arena. Dordt, along with its first team All-Americans Ema Altena on the outside and Jamie De Jager directing the offense from the setter position, frustrated University of Jamestown for three sets. The eighth-ranked Defenders used relentless pressure and a seemingly telepathic offensive at times to cruise 25-18, 25-22, 25-22 over the Jimmies.
Jamestown High School's Isaac Mimong and Ryder Pringle won't be shouldering too much pressure heading into this weekend's individual state tennis tournament. Both will be making their first appearance in the state singles championship. Mimong, the West Region's fifth-seeded player, and Pringle, the West's eighth seed, begin the two-day tournament Friday at Choice Health & Fitness in Grand Forks.
University of Jamestown head football coach Josh Kittell said earlier this week the Jimmies needed to start creating their own luck to finish off games in the fourth quarter. The Jimmies delivered Saturday, Oct. 6, at Rollie Greeno Field against Briar Cliff University. Senior linebacker Caleb Ellingson came up with the football on a mishandled 26-yard field goal attempt by the Chargers in the final 68 seconds, and the Jimmies collected their breath in a thrilling 34-32 homecoming victory.