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Close one: Blue Jays survive WDA quarterfinal thriller

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Jamestown's Grace Hegerle goes down low for a dig Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, during the WDA volleyball tournament at Jerry Meyer Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Big numbers and big plays.

After two hours and 45 minutes on Thursday at Jamestown's Jerry Meyer Arena, the Blue Jay volleyball team is headed to the West Region tournament semifinals.

Jamestown defeated sixth-seeded Dickinson (23-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-16, 15-4) and will face Bismarck in tomorrow’s semifinals at 7 p.m. The Demons topped Bismarck Legacy 3-1 in Thursday’s final quarterfinal.

Sets two, four and five went to the Jays and it was a fight for every point.

"I am not surprised," Jamestown coach Sara Hegerle said of the five-set battle. "I have said from day 1 that Dickinson is going to do something. They have a tremendous team."

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Jamestown's Ella Roaldson (19) delivers a kill past Taylor Nelson of Dickinson Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, during the WDA volleyball tournament at Jerry Meyer Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

The Midgets' roster boasts eight hitters at 5-foot-8 or taller, and Dickinson used height to its advantage against the Jays' six.

Senior outside Peyton Selle, standing at 5-10, smashed 15 kills for the Midgets, while Audrey Rodakowski swung for seven more and led Dickinson with five blocks.

The Jays out swung the Midgets to go on an early 3-0 scoring run and extended the lead to 9-5. Big swings from Ella Roaldson and Grace Hegerle helped to defend the Jays' home court. Hegerle ended the night with 27 kills, while Roaldson put 20 on the Midgets' side of the court.

"I am happy with how they performed -- we had some good serves and once we started passing better it was a lot easier being on offense," Hegerle said.

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Dickinson's Peyton Selle drives the ball into the double block of Jamestown's Ella Roaldson (19) and Jessica Walter Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, during the WDA volleyball tournament at Jerry Meyer Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

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Jamestown junior defensive specialist Addi Douty made it as easy as she could for setter Kameron Selvig. Douty shot up 10 digs to Selvig to feed to the front three. Grace Hegerle and senior DS Jessie Paulson popped up 30 more, while Rachel Schiele contributed another 30. Douty said motivation to help the team spurred her on to reach the ball.

"I just want to get the ball up to Kameron so we can have a good set and we can pound the ball back at them," Douty said.

Jessica Walter, a senior right side for the Jays, was a consistent staple on offense. In the fifth, Walter read the Dickinson defense and helped make it 13-10. The right side listened to the three anchors in the back row to know just how to put it away against the looming blocks from Dickinson's side of the net. With eight kills in the five-set thriller, Walter now sits at 70 kills on the year.

"I hear the passers talking," Walter said. "I kind of direct my hand that way and just find what's open."

Dickinson may have thrown a few things at the Jays in the opening round, but Hegerle and the rest of her squad are ready for more beginning tomorrow.

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Jamestown's Jessie Paulson looks on as Ella Roaldson (19) delivers the ball to Audrey Rodakowski (7) and Paige Balliet of Dickinson Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, during the WDA volleyball tournament at Jerry Meyer Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

"We've had every kind of match you can imagine this year and anything is possible at the West Region," Hegerle said.

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West Region Volleyball Tournament

At Jerry Meyer Arena

Nov. 14 quarterfinals

Jamestown 3, Dickinson 2

DHS 25 21 25 16 13

JHS 23 25 23 25 15

Statistical leaders

DHS -- Kills: Peyton Selle 15, Taylor Nelson 12, Audrey Rodakowski 7, Madison Lindley. Assists: Paige Balliet 38. Digs: Kendryn Bullinger 38, Selle 28, Balliet 15. Aces: Selle 2. Blocks: Rodakowski 5, Nelson 3.

JHS -- Kills: Hegerle 27, Anderson 11, Roaldson 20, Walter 8. Assists: Selvig 59. Digs: Schiele 30, Paulson 12, Douty 10, Hegerle 18. Aces: Alex Nihill 2. Blocks: Roaldson 4.

Bismarck 3, Legacy 1

BHS 25 17 25 25

LEG 20 25 20 18

Statistical leaders

BHS -- Stats not available.

LEG -- Kills: Ashton Sagaser 14. Assists: Cam Beasley 29. Digs: Macee Van Vleet 24. Aces: Sagaser 1. Blocks: Beasley 3, Sierra Knoll 3.

West Region Tournament
Nov. 14
(1) Bismarck Century 3, (8) Minot 0
(4) Mandan 3, (5) Bismarck St. Mary’s 2.
(2) Jamestown 3, (7) Dickinson 2.
(3) Bismarck 3, Bismarck Legacy 1.
Nov. 15
Loser-out: Minot (9-18) vs. St. Mary’s (15-11), 1 p.m.
Loser-out: Dickinson (17-17) vs. Legacy (13-14), 3 p.m.
Semifinals: Century (24-2) vs. Mandan (19-7), 5 p.m.
Semifinals: Jamestown (21-5) vs. Bismarck (20-6), 7 p.m.
Nov. 16
State qualifiers, 12 noon, 2 p.m.
Championship, 4 p.m.

Gerber is a sports writer for the Jamestown Sun.
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