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SHANLEY SURGE: Blue Jays fall to Deacons in five

FARGO--Megan Gaffaney and the rest of the Blue Jays were shell-shocked following Thursday's opening round match of the Class A state volleyball tournament.

Mackenzie Clark of Jamestown spikes against Shanley during the quarterfinal round of the North Dakota Volleyball Tournament on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, at the Fargodome.Michael Vosburg / Forum News Service
Mackenzie Clark of Jamestown spikes against Shanley during the quarterfinal round of the North Dakota Volleyball Tournament on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, at the Fargodome. Michael Vosburg / Forum News Service

FARGO-Megan Gaffaney and the rest of the Blue Jays were shell-shocked following Thursday's opening round match of the Class A state volleyball tournament.

Jamestown impressed early against Fargo Shanley, taking a 2-0 lead. But the Deacons, and their impressive front-row attack, were just warming up.

Seniors Katie Roberts and Emily Deitz, along with junior Caira Berg, combined for 56 of Shanley's 68 kills to guide the Deacons to a 3-2 come-from-behind victory. Roberts, Deitz and Berg measure 6-foot, 6-2 and 6-0, respectively.

Jamestown faces West Fargo today at noon in consolation play.

"We really controlled the tempo and everything was going smoothly," said Gaffaney, who finished with 47 assists. "It was our game, and then it kinda switched."

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Jamestown used five Mackenzie Clark kills to fuel a 10-1 run in the opening game, which the Blue Jays dominated 25-18. Clark was Jamestown's go-to hitter all afternoon, posting a team-high 18 kills.

Gaffaney then led the charge in a 26-24 victory in game 2, after Shanley used an 8-0 run of its own to lead 23-20 late. Gaffaney posted a block, a tip kill and found Clark twice on the outside down the stretch to help Jamestown score seven of the last eight points.

"We came out with so much energy right away," Jamestown coach Sara Hegerle said. "Everybody went out there and was doing their jobs, and then Shanley just brought their guns."

After the Deacons charged to a 25-18 win in game 3, the Blue Jays missed some chances in a pivotal fourth set. Tied at 23-all, Berg and Julia Vetter ultimately ended the frame in Shanley's favor with back-to-back kills.

The fourth was tied eight times, and a string of four more kills from Clark had the Blue Jays leading 22-19 late. Hampering Jamestown's effort was an injury suffered in warmups to senior defensive specialist Emily Andersen. Andersen was unable to compete.

"I think our kids wore out," Hegerle said. "They were trying to pay attention to so many different people in the front row, and at some point you get beat down enough and you're going to get tired. But I think we missed an opportunity in set four."

Berg posted four of her 19 kills and scored the Deacons' only ace of the match in a lopsided 15-4 fifth game. Jamestown sophomore Courtney Peterson scored three of the Blue Jays' four points in the fifth via kills, finishing with 16 total.

"The first two games (Jamestown) definitely came out with intensity, but we overcame that the last three sets," Berg said. "We just believed in ourselves. We knew we could do it and we did."

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Hannah Schiele led the Blue Jays with 26 digs, while McKayla Kurtz added 15 kills. Vetter finished with 53 assists. Shanley out-blocked Jamestown 22-4.

"They came out swinging," Gaffaney said. "But they're good hitters and we were expecting that."

Shanley will meet defending state champion Bismarck Century in the semifinals tonight at 6 p.m. Gaffaney said Jamestown needs to play with confidence today against the Packers.

"Going into the third game Shanley came out strong and we were caught on our heels a little bit," Gaffaney said. "So (today) it's just about playing our game."

Shanley 3, Jamestown 2

Shanley 18 24 25 25 15

Jamestown 25 26 18 23 4

Shanley-Katie Roberts 20, Caira Berg 19, Emily Deitz 17, Kylie Kanwischer 9, Madison Noesen 1, Julia Vetter 1, Brookelyn Dew 1. Assists: Vetter 53, Berg 2, Dew 2. Aces: Berg 1. Blocks: Dietz 7, Dew 5, Kanwischer 5, Vetter 3, Berg 1, Roberts 1. Digs: Roberts 26, Hannah Manz 24, Dew 21, Vetter 12, Berg 8, Taylor Erholtz 3, Dietz 3, Noesen 2, Kanwischer 1.

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Jamestown-Kills: Mackenzie Clark 18, Courtney Peterson 16, McKayla Kurtz 15, Megan Gaffaney 3, Haley Hillstrom 3, Genna Bruns 2, Alyssa Ukestad 1. Aces: Bruns 4, Gaffaney 2, Ukestad 2, Olivia Nihill 1, Hannah Schiele 1. Assists: Gaffaney 47, Bruns 1. Blocks: Peterson 2, HIllstrom 1, Gaffaney .5, Clark .5. Digs: Schiele 26, Ukestad 14, Nihill 11, Jordan Paulson 8, Gaffaney 6, Kurtz 4, Hillstrom 3, Bruns 2, Clark 1, Peterson 1.

Records: Shanley 27-9; Jamestown 26-14.

Related Topics: VOLLEYBALL
Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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