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Jimmies win five-set battle over Midland in NAIA semifinals

The Jimmies are now 1-3 all-time in the NAIA National Tournament final four.

Anna Holen
University of Jamestown's Anna Holen (2) and Megan Moser (16) celebrate a point scored against Midland University during the semifinals of the NAIA Women's Volleyball Championship held at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa, on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022.
Michael Savaloja / For The Jamestown Sun.
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SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The University of Jamestown has made it to the final four of the NAIA National Tournament for the fourth consecutive season and has finally exercised their demons in a five-set win over Midland University (26-24, 15-25, 25-10, 18-25, 15-12) on Monday, Dec. 5, at the Tyson Events Center.

"I think there's a lot of relief there because as much as we don't want to focus on it, there's the 'hey, what do we need to do differently? Are we doing something wrong? ' That's just natural, even though it's illogical and irrational to think like that," Jimmies head coach Jon Hegerle said. "So, just to get to a point that we've never been before and to play for a national championship, I mean it just can't get better than that."

The first set lived up to the hype that is indicative of a final-four match between the No. 2-ranked team in the country and the No. 3-ranked team in the country, who also happen to be conference rivals. The first set saw 13 ties and 13 lead changes. The longest run was by the No. 3-ranked Warriors (28-6) as they went on a 5-1 run to turn a 16-15 deficit into a 19-17 lead. The No. 2-ranked Jimmies called a timeout down 24-23 before a 3-0 run gave them a 26-24 first-set win.

The second set was dominated by the Warriors as the Jimmies (36-2) lost a set by double digits for the first time since Sept. 21, as they lost the set 25-15. It also put an end to a 16-set winning streak for the Jimmies dating back to Nov. 12. The Warriors sprinted out to a 10-4 lead, and the closest the Jimmies got from there was four points at 10-6. The Jimmies’ Kalli Hegerle had an error to push the Warriors' lead out to 11-6, starting a 5-0 Warriors run to make it 16-6.

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The Jimmies have now given up six goals in three consecutive games.

The third set was completely the opposite as the Jimmies were the ones dominating as they won 25-10. The Jimmies stretched the lead out to 13-4, drawing a Warriors timeout. Out of the timeout, the Warriors’ Addiysn Mosier had an error to make it 14-4. In the entire third set, the Warriors had three kills and 12 errors.

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The fourth set saw the Warriors try to extend the match to a fifth set and they did just that. The Warriors and the Jimmies bounced back and forth as the set went into the media timeout with the Warriors up 15-13. Out of the stoppage, the Warriors went on a 3-1 run to take an 18-14 lead, drawing a Jimmies timeout. The Jimmies were able to cut it to 21-18 but the Warriors were able to put the set away from there at 25-18.

The fifth set was a battle as the Jimmies trailed 10-8, before fighting back to take a 12-11 lead when Anna Holen smashed a kill in between two Warriors, drawing a Warriors timeout. The Warriors promptly tied it up at 12, but the Holen sisters would not be denied as Ellie and Anna combined for the kill to make it 13-12. Anna Holen and Darienne Johnson got a block at the net to secure the Jimmies' spot in the championship match.

"We could've thrown the towel in a number of times, Max, because of the amount of pressure they were putting us," Hegerle said. "We were exhausted and the emotions, physically. It's crazy because during one of those timeouts, the song, Don't Stop Believing, was on and I said 'hey what song is this?' and Ellie Holen said, 'Don't stop believing' and so they all started laughing. Just trying to keep it light and find that reservoir of energy and motivation at that point."

The Jimmies are back in action at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, when they take on Corban University.

MU 2, UJ 3

MU: 24 25 10 25 12–2
UJ: 26 15 25 18 15–3

Kills leaders:

MU: Abbey Ringler 15, Addisyn Mosier 13, Jessie Moss 10

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UJ: Kalli Hegerle 15, Anna Holen 14, Lexi Olson 12

Assists leaders:

MU: Hope Leimbach 47, Delanie Vallinch 3, Saige Craven 1, Taliyah Flores 1, Mosier 1

UJ: Hegerle 26, Paige Oswald 25, Ellie Holen 4

Aces leaders:

MU: Jessie Moss 2, Lilly Rowe 1, Kailyn Scott 1

UJ: Hegerle 2, E. Holen 1, Averi Beyer 1, Megan Moser 1

Hello,
My name is Max O'Neill. I am a Sports Reporter at The Jamestown Sun. I am a native New Yorker, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a degree in Television-Radio.
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