Jimmies cruise to 15-0 with sweep of Tigers

UJ WVB vs. DW Jackie Meiklejohn.jpg
University of Jamestown setter Jackie Meiklejohn (13) has attacking options in Corina Huff (10) and Kalli Hegerle against Dakota Wesleyan University at Harold Newman Arena on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

University of Jamestown setters Jackie Meiklejohn and Megan Gaffaney can find an assist just about anywhere on the volleyball court this season.

But does attempting to keep multiple weapons sharp every night make things easier or more difficult on a setter?

The Jimmies -- arguably the best women's college volleyball team currently in the NAIA -- pushed its unbeaten streak to 15-0 Tuesday night at Harold Newman Arena, sweeping visiting Dakota Wesleyan University 3-0 behind a combined 44 kills from hitters Kalli Hegerle, Corina Huff, Anna Holen, Taylor Sabinash, Nicole Schmitz and Jayla Ritter.

"It makes it really easy," said Meiklejohn, who combined with Gaffaney to produce 40 assists over the three sets. "If Anna's on tonight, of course, I'm gonna feed her more. If Kalli's on tonight I'm gonna feed her, and everybody has the ability to do good things with the ball.

"I just have utter confidence in all of them."


The Jimmies brought the block against the Tigers, en route to 12 total stuffs led by middles Jayla Ritter (3.5 blocks) and Corina Huff (3). The Jimmies cruised 25-12, 25-20, 25-22.

Dakota Wesleyan played a little sharper in a 3-1 loss to the streaking Jimmies on Oct. 9 in Mitchell, South Dakota, but possibly chalk that up to the friendly confines of Newman Arena.

The Tigers' freshman middle blocker Ady Dwight, who ranks among the top five in the Great Plains Athletic Conference in kills and kills per set, was limited to seven kills Tuesday versus 14 spikes against the Jimmies a month ago.

The Jimmies cleared .300 attacking (.309) and were largely unfazed by the Tigers at the service line, allowing a single service ace. McKenzie Buisker, DWU's second 6-foot freshman middle blocker, led the visitors with eight kills.

"I thought we managed the game a lot better; much more focused," said UJ head coach Jon Hegerle on meeting No. 2 against the Tigers. "We had a lot more blocks and that was one of our goals to block better against them, especially those middles.

"We were in system a lot."

UJ WVB vs. DW Megan Gaffaney.jpg
University of Jamestown junior setter Megan Gaffaney (8) sets the ball as teammates Jayla Ritter (5) and Taylor Sabinash prepare to attack against the Tigers at Harold Newman Arena on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Michael Savaloja / The Sun


Junior Hannah Schiele, one of UJ's rocks at defensive specialist, had a lot on her mind during the match. Her younger sister, Rachel, underwent an emergency appendectomy over the weekend and was still in the hospital Tuesday night.

The younger Schiele is expected to make a full recovery, but the Jamestown High School senior libero was forced to listen to the Blue Jays fall 3-0 at Mandan Tuesday night from a hospital bed.

"I was definitely thinking about Rach," Schiele said. "It was tough because you want to be in the game and Rachel is my pride and joy, but once you get in the rhythm everything else disappears."

Schiele finished with nine digs, just behind Holen and Sydney Ellingson each with 11.

The Jimmies have now won 13 straight matches against the Tigers dating back to 2005 and appear to be handling 15-0 in stride. The Jimmies are 12-0 in GPAC play.

"A lot of it is playing with an edge," Hegerle said. "Especially last week, I didn't think we played with an edge at times and so know it's about, 'Let's play with an edge and stay focused and dialed in.'

"We're gonna need that in the next week and a half."

The Jimmies have four more matches remaining to the fall portion of the season, including two against 14-2 Northwestern College. The Jimmies are at Northwestern in Orange City, Iowa, on Thursday.


"I think we just focus on what we can do because we have the ability to beat anybody," Meiklejohn said. "A lot of our focus will be on just getting after it and just working hard every point."

The Red Raiders were the regular-season GPAC champs last season at 16-0 and have returned everyone to the court. The Jimmies snapped an eight-match losing streak to Northwestern that dated back to 2012 by defeating the Red Raiders 3-1 in the quarterfinals of last year's NAIA national tournament in Sioux City, Iowa.

"We are always excited to play them," Schiele said. "I think we're gonna just remember how we were at nationals last year and have that fuel our fire, and it's not at home ... but I think we'll bring it like it's home."

UJ WVB vs. DW Hannah Schiele.jpg
University of Jamestown junior defensive specialist Hannah Schiele records a dig against Dakota Wesleyan University at Harold Newman Arena on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

University of Jamestown 3, Briar Cliff University 0

DW 12 20 22

UJ 25 25 25


DW -- Kills: McKenzie Buisker 8, Ady Dwight 7, Jadie DeLange 5, Mariah Gloe 3. Assists: Madeline Else 26. Aces: Allison Jamison. Digs: Hanna Reiff 14, Tya Weideman 8, Gloe 7, Else 6.

UJ -- Kills: Kalli Hegerle 10, Corina Huff 8, Anna Holen 7, Taylor Sabinash 7, Nicole Schmitz 6, Jayla Ritter 6, Jackie Meiklejohn, Megan Gaffany. Assists: Meiklejohn 22, Gaffaney 18, Ellie Holen, Ritter, Sydney Ellingson. Aces: Hannah Schiele 2, Ellingson 2, E. Holen. Digs: A. Holen 11, Ellingson 11, Schiele 9, Meiklejohn 5, Gaffaney 5, Sabinash 4, Schmitz 3, Huff 2, Ritter, Hegerle. Blocks: Ritter 3.5, Huff 3, A. Holen 2, Sabinash 2, Hegerle 1.5.

Records: Jamestown 15-0, 12-0 GPAC. Dakota Wesleyan 12-8, 8-8.

Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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