Jimmies crowned national champs with five-set win over Corban
The Jimmies had 14 blocks in the win.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The 2022 University of Jamestown women’s volleyball team will live on in history forever. A comeback from down two sets to one in the national title match has guaranteed that.
The Jimmies secured the school’s first-ever national championship with a five-set win over Corban University (25-21, 21-25, 25-27, 25-22, 15-13) on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the Tyson Events Center.
"Number one, praise God," Jimmies head coach Jon Hegerle said. "What a journey he's led us on. I'm just so grateful. Number two, I don't know how we beat that team."
Heading into the 2022 season, the No. 2 Jimmies (37-2) were hoping to play well with a younger roster than previous seasons. The team opened the season with a loss to then No. 12-ranked Eastern Oregon in five sets before rattling off 19 wins in a row.
Hegerle said he would've had a hard time imagining the season ending like this after the loss to the Mountaineers.
"I would've said ... you obviously don't know much about volleyball," Hegerle said with a chuckle. "I would've said we are hoping to break into the top 5 of our conference. That was our goal."
A loss to Midland followed before the Jimmies got hot once again and entered the national championship game on a 17-match winning streak.
The first set saw the Jimmies go on big runs and the Warriors (33-5) fighting back to cut into the deficit before the Jimmies pulled away again. The Jimmies opened the set up 17-12 before the Warriors cut it to 22-20. The Jimmies responded with a run to win the set 25-21. In the first set, the Jimmies only had 14 kills and 2 errors.
The second set was a must-win for the Warriors and it showed as they were aggressive from the start. After the Warriors trailed 10-9, they went on a big run to take a 16-12 lead. Despite the Jimmies attempting to cut into the lead, getting it as close as 22-21 with an 8-2 run, the Warriors were able to tie the match with a 25-21 second-set win.
The third set appeared to be a runaway win for the Warriors as they went up 8-3 early, but the Jimmies had other ideas, fighting all the way back to tie the set at 10-10, but the Warriors went on an 8-2 run to take an 18-12 lead, drawing a Jimmies timeout. Out of the stoppage, the Jimmies fought all the way back to take a 25-24 lead but they could not finish the monumental comeback, giving up a 3-0 run to lose the third set 27-25 to go down two sets to one.
"It was easy to empty the tank on this last game because we knew it was our last," Anna Holen said. "The seniors don't have to touch a volleyball for as long as we want. So, it was easy to give it our all knowing it was done after tonight. We also talked about my mom and her journey and we said, 'If my mom can come back so can we.' So, we used her as motivation for sure."
The Jimmies headed into the fourth set with their season on the line, and they showed up. The Jimmies erased a 10-7 deficit to take a 16-15 lead. After the Warriors fought back to tie the set 22-22, the Jimmies extended their season with a 3-0 run to win the set 25-22. In the fourth set, the Warriors had 10 kills and nine errors.
The fifth set saw the Jimmies get out to a 10-7 lead, drawing a Warriors timeout. Out of the timeout, the Jimmies were able to stretch the lead to 13-9 before the Warriors fought back to make it 13-12. The Jimmies turned to Holen to get the kill to make it 14-12 before a Warriors error sent confetti flying from the ceiling and the Jimmies sprinting onto the floor with delirious excitement.
UJ 3, CU 2
UJ: 25 21 25 25 15–3
CU: 21 25 27 22 12–2
UJ: Anna Holen 23, Aleah Zieske 13, Kalli Hegerle 12
CU: Rylee Troutman 21, Avari Ridgway 16, Makayla Roginski 15
UJ: Kalli Hegerle 32, Paige Oswald 22, Tenley Buddenhagen 7
CU: Jaydn Mullen 33, Abby Guindy 25, Kealani Ontai 4
UJ: Megan Moser 1
CU: Troutman 4, Mullen 2, Ridgway 1, Guindy 1