Jimmies frustrate Mustangs in GPAC quarterfinal
Hannah Schiele certainly isn't afraid of the Harold Newman Arena floor.
That's where the sophomore defensive specialist went on numerous occasions Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Great Plains Athletic Conference women's volleyball tournament. Schiele led the Jimmies with 20 digs and two service aces, as the Jimmies frustrated Morningside College for three sets and are moving on to the conference semifinals.
Jamestown (27-4) rolled 25-21, 25-14, 25-20 and will host Concordia University (23-5) next Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs defeated Doane University 3-1 in Seward, Nebraska, on Saturday to earn a trip north.
"We're kinda known for our defense," Schiele said. "We just wanted to help the team out by getting the ball up to the setter.
"No matter where it's at, just up."
Passing and serving are where the Jimmies, who tied a single-season program record Saturday with a 27th match victory, prefer to hang their hat. Jamestown recorded 31 passes that received a perfect 3.0 rating, meaning the setter had all three hitters as options after receiving the pass. Schiele sent 11 perfect passes to the setter (2.41 average), while Anna Holen scored 13 on 21 attempts.
Jamestown also served at a clip of nearly 95% against the Mustangs, who ended by sending match-point into the net from the service line.
"The pressure we put on another team with our serving, with our passing, with our defense, it just makes it tough," said UJ coach Jon Hegerle. "We're going to do some game strategy stuff against the other team because we need to. But when it comes down to it, we need to make them beat us, and so we're just gonna do what we do really well and make them have to make adjustments.
"When we get into that mode, then I like our chances."
Trailing 19-18 in the opening set, the Jimmies kept sending the ball back to Morningside resulting in the Mustangs committing their only two attacking errors of the frame down the stretch. The visitors swung .313 in the first but lost by three points.
The high-flying play of Ellie Michaletz at the net helped UJ jump ahead 19-9 in set No. 2. Michaletz led the Jimmies with 10 kills after practicing just twice this week.
The junior outside hitter from Aitkin, Minnesota, has been dealing with both Osgood-Schlatter Disease and a torn meniscus but decided at the beginning of the season to delay surgery. Michaletz said she's had the painful disease, which is characterized by swelling just below the knee cap, since grade school, but none of that -- rather remarkably -- was obvious Saturday.
"My athletic trainer's awesome," Michaletz said of UJ athletic trainer Steph Nunez. "We do a pool workout all the time. I was in the training room three times today already.
"We're doing what we can to get me through the season."
Defensive pressure in the third by the Jimmies sealed the Mustangs' fate. A string of four Morningside errors turned a one-point UJ advantage to 16-11 and the Jimmies never looked back.
Jamestown hit .273 in the match. Isabel Wedell added nine kills, libero Sydney Ellingson turned up 18 digs and setters Miranda Lowman (22) and Jackie Meiklejohn (15) combined for 37 assists.
"Just continuing to, we call it, growing our pile," Michaletz said. "We always talk about we gotta focus on us on our side, and how we play. That's what we did."
The Jimmies have won at least 20 matches in each of Hegerle's 11 seasons as head coach. Jamestown will go for a record 28th victory against Concordia.
"I can't believe we're already there," Hegerle said. "We've played 31 matches and it feels like we just started."
Schiele said Jamestown's trademark defense will be ready. The Jimmies won a fifth set 15-7 to top Concordia 3-2 in Seward on Oct. 31.
Jamestown would host the GPAC championship match next Saturday (Nov. 16) as No. 1-ranked Northwestern College (28-1) was stunned 3-1 by College of Saint Mary (23-13) in the quarterfinals in Orange City, Iowa.
"I'm excited for the matchup because it's homecourt advantage, which is nice," Schiele said. "We've been preparing and I think going off of this win we are confident. We should be able to keep going, hopefully."
Great Plains Athletic Conference Volleyball Tournament
(8) University of Jamestown 3, Morningside College 0
MC 21 14 20
UJ 25 25 25
MC -- Kills: Emma Gerber 8, Caitlin Makovicka 7, Krista Zenk 5, Madison Hartman 4, Callie Alberico 3. Assists: Alberico 27. Aces: Kayla Harris 2, Zenk, Ashley Boer. Digs: Harris 18, Hartman 7.
UJ -- Kills: Ellie Michaletz 10, Isabel Wedell 9, Britta Knudson 8, Corina Ruud 6, Jordan Thomas 5, Taylor Sabinash 4, Miranda Lowman. Assists: Lowman 22, Jackie Meiklejohn 15, Sydney Ellingson, Anna Holen, Hannah Schiele. Aces: Schiele 2, Holen, Lowman. Digs: Schiele 20, Ellingson 18, Lowman 9, Holen 7, Meiklejohn 3, Michaletz 2, Wedell, Knudson, Sabinash. Blocks: Michaeltz 1.5, Ruud 1.5, Wedell.
Records: Jamestown 27-4. Morningside 16-11.
#8 College of Saint Mary 3, at #1 Northwestern 1 (25-21, 25-23, 23-25, 25-22).
#4 Midland 3, #5 Dordt 1 (25-23, 18-25, 25-21, 2513).
#3 Concordia 3, #6 Doane 1 (25-18, 25-16, 20-25, 25-19).
#2 Jamestown 3, #7 Morningside 0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-20).
Semifinals, Nov. 13
College of Saint Mary (23-13) and Midland (19-9), 7 p.m.
Concordia (23-5) vs. Jamestown (27-4), 7 p.m.
Championship, Nov. 16
Semifinal winners at higher seed, 7 p.m.