No letdown for Jimmies vs. Lancers
Averi Beyer has been like a sponge this season, soaking in everything related to how a top 10 volleyball team looks and acts on and off the court.
The University of Jamestown freshman was on the court Monday facing Mount Marty College (8-24, 0-15 GPAC) at Harold Newman Arena, along with fellow freshman Meghan Ellingson. The only two varsity freshmen for the eighth-ranked Jimmies aided UJ in a 25-10, 25-14, 25-10 victory over the Lancers.
"I'm really blessed to be a part of this program," said Beyer, a first-team all-state selection last fall for Fargo Davies High School. "They're all really good influences in the way they bring a high energy every day, and really just care for each other and the relationships we have between each other."
One of those influences is sophomore outside hitter/defensive specialists Anna Holen. Taking on an expanded role Monday to give junior outside hitter Ellie Michaletz some rest, Holen was a wrecking ball, leading the team with 12 kills and 13 digs.
The former Class B outstanding senior athlete of the year from LaMoure High School was downing balls from all over the court. Back row, front row -- it didn't matter.
"I like swinging," Holen laughed. "Either/or, front or back. Coming off a pretty big weekend, we wanted to just get right at it and kinda overcome the fatigue from two five-set matches."
The Jimmies legitimized a fantastic Great Plains Athletic Conference regular season with victories at No. 17 Concordia and No. 24 Midland last Thursday and Friday in Nebraska. Both matches went five sets, but the Jimmies were able to dig deep.
There was no letdown against a Lancers' side the Jimmies were supposed to sweep. UJ only committed 15 unforced errors and put up a scorching attacking percentage of .442 on 77 attempts, which included a .577 performance in set No. 3.
Seniors Jordan Thomas and Britta Knudson each posted seven kills, and freshman Ellingson got into the stat sheet with a pair of kills on three attempts. The Jimmies served at a clip of 92% and received a combined 21 assists from sophomore setters Jackie Meiklejohn (11) and Megan Gaffaney (10).
"One of the things we've been trying to do is being intentional with what we do," said UJ coach Jon Hegerle. "I really thought we came out, played sharp and just never gave them any breathing room.
"It was good to get our whole bench in ... those kids that came in are going to be big in our future. There was no letdown when they came in."
The Jimmies (25-4, 13-2 GPAC) will wrap up the regular season hosting the College of Saint Mary (22-12, 7-8) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Locked in as the No. 2 seed for the GPAC tournament, Jamestown will host either Doane (7-8 GPAC), Morningside (7-8) or College of Saint Mary (7-8) in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
Doane is at Briar Cliff on Wednesday, while Morningside is at Dakota Wesleyan.
"We're just looking to play our best volleyball by tournament time and I think we're doing that," Holen said.
Beyer added: "We're super excited and we're ready to keep rolling."
(8) University of Jamestown 3, Mount Marty College 1
MM 10 14 10
UJ 25 25 25
MM -- Kills: Elizabeth Watchorn 6, Mikaela Ahrendt 5, Gayy Ruth 4. Assists: Amber Miller 14. Aces: Miller 2, Digs: Molly Brinkman 11, Watchorn 7, Ruth 6.
UJ -- Kills: Anna Holen 12, Jordan Thomas 7, Britta Knudson 7, Taylor Sabinash 5, Corina Ruud 3, Isabel Wedell 2, Meghan Ellingson 2. Assists: Jackie Meiklejohn 11, Megan Gaffaney 10, Miranda Lowman 5, Sydney Ellingson 5, Hannah Schiele 3, Ruud. Aces: Meiklejohn 2, Holen, Schiele, Gaffaney. Digs: Holen 13, Ellingson 7, Schiele 4, Meiklejohn 4, Thomas 3, Wedell 3, Gaffaney 2, Ruud 2, Lowman 2. Blocks: Ruud 3.5, Sabinash 2, Knudson 2, Holen 1.5, Thomas 1, M. Ellingson .5, Wedell .5.
Records: Jamestown 25-4, 13-2 GPAC. Mount Marty 8-24, 0-15.