Jackets stun JC

Jamestown College had its way with Black Hills State in the team's two regular season matches. The third time, however, was a charm for the Yellow Jackets. In stunning fashion before a packed and raucous Hansen Center crowd, Black Hills State sho...

John M. Steiner / The Sun Jamestown College's Katie Zent (1) and Shannon Fee (13) attempt to block a shot at the net during Saturday's DAC title match against Black Hills State at the Hansen Center.

Jamestown College had its way with Black Hills State in the team's two regular season matches.

The third time, however, was a charm for the Yellow Jackets.

In stunning fashion before a packed and raucous Hansen Center crowd, Black Hills State shook off a slow start to reel off three straight wins and beat the Jimmies 18-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-21 in the championship match of the Dakota Athletic Conference tournament Saturday night.

Considering the way the Jimmies dominated the DAC all year, the loss was a particularly bitter one to swallow for the home team, which won the first set handily and appeared on their way.

But the rest of the match belonged to the Yellow Jackets, who used a sturdy block and crisp serving to snap the Jimmies' 17-match win streak, dating back to Sept. 12.


"It's disappointing for the girls, no question. This is not the way we envisioned things happening," JC coach Jon Hegerle said. "We beat them twice during the season, but they got the one that counted.

"In a match like this, the difference is a point here and a point there. They made a few more big plays than we did."

The Jimmies had been nearly perfect for the better part of two months. In their 17-match winning streak, they had lost just one set, although it did come in Rapid City against the Yellow Jackets Oct. 23.

It was also the second straight year that Black Hills State came into the Hansen Center and left with a trip to the NAIA national tournament. Last year they needed five sets. Four got it done this time.

"When you come in here and play a team like that, you have to play extremely well to give yourself a chance, and you need to have belief in yourself that you can do it," Black Hills State coach Jhett Albers said. "I think, going back to last year, gave us the belief that we could do it. But we also understood the challenge in front of us against them. They are a very good team, a top 20 team, to come in here and win is a significant accomplishment."

The opening set was par for the course for the Jimmies. They scored four of the first five points. Ali Edwards had five kills in the set and Katie Zent pounded in the final two points to close out a 25-18 win and the Jimmies were seemingly on their way to remaining unbeaten at home.

But the Yellow Jackets were the quick-starters in the final three sets. They led 6-1 early in the second, 8-4 in the third and 3-1 in the fourth, making the Jimmies play uphill each time.

A big part of it was the wall thrown up by 6-1 middle blockers Kristen and Kayla Engle.


"You do have to give them credit," Hegerle said. "For us, though, we didn't pass as well as we normally do and then we became predictable. We just didn't adjust quickly enough to what they were doing and that got us in trouble."

After falling down big early in the second set (6-1), the Jimmies rallied to level it at 16-all on a kill by Shannon Fee. But a 5-1 run by the Yellow Jackets, capped by a kill from Kristen Engle, squared the match at 1-1.

The Yellow Jackets trailed just once in the third set (1-0), and controlled the fourth as well.

They built a 17-12 lead in the fourth, before the Jimmies got within 19-17 on a kill by Samantha Revering. But again the Yellow Jackets answered with three straight, two coming on a pair of kills from Kylee Lamb.

Becca Price fired in an ace to get the Jimmies to within 24-21, but Black Hills State sealed the upset, appropriately, with a block for their 24th win of the season.

"We felt like we were prepared for the match. Now, coming out and executing it in the heat of the moment, that's a different thing. We weren't able to do it in the first set because of the way they played," Albers said. "But volleyball is a game of momentum. We were able to regroup a little and start to put things together more consistently and we kept building confidence throughout the match, which is what you hope for."

The Jimmies closed the season at 23-8, winning their first conference title outright since 1991 and repeating as league champions for the first time since 1985-86.

"Like we told the girls, this does not define our season and all the great things we did. They did too many good things and played too well for so long to hang it all on this," Hegerle said. "We just wish we could have played better tonight."


Black Hills State 3, Jamestown College 1

Black Hills State 18 25 25 25

Jamestown College 25 22 16 21

Jamestown College statistics

Katie Zent: 10 kills, 1 assist, 1 block.

Krysten Williams: 1 assist, 14 digs.

Allison Church: 9 kills, 1 assist, 1 ace, 3 digs, 1 block.

Ali Edwards: 15 kills, 2 assists, 7 digs, 3 blocks.


Becca Price: 2 aces.

Kayla Fee: 2 kills, 47 assists, 1 ace, 2 digs, 4 blocks.

Shannon Fee: 13 kills, 2 digs.

Jada Meiklejohn: 1 assist, 4 digs.

Samantha Revering: 7 kills, 3 aces, 7 digs, 1 block.

Records: Black Hills State 24-11; Jamestown College 23-8.

Sun sports writer Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at

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