Jimmies cruise to GPAC quarterfinal win Saturday
The University of Jamestown women's volleyball team defeated Morningside College 3-0 in the opening round of the GPAC volleyball tournament.
Kalli Hegerle smashed into the scorers' table even harder than she hit the ball Saturday afternoon.
The Jimmies were up 4-0 in the second set of the opening round of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) volleyball tournament when a ball made a wrong bounce and headed out of bounds. The 6-foot junior right-side hitter took off running and collided with the table on the sidelines.
"Come on," Hegerle yelled to her teammates as she made contact and passed the ball back in play.
The Jimmies came with a vengeance.
The UJ women's volleyball team defeated eighth-seeded Morningside College in straight sets at Newman Arena. The Jimmies will play host to Midland University in a semifinal contest Wednesday at 7 p.m.
"It was so fun," Hegerle said of the win. "The GPAC is just such great competition and they came out strong tonight. It was just fun to be out there and competing at a really high level again."
Hegerle was one of six Jimmies who tallied five or more kills. Hegerle nailed down seven on the right side, switching it up between cross-court cuts and tips and roll shots behind the blocks. As a team, the Jimmies hit .324 while the Mustangs hir .089.
The Jimmies' stats might have been higher but Morningside's determination and fight weren't stats easily calculated
Morningside got the Jimmies out of system early, as the No. 1 team in the country struggled to cover the back half of the court. Passes off the net meant some missed swings. Morningside built off the momentum and went on a 5-0 run to make it 12-7.
"I think the first set we started out a little bit slower and then we started to pick it up," Hegerle said. "I think the whole game we just carried off the first set. The biggest thing is just to go out there and play like we know how to play and the rest will take care of itself."
A tough dig by Jimmie libero Sydney Ellingson put an end to Morningside's streak and the Jimmies nailed down nine more to make it 17-13. The Mustangs were close to recovering, shooting a couple deep to make it 22-20, but UJ proved too tough.
Freshman service specialist Ellie Holen's ace ended it 25-20.
"I think 90 percent of what happens is what happens on our side of the net," UJ head coach Jon Hegerle said. "We really focused on what we were doing. Really limiting and managing our errors while in the same token, we just competed really hard."
UJ cleaned up the hitting and serving errors and, with consistent swings and dynamic play at the net, the home team soon found themselves up 17-12. The Jimmies' lead continued to grow and the team didn't let the game get closer than eight points the rest of the way to 25.
Coach Hegerle said the Jimmies have adjusted their lineup slightly to bring a little more balance offensively and have been working on attacking the ball and what to do to put the pressure on in a game-type setting.
"We are running more stuff which we haven't done for a while," coach Hegerle said. "It was nice to see, we feel like it has made a big difference."
Hard hitting and the steady back row sent the Mustangs scrambling for most of the third set, but Morningside never went away. The Jimmies were ahead 13 points when the Mustangs hit a hot streak serving to make a 4-0 run late in the third.
"They did a good job of understanding our defense and knowing where some holes were and hitting those in transition at times," Hegerle said. "We didn't have very good passes and that really limits what we can do and they took advantage of that."
The Mustangs managed to hold off the Jimmie victory for five points but the run ended when Payton Shoquist's floater sailed out of bounds to make it 25-16 Jimmies.
"Our first goal is to win the GPAC tournament," Hegerle said. "We're just going to go one game at a time and take it day by day."
Jamestown 3, Morningside 0
MOR 20 15 16
UJ 25 25 25
MOR -- Kills: Krista Zenk 10, Meredith Hoffman 7, Kendall Evans 4, Ryley Rolls 4, Amara Austin 3, Sabrina Creason 2. Assists: Creason 24. Digs: Shoquist 16, Evans 9, Zenk 7, Rolls 6, Creason 5, Marisa Beintema 3, Lindi Pojar 3, Austin 2. Aces: Shoquist 2, Evans 2. Blocks: Hoffman 1, Zenk 1.
UJ -- Kills: Anna Holen 10, Hegerle 7, Jayla Ritter 7, Corina Huff 7, Taylor Sabinash 6, Kadyn Mehring 5, Nicole Schmitz 1. Assists: Jackie Meiklejohn 24, Megan Gaffaney 13. Digs: Sydney Ellingson 19, A. Holen 12, Meiklejohn 11, Hannah Schiele 11, Gaffaney 3, Hegerle 3, Mehring 1, E. Holen 1. Aces: E. Holen 3, Meiklejohn 1. Blocks: Ritter 4, A. Holen 2, Sabinash 2, Hegerle 1, Huff 1.
Great Plains Athletic Conference
Women's Volleyball Tournament
(Tournament seeding/records in parentheses)
(1) Jamestown 3, (8) Morningside 0
(3) Concordia 3, (6) Dakota Wesleyan 0
(2) Northwestern 3, (7) Hastings 0
(5) Midland 3, (4) Dordt 1
(5) Midland vs. (1) Jamestown at higher seed.
(3) Concordia vs. (2) Northwestern at higher seed.
Championship: Semifinal Winners, at higher seed.