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Five set thriller sends Blue Jays back to state semifinals

Jamestown took on Fargo South in the opening round of the Class A State Volleyball Tournament on Nov. 17.

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Jamestown's Benet Fronk and Makenna Nold ready for the second set against Fargo South during the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class A state volleyball tournament at the Bismarck Events Center on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum
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BISMARCK — Everyone hates when a volleyball match goes to five sets — except for the Jamestown High School volleyball team.

At least that's what it seems like.

Thursday night, the Blue Jays were facing off against Fargo South in the 2022 Class A State Volleyball Tournament quarterfinals when Bruins dropped a final point to tie things up at two sets apiece.

That's when South should have gotten scared.

"The five-setters that we've been playing in all year that have been trying parents and all the people crazy prepared us for (tonight)," JHS head coach Sara Hegerle said in a postgame interview with KQDJ radio. "We've been here — we were down three points but we knew we were going to take it."

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The Jays took the quarterfinal tilt 3-2 to advance to the state semifinals. Jamestown will match up against West Fargo Sheyenne Friday night at 7 p.m. at the Bismarck Events Center.

A kill that kissed the back line from Blue Jay middle Haylie Hakanson tied things up at two points apiece. A nice hustle play from Rylee Joseph kept the Jays in the rally and gave the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead.

South answered with four straight points, to make it a 6-3 ball game forcing Hegerle to call her first timeout of the set.

The Blue Jays got the point out of the timeout with a Bernadette Newman kill that smacked off the hands of a Fargo South blocker. The Jays crept back within one with a missile from Makenna Nold that gave the junior her 14th kill of the night.

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Hegerle said that in the last set, she and the team gave sophomore setter, Edie Hegerle permission to get the first touch on a tipped ball — thereby eliminating potential communication errors in the front row. The more they played, the more relaxed they got which is, Hegerle said, when the Blue Jays play their best volleyball.

Fargo South turned to its senior group of attackers to keep pressure on the Jays and while the Bruins did retake an 8-5 lead, it was shortlived.

The Jays ended the fifth with a 10-0 run and for nine of those points, Aspyn Peterson was serving. The Jays had 13 aces from the back line.

"I am just proud of them," Hegerle said. "I am proud of the fight, proud of the defensive effort — I thought it was a well-balanced effort on our whole team."

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Nold's double-double, 16 kills, 30 assists, led the charge for the Jays while Newman ended her night with eight kills. Newman, the Jays' leading attacker through the regular season, didn't have a kill until set No. 3 but sophomore Leah Trumbauer and senior Benet Fronk helped to fill in on the right side and outside.

"We have other players who can do a good job and can take the pressure off of Birdie," Hegerle said. "When (other teams) are paying attention to Leah then Birdie can go up and swing."

Haylie Hakanson tacked on another eight kills for her team. It was a block from Hakanson and Nold that ended the match 15-8. The Jays are now 5-1 in five-set matches played.

"That was great," Hegerle said. "I am so proud of them and I am so excited for tomorrow."

Related Topics: JAMESTOWN BLUE JAYSJAMESTOWN HIGH SCHOOLPREP SPORTSBLUE JAYS VOLLEYBALL
Katie Ringer is a sports reporter for the Jamestown Sun. Katie joined the Sun staff in the summer of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a degree in journalism. She can be reached by email at kringer@jamestownsun.com or by phone at 701-952-8460.
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