High Energy: UJ splits at Newman Arena

UJ volleyball gaffaney 92920.jpg
University of Jamestown's Megan Gaffaney gets a dig as Jayla Ritter looks on during play at the Newman. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Things were working for the University of Jamestown women's volleyball team.

In the front and the back.

The Jimmies Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) rival Briar Cliff University (25-6, 25-21, 25-14) to push the team's win streak to 5-0. Briar Cliff dropped to 4-7 and 0-6 in the GPAC standings.

"We were just in a really good flow," UJ head coach Jon Hegerle said. "We controlled the ball really well, we were able to run our offense a lot so that was really nice."

The Jimmies will take the court again on Tuesday as the team travels to Presentation College. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.


It didn't take Briar Cliff very long to figure out who was in control in the Jimmies' house.

A slew of hard-hitting attackers some old and some new made it and a scrappy and steady defense made it difficult for the Chargers to defend against. The Jimmies took a commanding 14-4 lead in the first set due in part to the 8-0 run headed up by veteran hitter Corina Huff.

Huff, a 6-foot-1 middle for the Jimmies tallied nine kills - most of which fell within the ten-foot line -by the end of the second set. The senior posted a 0.563 kill percentage and ended the match with a team-high of 10.

"Today she was really loose and ready to play, "Hegerle said of Huff. "That's what she is capable of and that's what we want to see almost every night.

"Her and Nicole Schmitz were pretty much unstoppable today."

Schmitz, the 2019 Class B senior volleyball athlete of the year, out of Oakes North Dakota had her season-high with eight kills off of 15 total attack attempts.

"I think because we established Corina in the middle the block wasn't getting out very well against Nicole so that really helped her. That just takes a lot of pressure off a freshman ... she's just free to play and boy can she play."

UJ didn't let up despite the sizeable lead.


The home team delivered a 10-0 run to bring the Jimmies within two points of a first set victory. While Huff was busy smashing the ball in the middle and Schmitz on the outside, junior transfer Kalli Hegerle was put to work on the right side. Hegerle ended her fifth game as a Jimmie with seven attacks at the net.

"She just looks so composed and so in control of what is going on," Hegerle said of the North Dakota State University (NDSU) transfer. "She can do so many different things. Her blocking is great, she can attack great, she can set great - so she's been a great addition."

While the fast-paced offense was gelling it was not just the front three who racked up the 19-point first set win.

"I feel like our confidence comes from our back row because they are so strong," Huff said.

It was a confidence that was not shaken even when the Chargers' tied the second at 20 points apiece.

A few missed attacks and some smartly placed balls from the Chargers' cut the Jimmies' early 7-0 lead to three points. Grace Hanno racked up eight kills against UJ libero Sydney Ellingson, defensive specialist Hannah Schiele and outside Anna Holen. Chloe Johnson also found some gaps drilling six balls on the outside.

Still, while the Chargers were knocking on the door of a second set victory, the Jimmies stayed composed. When Briar Cliff was swinging and chuting balls to deep corners in the third, the six on the court the team took a cue from their coach - who remained sitting - calm and collected.

"We just wanted to play at the level we knew that we could play so it was awesome to stay at that higher level," Huff said.


The Jimmies fell in an exhibition match to the University of Northwestern-St. Paul later on Saturday. The Eagles swept the Jimmies 25-23, 27-25, 25-16.

University of Jamestown 3, Briar Cliff 0

BC 6 21 14

UJ 25 25 25

BC -- Kills: Hanno 8, Johnson 6, Toria Andre 4, Abbie Ericson 4. Assists: Maureen Imrie 9, Madilyn Wagaman 8. Digs: Hanno 13, Imrie 8, Tannah Health 8. Aces: Imrie 1.

UJ -- Kills: Huff 10, Schmitz 8, Hegerle 7, A. Holen 7, Taylor Sabinash 7, Jayla Ritter 6. Assists: Jackie Mieklejohn 21, Megan Gaffaney 16. Digs: A. Holen 19, Schiele 15, Ellingson 11, Gaffaney 9, Meiklejohn 5, Ellie Holen 3, Hegerle 2, Schmitz 1. Aces: E. Holen 3, Ellingson 2, Meiklejohn 2, Gaffaney 1.

Records: UJ 5-0, BC 4-7

University of Northwestern-St. Paul 3, UJ 0


NSP 25 27 25

UJ 23 25 16

NSP -- Kills: Kendra Hardy 14, Kailey Schwitters 8, Gabby Straub 7, Caitlyn Pruis 7. Assists: Sydney Schwitters 29. Digs: Marylyn Schroyer 16, Straub 9, S. Schwitters 8. Aces: Schroyer 1.

UJ -- Kills: Abby Seifert 7, Emily Lindquiest 4, Darienne Johnson 4. Taylor Sabinash 4, Logan Sherman 4, Kadyn Mehring 3. Assists: Jackie Meiklejon 11. Digs: Ellie Holen 15, Schiele 9, Avery Beyer 7. Aces: Schiele 2.

Records: UJ 5-1, NSP 5-3.

Gerber is a sports writer for the Jamestown Sun.
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